Thread: Windshield Hell
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Old 06-19-2006, 10:39 AM   #8
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota, USA
Posts: 3,308

I can name that tune in no notes! A few years back, a truck threw up a stone and struck the windshield on my Lotus Esprit. The windshield is a structural member on these cars and before I got home the chip had turned into a crack spanning the entire windshield.

I called the local Lotus Dealer and they recommended a Glass Shop. Speaking with them, they assured me that they were experienced and so I brought the car in. Insurance was paying and they quoted me $2300 ($2100 for the glass from the UK) and $200 for installation. They gave me a timeframe of 4 days after the windshield arrived.

2 weeks later, after not hearing a thing from them, I called them and they said they broke the 1st windshield on installation and were having another shipped from the UK. Another 2 weeks passed and I phoned them and they said that the 2nd windshield arrived broken and that they had ordered a 3rd. Another 2 weeks, and they said that due to the UPS strike, the windshield was delayed. 2 weeks later, they called and said that since 9/11, the shipment was held up in Customs, but that it should be released in 2 weeks.

2 weeks later, they called and said the Car would be finished tomorrow because they were having some trouble replacing the Brightwork aluminum surround. I had a conflicting appointment so we arranged that the car would be left outside the building at 5pm, I was to arrive at 6pm with my spare key.

When I arrived, the car was sitting in the lot, filthy, covered with leaves and the Brightwork was all twisted and there were visible gaps in the windshield, clumsily filled with silicone. A guy came out of an adjacent building and asked if it was my car. I confirmed this and he told me the car had been sitting out there for weeks with plastic sheeting covering the windshield opening. I literally started shaking thinking of what they had been doing.

The next day, I called my attorney who called them and said that if they didn't have the car properly repaired within 72 hours, we were going to sue. He then called the Dealer and told them that since they recommended the place, they would be sued as a third party. The Glass shop owner called me and asked why I was so upset! I told him he was lucky that he only spoke to my attorney because he remained much more objective than I would have. The owner said that he had a total of $6000 in the job already. I said "TOO BAD!" I had had the insurance Co. pay me the check and I was witholding payment until the job was done right. He further went on to say that the Brightwork surround was no longer available from Lotus (which I confirmed). I told him that there was a custom metal fabricator in Mpls. who could duplicate the pieces for $425. He nearly fell over, but I restated what my attorney had said that 72 Hrs. was all the more time we were giving him.

72 Hrs. later, he called to say the Car was finished. I went back out to his shop, and the job had finally been done correctly, with new excellent custom made brightwork, only 8+ weeks later than promised. I told him that for all the abuse and delay that I would only write him a check for $2100, if that wasn't good enough, he could counter-sue me. He accepted it. A month later, the guy closed his shop... Boo Hoo....

So, as is almost always the case, your situation could have been worse. BTW, here in MN, Glass is a non-deductable claim if it impairs the Driver's Vision, at least it was when I had my Esprit mishap - too bad for you out-of-staters

Happy Motoring!... Jim'99
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