Rick's Free Auto Repair Advice

Honda Requires OE Windshield Replacement for Some Models

Windshield replacement on Honda

Windshield glass is a layered product where a sheet of plastic is sandwiched between two sheets of tempered glass. The sandwich is then placed in an oven to both fuse the layers. A tempered and laminated windshield will not break into shards like untempered glass and the broken pieces are more likely to stay in place rather than shatter into the passenger compartment. When performing a windshield replacement it’s critical to use the same quality windshield glass as the manufacturer.

All Original Equipment (windshields that are installed at the factory) and aftermarket windshield glass will perform this way. But some car makers and dealers claim that aftermarket windshield glass doesn’t meet the same high quality standards as the OE glass. Glass experts disagree on that broad statement since it really depends on the actual brand and manufacturer of the aftermarket glass.

In fact, some aftermarket glass is manufactured by the same company that made the OE glass. When a manufacturer provides parts to the car maker under contract, they’re referred to as a Tier 1 supplier. If a Tier 1 supplier cannot meet the needs of the car maker, they may subcontract all or a portion of the car maker’s order to another company, called a Tier 2 supplier. The Tier 2 supplier must manufacture the product to the exact car maker’s specifications.

Under some conditions, both a Tier 1 and Tier 2 supplier may offer the same OE quality product or near OE-quality product to wholesale distributors who then sell the product to installing shops. In those cases, the Tier 1 or Tier 2 may not refer to those products as actual OE. However, they may imply that those products are made to OE quality levels.

Can you do an aftermarket windshield replacement  in your Honda?

Yes and no. Windshield glass does far more than protect you from the wind. It’s also a structural component of your vehicle. It actually supports the roof. Plus, it’s a critical component in your supplemental restraint (SRS) or airbag system. The passenger airbag in many vehicles is designed to inflate upward until it contacts the windshield glass. In then expands towards the passenger. That’s why it’s so important to immediately fix cracks in your windshield or get a windshield replacement if the cracks or chips can’t be fixed. If you don’t, an impact can cause the airbag to blow out the windshield during inflation, which defeats its ability to protect the passenger.

If aftermarket windshield glass is made to lower standards or is installed improperly, it can prevent the passenger airbag from protecting the passenger. In that case, you should not use poor quality aftermarket glass.

Aftermarket windshield replacement glass may affect the operation of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS)

In addition to the airbag issue, windshields also work hand in hand with ADAS systems like; Adaptive Cruise Control, Collision Mitigation Braking System, Forward Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keeping Assist System and Road Departure Mitigation.

These system use one or more cameras mounted on the windshield. So it’s critical that the glass be free from distortion that might impact the effectiveness of these ADAS systems.

And driver convenience item that relies on the windshield is Heads Up display (HUD) which projects driver information onto the windshield.

Honda warns about aftermarket windshield glass replacement

On November 17, 2014, Honda issued a safety bulletin advising collision repair shops that certain Honda vehicles with ADAS or HUD systems may not work properly with aftermarket windshield glass, which may result in a safety issue for the driver and passengers. Specifically, Honda requires OE glass on the following vehicles:


2013-2015 Honda Accord EX-L, Touring
2014-2015 Honda Accord Hybrid EX-L, Touring
2014 Honda Accord Plug-In, All
2014 Honda Civic Hybrid, All
2013-2015 Honda Crosstour EX-L
2015 Honda CR-V, Touring
2014-2015 Honda Odyssey EX-L, Touring
2014-2015 Acura MDX, Tech, Advance
2014-2015 Acura RLX, All
2014 Acura RLX Hybrid, All
2015 Acura TLX, Tech, Advance
2013 Acura ZDX, All

The bulletin further states: “These models include one or more of the following systems: Adaptive Cruise Control, Collision Mitigation Braking System, Forward Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keeping Assist System and Road Departure Mitigation.

Depending on the model or trim level, these systems either use a camera that’s mounted behind the rearview mirror, or a combination of that camera and a radar unit mounted in the front bumper grill. Installing anything other than an OE replacement windshield may cause these systems to work abnormally. Most specifically, the camera will not be able to aim properly,” according to Honda’s statement.

Regarding HUD, Honda also states that the 2014 Acura RLX and Sport Hybrid SH-AWD also requires an OE windshield replacement due to its HUD system.

The Honda bulletin goes on to state:

“The windshield is specially designed to correctly project the HUD image and must be replaced with a HUD windshield. Installing anything other than an OE replacement windshield may result in the HUD appearing as a double image,” Honda officials explain.

Side glass is affected too

The Honda glass bulletin also refers to the acoustic glass used in some of their vehicles, like the 2014 RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD, stating: “The model listed above uses acoustic front side door glass for sound isolation on some trim levels,” according to the automaker’s statement. “The glass has a sound insulation layer of PVB sandwiched between two layers of semi-tempered glass. Acoustic side glass is thinner than conventional side glass. … Installing anything other than the OE replacement side glass may result in a diminution of the vehicle’s cabin-noise reduction qualities.”

To read the entire bulletin, click on the image below:

Click on the image to download a PDF

©, 2019 Rick Muscoplat


Posted on by Rick Muscoplat


Custom Wordpress Website created by Wizzy Wig Web Design, Minneapolis MN