Do Car Brands Make Their Own Windshields? – Which to Choose

As an auto glass company, we get a lot of interesting questions and inquiries. And, as a business that looks to help our neighborhood with all things windshields, we are always willing to answer the questions. Even the wildest of inquiries are nothing but due diligence for us. But, we want to clear the air about a completely reasonable and common question that we receive (more often than you’d imagine). Do car brands make specific windshields? Do you need to use those specific windshields on your car?

In theory, it makes sense. When a person is in need of an entirely new windshield or auto glass pane, they are liable to try and keep things factory standard. They want to use the equipment the car manufacturer recommends, the equipment and items listed in their car’s handbook. But, once they peruse through their pages, they may notice something suspicious. There simply are not any windshield requirements or advice in the book.

Well, what do you do? Do you call the car brands and ask about their windshields? Do you call your local auto glass repair company and ask if they have your car’s windshield in stock?

Let’s discuss.

Well. Do Car Brands Make Windshields?

There may have been a time when car brands and manufacturers focused on creating every single part of a vehicle in-house. Unfortunately (or fortunately if you are an outside company), those days are long behind us.

Now, looking at your windshield, you may notice that it’s stamped with your car’s logo. This may seem a bit contradicting. Let us explain.

There are technically windshields made specifically for your car and car brand. For example, there are windshields made with the specifics of BMW and BMW vehicles. But, they aren’t really BMW windshields. They are auto glass made by a company that is outsourced by BMW. Therefore, BMW doesn’t make specific windshields, but they do have windshields made for them. This is called Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM).

It’s as simple as efficiency. Car brands can outsource their specifics to glass companies for cheap. The companies make the windshields for both the car’s production and windshield repair companies after car production. So on and so forth.

So, You Need OEM Windshields?

If you want to keep close to your car’s original standards, you should certainly aim for an OEM windshield. Not only is it made to the safety and manufacturing specifics that your vehicle’s company recommends, but it’s your best bet for overall safety.

Simply put, it’s a better windshield.

Furthermore, it may void your vehicle’s warranty if you are not using the recommended glass or OEM windshield. If you opt for a different, cheaper option, you may find yourself in an undesirable situation if another vehicle issue arises. If your windshield isn’t OEM, it will be considered Original Equipment Equivalent (OEE). This isn’t to say that OEEs aren’t functional or decent, they just can’t be trusted without OEM quality assurance.

Overall, OEM windshields are always going to be your best option. They have standards set in place through both themselves and their automotive partners that make sure they live up to the highest quality of safety. With the importance of your car’s windshield, it’s not something you want to mess around with.

Your windshield is not only important to driving vision, but it directly impacts your exterior integrity and the direct deployment of your airbags. It’s an underrated part of your vehicle’s safety.

Okay… So Car Brands Don’t Make Windshields?

To answer the overall question, no, they do not.

Auto glass is outsourced to glass companies that are trusted within the industry. They may make glass specific to your brand, or they may make glass specific to a bunch of brands. That depends on the deal.

It’s possible that a car brand buys or has a sole deal with a windshield company, though. Which, by definition, would make the windshield specific to that exact car brand.

Look at Tesla, for example.

Tesla’s patented “Big Sky” windshield is made specifically by Peru-based specialty glass maker AGP. Therefore, you have to go through AGP directly to get a Tesla windshield.

If you do not go through AGP, your warranty will be immediately voided, even if another issue isn’t related to your auto glass.

Consequently, you could technically say that Tesla makes specific windshields, even though it’s through another company. A gray area, of sorts.

Do Auto Glass Companies Carry OEM?

An auto glass repair shop (like SLP Auto Glass), has to get certified for an OEM license before they can use, buy, and sell the products. Therefore, it’s important to make sure that the company you are working with is using OEM products.

Our auto glass and windshields are guaranteed to meet or exceed OEM standards. Every pane of glass we install is certified. In addition, our experts follow correct procedures and exercise appropriate skills when offering windshield replacement services. When you work with us, you can be sure you are receiving quality repair.

Big companies like Safelite are also guaranteed to use OEM. It’s the smaller, private companies you need to ask about.

What About ADAS?

Sensors and safety advancements have made the world of driving significantly easier. There are a plethora of new features in modern cars that provide information and warnings for collisions and surrounding traffic and can even provide lit views of dark roads. But, these sensors and displays aren’t foolproof, in fact, they often need repair.

ADAS stands for advanced driver assistance systems, and most of them are placed on or in your auto glass. For example, lane assist, forward collision alert, and light sensors are all ADAS.

So, if your ADAS system goes up, or your windshield with an ADAS system on it breaks, what should you do?

Well, most of the time, the ADAS is actually a sensor or camera placed on the glass. Therefore, if the glass breaks, you can get an OEM windshield and have the sensor recalibrated to the glass.

If the ADAS sensor breaks, that’s a whole other story. Most of the time, the product is provided by the car brand (but OEM sensors also exist).

Any Questions?

Have any other questions about your windshield? Still not sure what to do or call? Reach out to us! We are always here to help and answer your questions. Our experts are certified and experienced in the field.