Toyota RAV4 Forums banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone,
New to posting in the forums but been lurking for a while. Sorry, this is a long post but this has been an ordeal and I feel like I need to be detailed here.

I have a 2010 RAV4 Sport and up until 2 weeks ago had the original OEM glass (so, almost 6 years in Sep). Never noticed any issues with this glass and never had a problem with the optical clarity. Had a nasty crack develop due to a rock hitting my windshield and decided it was time to replace.

So far, this has been an incredibly frustrating and stressful process and I am at a loss as to what I should be doing next.

I found a glass company that had great yelp and google reviews so I decided to go with them. Set up the 3-way with my insurance and everything was hunky dory. Guy comes out and puts a Pilkington in. I go to drive the car the next day and something just seems off. I felt like my eyes couldn't focus and they were straining just looking through the windshield... It was almost as if I was going cross-eyed or something and my eyes just couldn't relax. Never experienced this before and I felt like it was causing me to get headaches, sore eyes and was making me disoriented while driving.

Then, I notice a horizontal ripple in the middle of the glass; right in my line of sight. Anything that passed through the ripple became distorted and it was incredibly distracting while I was driving. I call the guy up and he agrees that what I am seeing is a defect and sets up a time to replace the glass. He comes out a few days later, sees the ripple and replaces the windshield with a Fuyao.

Next day, I DON'T experience the whole disorienting eye-strain thing but I see ripples in different areas of the glass... Wtf?!! This can't be normal. I call them again and they seem surprised I am experiencing the issue again. He comes out a few days later and brings two Pilkingtons with him. He looks at my windshield and has trouble initially seeing the ripples I was talking about. They were more subtle this time but just as annoying. He was able to eventually make out the distortion and agrees to replace the windshield. We spent a good 20 minutes looking through both Pilkington windshields he brought. He setup a stand and we examined the windshields thoroughly looking at a stop sign and some trees down the street. One windshield I saw very visible vertical ripples so I was already pretty much set against it. The second windshield was actually from the same batch of Pilkington windshields he initially replaced my windshield with so I was concerned, however, we could not find any noticeable ripples in the screen. I decide to go with it and he puts it in.

Yesterday, I take the car out for a spin and I could not find noticeable ripples in the driver's view. I see some ripples on the passenger side but I am pretty much over it at this point. After driving for about 30 minutes in various settings (landscapes?) I do notice lots of very very subtle imperfections/ripples/waviness or whatever you would call it on the driver's side AND the disorienting, can't focus my eyes feeling is BACK.

I'm starting to get pissed off. Of course, I'm looking for the stuff now but the feeling that something is off is undeniable. Maybe I have sensitive eyes but going into this windshield replacement I never noticed this stuff and was never looking for this stuff with my OEM windshield and never had this problem. I am unconvinced my eyesight changed overnight. My wife and the glass guy noticed the rippling with the first two windshields but I had my wife drive with the 3rd windshield in and she could not notice the disorienting effect I was experiencing. Keep in mind I didn't experience that effect with the Fuyao windshield.

Now, I am in a predicament. If I call the glass guy again I don't know if he will be able to see what I see and agree to replace the glass a FOURTH time. The driver side distortion is very subtle but there is enough of it in many different locations, I believe, to affect the overall clarity of the glass. It's maddening to drive my car right now. If I were to have the guy come out again I feel like he would just replace the windshield from the same batch of messed up windshields and this would just go on forever. Here are my questions...

1. What do I do now? Do I call Pilkington? Do I call my insurance company? Or, do I raise hell with the glass company?

2. Am I crazy? How common is it to have optical issues with aftermarket glass? Has anyone experienced this disorienting feeling when looking through a windshield?

3. Should I accept this? I am concerned I will never get used to this windshield and any time I drive it will be a miserable experience. On top of that this has got to be a safety issue.

TL;DR Replaced OEM windshield with aftermarket windshield 3 times in 2 weeks and every windshield has caused me problems in one way or another, not sure what to do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,494 Posts
I've never experienced this with any of my cars, but haven't had to replace the RAVs glass. Not sure what he'll say now, since it sounds like you both looked thru it carefully before he installed it.
{{{{shrug}}}.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
66 Posts
I once had a good customer when I was a service manager at a GM dealership, who brought in a Grand Prix just prior to the 3 year 36,000 mile warranty expiring. He complained about the glass having a slight ripple in it. Since it was not clearly obvious, I had the customer go with me on a test drive to help point it out. As the car would turn in and out of the sun he would say, 'There it is', 'No' it's gone now', over and over. I never did see it, but I then made a big mistake. I told him that I would just go ahead and replace it under warranty. After the first windshield he came back in a few weeks claiming this one is worse than the original. Again, I could not see it. We replaced it again, and had a similar problem. I realize that this is not the same problem as what you are experiencing, but peoples eyesight is very subjective. Even though I have 20/20 vision, others are more susceptible to blurs and distortion. How perfect should a Toyota Rav4 windshield be? With enough scrutiny you can find a defect in just about any windshield at the right angle. BTW - the customer in the Grand Prix got upset with the dealership; expecting us to continually replace their windshield until (I suppose) a perfect one was found, and never returned to the dealership. My lesson learned from this - many things on a car do not need to be perfect and the more you try to make it perfect the more you will be held to that standard.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
I had to replace the windshield in my Kia Sorento. I knew people who had problems with aftermarket windshields so I did some research and learned I never wanted everything but OEM glass. My insurance company uses Safelite for auto glass. I told Safelite I wanted a OEM Kia windshield to be installed. They said they could but would need to get approval from the my insurance company first. They called the next day and said they got it approved and had already ordered the windshield from Kia. The one they installed was identical in every way to the original and it was perfect. If you don't ask, they use original equipment equivalent ( OEE ) not OEM. Not the same quality.
At this point I'm not sure what you can do. Ask the glass company for a OEM Toyota windshield or pay for a OEM Toyota windshield out of your pocket. I know that is a hard pill to swallow.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I realize that this is not the same problem as what you are experiencing, but peoples eyesight is very subjective. Even though I have 20/20 vision, others are more susceptible to blurs and distortion. How perfect should a Toyota Rav4 windshield be? With enough scrutiny you can find a defect in just about any windshield at the right angle. BTW - the customer in the Grand Prix got upset with the dealership; expecting us to continually replace their windshield until (I suppose) a perfect one was found, and never returned to the dealership. My lesson learned from this - many things on a car do not need to be perfect and the more you try to make it perfect the more you will be held to that standard.
Yep, I understand where you are coming from. The difference here, however, is that when I first got the new windshield I wasn't looking for these things. In fact, I didn't even realize distorted windshields was a thing! I was feeling the effects of the distortion prior to me noticing their was an issue at all.

