Cracked windscreen - complicated case, help!

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Active Member
Apr 29, 2008
1993 190LE, 1994 190LE, 1998 S420
I've posted this on another forum, but I thought I would post here as well since you guys might have some better ideas. Heres the story:

Three weeks ago I purchased a secondhand car (MB 190E) off a private individual. The car was perfect and so far I'm happy with it.

Whilst looking around the car, the previous owner mentioned that he had a new windscreen put in it through his insurance because of a stone chip. He had it fitted no more than about 6 months ago.

Now I went out today to my car and shock, horror
there is a crack in the windscreen starting right at the top edge and coming about 6 inches down. Its not a stone chip or any damage caused by a passing car simply because of the position and nature of the crack. Unfortunatly it is on the drivers side and in the "line of vision".

Looking at the installation is appears to be a very shoddy job. Where the screen has cracked, there is a large amount of black stuff (which I guess they use to stick the glass to the car) and its been applied messly. However, along the rest of the windshield the "black stuff" has been applied evenly such that and you can't see it. From what I can deduce, the black stuff has been unevenly applied to one side of the windshield (the cracked) side, which has stressed the glass and as a result it has cracked. Moreover, the plastic cowl by the wiper was cracked by the glass installer (I have no proof, but its so awkard to get at, it must have been done by the window installer) and the rubber seal along the side is uneven. Also along the bottom of the window there is a lack of putty on the lower edge of the window so much so you could stick a key in there.

Now, I feel that I should NOT have to pay for a new windshield because the job was done poorly, through no fault of my own - why should I?

I'm in the process of finding out who was the company that installed it, do you think I am write to demand that they come out and re-do the job after all there must be some kind of guarentee on it?

There are probably going to wriggle out of it saying the guarentee becomes void when the car is sold on, but what kind of excuse is that? Irrespective of who owns a car, a windshield should be properly installed and should last longer than six months - after all it could well have broken on the new owner. Besides, since getting it three weeks ago its been largely stationery (its only done about 20 miles).

What shall I do? If they play hard, could I take them to a small claims court? Shoddy workmanship, is shoddy workmanship, and I don't see why I should have to fork out for a new windscreen when the cause of the current fault is down to the installation/installer and not me.

Please help?

Thanks in advance.

PS - My insurance does not cover for windscreen damage.
I doubt there is much you can do, the warranty is probably not transferrable and as you never had a contract with whoever fitted the windscreen, how can you take them to a small claims court.

Would the seller be able to pursue on your behalf, he does not have to tell them the car has been sold.

Have you the receipt from the previous owner, if not I don't think you have any chance mate. They will argue that the crack is due the car flexing because of rough roads/kerbing/speed humps etc, and will not pay out to replace.:crazy:

It is a pity that the Insurance doesn't cover you as for £60 excess you could have got a new screen, and then tried to charge it to the previous owner/ windscreen fitter.
Sorry you have problems, but as above, doubt that you will have any joy, afterall, it wasn't you that had the contract with the installer. I thought that virtually all policies covered glass now, you must be one of the unfortunate ones.

Even if insured, I don't think the previous owner would cough up the excess, would you?
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You had the option to pay that little bit extra for windscreen cover! Your decision your chice.

My son had a leaking windscreen that was leaking badly and although he had windscreen cover, this did not cover leaking (It would have covered your situation)

The reason why I am mentioning this is because of the prices involved. Muggings here got tasked with getting a price. £150 for a Golf Gti tinted windscreen and that involved coming out to the house and doing the installation.

I would bite the bullet, put this down to experience and phone around. Our you could sue 'someone' and take them to the small claims court. Although my opinion is that the 'someone' would have to be the seller.
I don't see this as complicted.

I'm afraid you have no chance of any joy from the windscreen comapny.

I'm afraid you have no chance of any joy from the windscreen comapny.

However, if you have the receipt I think it's worth persuing with them, stay clam, point out that your consider the crack to be the result of stress from poor fitting. They may not play ball, but you might at get a goodwill jesture.
Good luck!

Six months down the line & not the original customer, you'll need it.
Depending on your luck, and the moods of people at the time, the installers might offer you at least a good-will discount. It'd be worth the asking, I'd think.
If you don't ask, you don't get.

Like what has already been mentioned, stay calm, outline your reasoning and get them to come and look at the screen. If they don't play ball then put it down to experience.

If it is a large reputable company that did the job you might be able to shame them into action....otherwise I think it's pay up for a new screen.
Yes i would agree... nothing lost in asking but obviously you will need some proof that they carried out the repair.

Im always very nervous when some of these companies replace glass. I always stand and watch the whole procedure and insist on an experienced fitter. Not had an issue so far but have heard of many on here and other forums.
If the crack is originating from the edge, it's possible there's something on the mounting surface which is creating a concentration of pressue at that point, and hence the excess black goo to cushion it a little.
Or maybe it actually has been chipped near theedge and that caused the crack.

I'd say you've got no chance of a claim as 3 months would have been long enough for faulty workmanship to show up and it's longer than that.

I find it incredible that you didn't pay the extra for windscreen cover then try to make a claim when it backfires on you.
To be fair I do not know for sure if mine covers me for windscreen damage - there was never a "box to tick" to say actually I won't know until I read the policy thoroughly.

All I would say is you can try, it's certainly worth a shot - nothing ventured, nothing gained and all that, otherwise, £60 for a new windscreen isn't that bad...(annoying yes but one of those things! I learnt that you should always make sure your bonnet is pushed down securely:rolleyes: :D )
otherwise, £60 for a new windscreen isn't that bad...(annoying yes but one of those things! I learnt that you should always make sure your bonnet is pushed down securely:rolleyes: :D )

It's going to cost him the full cost as he doesn't have windscreen cover.
Sorry but you have no chance whatsoever, the windscreen installer's guarantee (if there was one) would have terminated when the vehicle was sold. Next time include windscreen cover on your insurance!
My windscreen was repaired (though not replaced) FOC through my full-comp car insurance. The guy from the glass company said there was a lifetime warranty on the repair, i.e. if the windscreen cracks at the point where the old chip was, I will get a new windscreen FOC regardless of my car insurance etc. Hope this helps.

PS - he did not specify what happens if the car changes ownership, which it did BTW....

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