2016 Honda Civic: Cracked Windshield Saga Part 2
by Travis Langness, Automotive Editor on June 20, 2016
When last we left our long-term 2016 Honda Civic, I was waiting on a new windshield to arrive. Brent Romans had a run-in with a rock on the highway and thanks to the Civic's adaptive cruise control (and other forward-camera based systems) the windshield was tough to find.
After deciding that I'd have Safelite do the job (for multiple reasons, including parts availability — see that story here) I set an appointment for the replacement. Unfortunately, things didn't go as easily as I'd hoped.
A few days after I set the appointment with Safelite, they called (and e-mailed) to tell me that they couldn't find the right windshield. They needed my VIN to order the right glass and it would take a few more days than originally expected.
Before I called Safelite back, I called two of the larger Honda dealerships in the area to confirm what they told me a week ago: they still had delays on locating the ACC-friendly glass. According to their research, it was on backorder (or unavailable) and it would be at least a month until they could get one in house.
So, I stuck with Safelite. I called them back, they ordered the windshield, and they told me that a unique molding was required. They'd have to order that, too. I okayed that extra cost, then, through a series of emails, we set up an appointment that fit my schedule.
Mind you, this appointment was three weeks out from the initial phone calls when I shopped around for quotes. It was four weeks from the time the windshield had been cracked. If the windshield were shattered by a larger item, instead of just having a small, unobtrusive crack, the car would be sidelined this entire time.
Regardless, my appointment with Safelite was set. They sent a confirmation email saying that they'd be to me between 8:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. that Tuesday. At 12:30 p.m. I got a call. The tech informed me that he couldn't make it on time. I resisted my urge to complain or yell or throw things. Instead, I asked him when he'd arrive. He'd be an hour late, arriving at 2:00 pm. With no other option, I accepted these new terms. Two o'clock rolled around and he was a no-show. Then 2:15. Then 2:30. I got fed up and called the tech.
"Yeah, I'm just talking to a customer in Santa Monica right now, I'm on my way. I'll be there in 20 minutes." I was less than pleased.
At 3:10 pm the Safelite tech showed up. He commenced with small talk, thanked me for waiting and got to work. He taped up the corners of the Civic's hood and showed me the new glass. It had a Honda logo and it was in a Honda bag with Honda part numbers. Perfect.
I went inside to do some work on my laptop, but less than 10 minutes later, the tech called me back outside. I should've known better than to get my hopes up.
He didn't have the right molding. He didn't know where it was or why they didn't send it with the other parts. This was particularly annoying because of the Safelite phone rep who called me just a few days prior to confirm that they now had the windshield and the molding, ready for install.
According to the tech, he had the windshield and the top molding, but not the proper stuff for the sides or the bottom of the windshield. He could use non-Honda molding but he advised me that there would likely be seal issues and extra wind noise. I declined and asked how long it would take to get the proper molding in. He didn't know. He'd ask the office. He packed up and left.
At this point, I was fed up.
The next day, I called Safelite to check on how long it would take to get the right molding. After about five minutes on hold, they told me the molding was a Honda part and it would take about two business days to get. I accepted and hung up, but rather than just wait, I decided to call the Honda dealerships again.
It had been a few weeks, maybe they'd have the parts now and I could just cancel my appointment with Safelite? Not so lucky. I called three local Honda dealers and none of them had the glass. Still on backorder, with estimates for availability ranging between two weeks and a month. Safelite it is.
TL;DR? It's been a month since the windshield was cracked and we still haven't been able to get it replaced, but not for a lack of trying. One small part is still holding things up, and as soon as Safelite gets the part in-house, we'll schedule another appointment, trying to put this whole debacle in our rearview.
Travis Langness, Automotive Editor @ 4,900 miles