by Seth Maiman
AGSC Director of Public Affairs
For two decades, the Auto Glass Replacement Safety Standard (AGRSS) has stood as a set of “best practices” adopted by the auto glass replacement industry as a voluntary standard to ensure consumers that their aftermarket windshields are replaced in a safe manner by trained technicians. Industry compliance has been strong as evidenced by the number of Registered Members of the Auto Glass Safety Council that have agreed to abide by the current ANSI/AGSC/AGRSS and submit to periodic independent third-party audits validating compliance with AGRSS.
There is concern, however, that not all auto glass service providers in the industry follow the AGRSS Standard, and state governments are stepping up to try to codify the AGRSS or similar standards into state law, making compliance mandatory within their borders.
The latest efforts come from Annapolis, Maryland where in January identical legislation was introduced in the Maryland House and Senate at the commencement of the 2021 Legislative Session. The legislation would require the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration to adopt regulations “for aftermarket safety glass replacement that meet or exceed the standards and requirements under the Automotive Glass Replacement Safety Standard established by the Auto Glass Safety Council.”
In announcing the proposal, House sponsor Delegate Kumar Barve said, “My goal in introducing auto glass legislation is to ensure that all Marylanders are protected while riding in automobiles. Marylanders should have the assurance that all auto services providers in the state are using certified trained technicians who adhere to exacting safety standards when replacing their vehicle’s windshield.”
House and Senate Committees have held hearings on the bills, HB 519 and SB 445, during February. The House bill was assigned to the House Environment and Transportation Committee where Mr. Barve, the bill’s sponsor, serves as chairperson.
The AGSC is in strong support of the legislation and issued a press release on the day that the bill was introduced. It has reached out to Member companies in Maryland directly to generate support and has generated posts on social media. AGSC leaders have testified at the February hearings. This is all part of a long-term nationwide effort by the AGSC to educate policy makers on how technology is driving the increasing complexity of auto glass replacement and repair due to the need for screening and calibration whenever auto glass work is performed, resulting in the need to move toward state codification of auto glass safety standards.
There have been some initiatives in state legislatures in the past, notably in New York, where several attempts by former State Assemblyman Clifford Crouch to pass auto glass safety legislation died in the Assembly Consumer Affairs and Protection Committee. While the eventual outcome of the 2021 Maryland legislation is impossible to predict, especially due to the priorities and obstacles presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, the AGSC is hopeful its educational efforts and rallying its members and the consumer public will make a difference this year and beyond.
For more information on AGSC’s legislative efforts, please contact Seth Maiman, AGSC Director of Public Affairs, at firstname.lastname@example.org.