Replacement Windshield AWOL - 2013 Dodge Dart SXT Rallye Long-Term Road Test

2013 Dodge Dart SXT Rallye Long-Term Road Test

2013 Dodge Dart: Replacement Windshield AWOL

June 24, 2013

2013 Dodge Dart

Three weeks and six days. That's how long it has been since I first brought our 2013 Dodge Dart to Glenn E Thomas Dodge on May 28th to have them look at its cracked windshield.

If you'll remember the crack was on the inside, where I could feel it with my fingernail. The outer layer of glass was smooth and unbroken, with no signs of impact. To me this suggested a defect that might be covered by warranty.

The service writer seemed to agree, but he couldn't make the call. So he took pictures and sent a report in for a ruling by the district service manager. Within a couple days word came back that it was indeed covered under warranty, and they ordered a replacement around about the first of June. I was told it would arrive direct from the manufacturer in about a week.

I called a week later. It hadn't arrived. Ditto the week after that. This time I was told it would arrive the next next week, on or around the 18th. Really?

Last Thursday (June 20th) I returned from a three-day Michigan business trip and called once more from the airport. I'd driven the Dart and left it in the airport parking garage so I could go straight to the dealer upon my return.

Then I heard something unfathomable: they still didn't have it.

Well, they had received it, apparently, on June 12th, but the parts department discovered it had been damaged in transit. They ordered a new one. The 18th came and went because the part spent a few days in back-order status in there somewhere.

The service writer was unaware of any of this. The parts department hadn't told him of the broken part, the subsequent re-order and the back-order status. And, it must be said, he hadn't asked until prompted by my phone call.

Why not just replace this windshield in the usual way? I don't like the idea of filing an insurance claim for something that didn't happen out on the road, for what's been ruled a warrantable defect. Sure, most of us pay premiums far in excess of what we ever claim, but it's not their responsibility this time. Besides, every filed claim narrows the eyes of the insurance company bean counters a bit more, gives them an excuse to bump the rates ever higher.

So, even though I'm losing patience at a rapid clip — it's all gone, in fact — I'm stuck gutting it out. I just hope no one gets written up for a fix-it ticket while we wait for the Dodge parts supply chain to pull its head out. That would add insult to injury.

Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 11,638 miles

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