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'20 Onyx... 4 (FOUR) OEM replacement windshields with defects... anyone else?

2622 Views 26 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  jeff311omaha
My first windshield on my '20 OB Onyx cracked on the driver's side much like the crack seen in another thread here.

This happened early in the car's life and well inside of the 3/36 warranty period.

I though that it was a defective windshield because it appeared overnight with no apparent cause.

My dealer told me it was due to a chip he could feel with a pen.

YEAH, WHATEVER!

My insurance company paid for an OEM replacement which was installed by a local glass company.

I picked it up on a cloudy day but the next day had enough sun to reveal lots of strange micro cracks
in the glass.

They were positioned about 5°-30° clockwise off vertical and could not have been caused by the sweep of the wipers.

Well... after two more new OEM windshields with the same issue I called Subaru Of America.

They arranged the fourth one and it has the same defect.

I am awaiting an answer on next steps.

Each windshield was videoed and the defects are obvious if the sun is in the right position.

Have any of you had a new OEM windshield installed and found these defects?
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Please share your photos here.

Some people think that either Pilkington or Fuyao glass are better than the OEM Carlex. (edit - Fuyao glass seems to have a quality control problem unlike Pilkington but still need more data)
 
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I had an original and one replacement Carlex, and now a Pilkington. I have also seen a Fuyao installed on another Outback while I was getting my third windshield installed. I saw no defects in any of them. Do you suppose the microcracks you are seeing were caused by stress during the installation, or something else? There was another user here who posted about a glass shard on the inside of his new windshield, but I do not remember which manufacturer that was.

My windshield number 2, a Carlex, did fail with a crack on the left edge similar to many of the photos others have shared. My local Safelite shop believes Pilkington is best, followed by Fuyao, with OEM Carlex being the worst. My original Carlex lasted 2 months, the second Carlex lasted a year, my third windshield (Pilkington) is brand new so time will tell. Most shops stock Carlex because that's OEM, you have to special request if you want something different, which is how I got Pilkington this time around.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Seeing four windshields with the same fine cracks similarly oriented and positioned makes me think there is a production problem.

Number four had a different installer so I doubt the issue comes from the installation.

The first three were likely sourced from the same distribution center.

I do not know if number four came from there as well.

In my opinion the right thing to do would be to study the production identification numbers and try one from a different lot.

That may have been done with number four but if so, the problem would be more widespread.
 

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There have been several accounts posted in different threads in the Gen 6 forum. I am not going to tell you to search them out but rather provide a direct link to the search I performed so you can decide on what to read:


At this point it is easy to come to the conclusion that Subaru has an issue with its windshields and has (with the Outback in particular) since the Gen 5 debuted in 2014 with the model year 2015 vehicle. They crack spontaneously by defect or they very easily crack from light damage like small rock chips.
 

· SubaruOutback.org Founder
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That is my conclusion as well.

The problem for me is that the newly installed OEM replacements have been unacceptable.

I don't even get a chance to have the next one crack!
Call Subaru of America's customer service hotline and let them know what is going on. I had an issue with the windshield on my previous 2018 Outback and they were able to accommodate me in a way that more than satisfied my needs. I cannot and will not guarantee anything for anyone but I will say that Subaru has a good reputation for taking care of its customers.
 

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Now that you mention it, my 2020 Legacy has weird hair line "scratches" that are only visible when the light hits it just right. They all appear near the lower center area. I will try to grab a picture.
 
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I am relatively new to Subaru and agree with @Kevin that Subaru takes care of their customers. Some people leave unhappy, but I think more stay and become advocates.

Regarding windshields, my second OEM Carlex did take a couple good hits and survive, but a hit about 6 inches from the left edge immediately formed a crack. I think part of the Outback issue is it sits lower to the ground so it gets bombarded by more crap than a vehicle that sits higher. Maybe true, maybe not, as it seems many Subaru models have windshield complaints, not just Outbacks. Hopefully my third windshield, a Pilkington, will last longer than the first two Carlex. Interesting that in 6 months and 18K miles I never had a windshield issue with my 19 Outback, but I'm on #3 now with my 20. Maybe it's the color, as the 19 was white and the 20 is silver? White repels sunlight and rocks, right? Yes, I'm being facetious on the color.
 

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@8gv what manufacturers were your first four windshields? If they were all Carlex, I certainly hope you're getting a different brand this time. After going through two Carlex, I switched to Pilkington.
 

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All I know is that they are OEM Subaru windshields.

Are those brands OEM or after market?
The official OEM is Carlex. Pilkington and other brands do OEM glass for other windows on the Outback, and also make replacement windshields. Supposedly Carlex is the weakest, Pilkington is best, Fuyao is another good choice. It took a couple extra days for me to order Pilkington, but if it lasts longer than the first two Carlex it's worth it. BTW, the dynamic calibration Safelite did was better than the static calibration the dealer did on my earlier windshield replacement. Good luck with yours, I think you have the record for the most windshields on the same car.
 

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This is a list of what manufacturer makes which windows on what vehicles
507652
 
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I've heard of this problem and many are urging Subaru to do a recall. I'm about to purchase an Outback and this scares me because I hate having my car MIA especially if it's new.

How do you tell if it's a Carlex or Pilkington or Fareyu? I want to be on top of this when I take delivery and even check it hawkishly before I take delivery.
 

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The glass manufacturer is shown on the bottom corner of the glass. Carlex is usually bottom left corner and also says Subaru, the others are usually bottom right corner and don’t say Subaru even though otherwise they look identical.
 

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I just got a Pilkington replacement for my 22 limited. It was a legit rock, good sized damage and then wipers with water sent the large crack. MY question is for anyone that had a Pilkington, do you have the wiper de-icer or not? I just realized the idiots at Safelight didn't give me a windshield with the de icer lines! GRRR
 

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I just got a Pilkington replacement for my 22 limited. It was a legit rock, good sized damage and then wipers with water sent the large crack. MY question is for anyone that had a Pilkington, do you have the wiper de-icer or not? I just realized the idiots at Safelight didn't give me a windshield with the de icer lines! GRRR
Sheesh, stories like this works up my anxiety levels every time I turn on the heater for my windshield.
 
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