New Hampshire, United States — A bill currently before New Hampshire’s House of Representatives aims to keep an eye out for consumers, as many seeking windshield repairs in the state are being caught by surprise by high calibration costs.
The bill is being put forward by New Hampshire state representative, Tim McGough, following a personal experience he had with getting his windshield repaired, in the hopes that the average consumer can be spared the significant costs and headaches he endured.
“House Bill 304 is a good consumer protection bill designed to inform consumers about some potentially bad practices that you really could not possibly know about, or at least would be very unlikely to know about, related to windshield repairs,” he said.
McGough recounted how, by chance, the repairer who was completing an oil change on his vehicle noticed a chip in his windshield and recommended he go through his insurer, GEICO, to make sure they cover the calibration costs if the vehicle’s heads-up-display (HUD) was effected, which it was.
He said that his first recalibration didn’t take and his HUD was still faulty, so he returned to the shop to have it fixed.
“Next thing I know, they’re taking the dash off and they’re replacing the heads-up display and it’s $3,000 and it’s $4,000. Thankfully, all of this is covered…it’s a very specialized process and they thankfully were using either SafeLite or Portland or one of the big-name places and bringing in a specialized person to do this.”
McGough says that had the repairer conducting the oil change not advised him to report the damage to GEICO, and had GEICO not informed him of the potential need for recalibration, all of those costs would have likely come straight out of his pocket.
In response to criticisms that such incidents could be addressed by the state’s Consumer Protection Act, McGough assured the house that this legislation would merely be a safeguard for drivers and open up clear dialogue between repair facilities and customers when it comes to calibration services that they do and don’t offer.
He says that the bill would require shops that can’t offer recalibration to inform customers that while recalibration is necessary, they can’t provide it and that would need to be done elsewhere.
“There’s a number of other states that have enacted complicated pieces of legislation and this is simple and this is direct,” said McGough.
“It requires some simple consumer protection notification language. The problem is an unsuspecting consumer could very easily go to a fly-by-night auto glass shop, not be told, leave and have non-working collision sensors, radar sensors, laser sensors—all the sensors that are in your complicated windshield—get a aftermarket or an average windshield glass replacement and all of those important sensors, collision sensors, braking sensors all those things, be completely uncalibrated and never know it. This bill simply says you need to go get those recalibrated.”
He acknowledged the common folly of politicians attempting to legislate common sense, but pointed out that this bill addresses safety more than anything else, saying that “after a certain point in 2023, all windshields are going to need some kind of recalibration.”
House Bill 304 is set to be discussed during a subcommittee work session next Wednesday.