OEM glass importance rises in the age of ADAS

Oct. 17, 2022
OEM glass will only become more important as ADAS features continue to become more prevalent, complex, and more integrated into other vehicle systems.

Long gone are the days where all windshields and other automotive fixed glass did was “keep the rain out," according to an article in Ford's recent On-Target newsletter. Thanks in no small part to the development and implementation of ADAS (advanced driver assistance systems), windshields especially continue to grow in importance as to how they function on the vehicle, with today’s windshield glass now fully integrated into the vehicle’s electronic and software communication systems via multiple sensors and cameras.

Ford says it simply cannot be overstated how much the importance of using OEM glass in collision repairs has grown due to the substantial and accelerated deployment of ADAS technology. OEM glass will only become more important as ADAS features continue to become more prevalent, complex, and more integrated into other vehicle systems. Early ADAS examples, such as blind spot detection and lane departure warnings, have helped lead to newer features, including automatic lane correction and cruise control auto speed adjustments while continuing evolution will see systems capable of recognizing street signs and pedestrians.

According to the company, windshield and fixed glass replacement technicians should note the importance of obtaining the Ford OEM software necessary to perform proper calibrations. It is updated every day and obtained as a daily update to the vehicle communication module's (VCM) equipment software. Changes to ADAS features can be updated without changing the camera. To ensure proper calibrations, the most up-to-date software must be utilized.

The Ford Certified Collision Network (FCCN) aims to ensure repairers are utilizing the correct tools and equipment, OEM parts, and approved OEM repair procedures to produce safe and quality repairs. Echoing the importance of those items, the new Ford Certified Glass Network (FCGN) aims to provide glass installers with all the tools, equipment, and information to allow for proper glass removal, installation, and calibration, helping to ensure all vehicle systems continue to work together as intended.

Glass installers who choose to participate in the program will have access to a wide array of benefits, including:

  • Glass Installation and calibration procedures — Access to the Ford workshop manual is included in the annual enrollment fee through motorcraftservice.com.
  • Glass installation process assessment and consultation  Assessment by a third-party specialist helps ensure the right tools, equipment, training, and processes are in place, including industry leading process coaching.
  • Calibration training — Virtual training on Ford-approved processes.
  • Technical support  Access to technical support for certified glass installers.

To help glass installers utilize correct OEM glass components, Ford says Carlex provides a helpful search feature that can quickly identify the exact replacement glass part number. Searches can be made using the following types of information:

  • Vehicle year, make and model
  • Ford service part number
  • NAGS ID (National Auto Glass Specifications)
  • Ford engineering part number

From the 2012 model year onward, Ford has included the part’s engineering part number embedded within the glass trademark. The engineering part number includes the wind-shield’s specifications, dimensions and other data detailing its fit within the vehicle’s substrate and is the best way to be sure it’s the correct Ford replacement glass for the vehicle.

The Carlex OEM replacement glass search tool can be found here. A QR code next to the trademark can also be scanned with a smartphone. It will bring up the Ford engineering part number, and a search can be made that way, avoiding any possible typos within the part number.

According to Ford, Aftermarket glass companies do not have access to this very specific information, which could lead to the wrong glass part being utilized, resulting in the ADAS and other vehicle systems no longer working as designed or intended.

For more information on Ford/Carlex OEM glass, including job aids, official position statements, repair videos, and more, visit fordcrashparts.com/glass. For more information on the FCGN or to join the program, visit collision.ford.com/fordcertifiedglassnetwork or call 833.837.7694.

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