I don't expect perfection, and I agree that no windshield is perfect. The problem I am having here is that my OEM windshield, whether it had any imperfections or not, did not bother me at all. There was no apparent distortion that caught my eye, distracted me, or impeded my ability to focus on the road.

All three windshields that were put on my car have clear differences in terms of distortion and clarity compared to my OEM windshield. I had co-workers, family and even the glass installer confirm the distortions I was perceiving in the windshields (the glass installer marked them out on the glass with a marker).

Again, not looking for perfection. Slight imperfections are no big deal, distortions on certain areas of the windshield (edges) is expected but distortion in my line of sight, even SLIGHTLY, is a deal breaker for me. Putting personal preference aside, it's a safety issue. Some people may have more tolerance for distortion than others but I don't think I have an unreasonable intolerance for distortion. I'm just looking for what I had before. If aftermarket glass can't achieve the clarity you get with OEM glass then this is a lesson learned. I am disappointed that I am in this predicament to begin with... I just want to see clearly through my windshield...
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,099 Posts
Windshield replacements generally come in three price ranges. They go from cheapest to OEM being the most expensive. I had mine replaced using the middle grade glass and no distortions. I suggest they are using the lowest quality glass.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,494 Posts
I once had a good customer when I was a service manager at a GM dealership, who brought in a Grand Prix just prior to the 3 year 36,000 mile warranty expiring. He complained about the glass having a slight ripple in it. Since it was not clearly obvious, I had the customer go with me on a test drive to help point it out. As the car would turn in and out of the sun he would say, 'There it is', 'No' it's gone now', over and over. I never did see it, but I then made a big mistake. I told him that I would just go ahead and replace it under warranty. After the first windshield he came back in a few weeks claiming this one is worse than the original. Again, I could not see it. We replaced it again, and had a similar problem. I realize that this is not the same problem as what you are experiencing, but peoples eyesight is very subjective. Even though I have 20/20 vision, others are more susceptible to blurs and distortion. How perfect should a Toyota Rav4 windshield be? With enough scrutiny you can find a defect in just about any windshield at the right angle. BTW - the customer in the Grand Prix got upset with the dealership; expecting us to continually replace their windshield until (I suppose) a perfect one was found, and never returned to the dealership. My lesson learned from this - many things on a car do not need to be perfect and the more you try to make it perfect the more you will be held to that standard.
Well, you might have lost a customer, but look at all the money you saved on windshields!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,525 Posts
My '11 RAV's OEM windshield has a slight horizontal distortion if one looks through the lower part, but at my height I don't even see it since it is below my line of sight. The windshield doesn't have the European E number on it so it most likely was made in North America. My wife's CR-V was made in Japan and had E number glass all around until the windshield was cracked by a stone thrown by a truck. Our local body shop and insurance arranged for a replacement by Safelite. The replacement doesn't have the E number but it has no distortion - she is quite particular about such matters and says that it is perfect.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
509 Posts
I had the same problem. The warp was in my lower field of view and extended the entire width of the windshield. I had to have it replaced a few times before getting an acceptable one. There's still the warp, which I've heard happens, but it's located so low to the base of the windshield that it's not something I notice - I'd have to look for it.

My father had a similar problem with his older Lexus. He's learned more about windshields than I ever wanted to know.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Wow. Now I'm scared. Having my windshield replaced in a few hours. Safelite "fixed" a small rock chip last Friday. On Sunday, I got some beautiful cracks coming out of the repair, and now, they go over the entire windshield.
They are bringing both a heated and a non-heated windshield, and I guess will figure out which one I have when they get here.
Wish me luck with no wavy spots!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,916 Posts
Tell them to check for defects before they bring them and if you do not like what you see, just refuse the windshield.
I got mine replaced last year, no defects that I can notice. I had a layer of glue on the windshield which created distortions; once I figured what it was, I got rid of the glue over a few weeks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Knock on wood...my new windshield looks good and I haven't noticed any distortions. The installer put up with me checking the windshield, even the thickness of the old one vs new. They must have sent their most patient guy... :)
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top