Rock chip in windshield, repair shop drilled hole through windshield

I had a small rock-chip in my windshield and took it to a local place to be repaired. The technician accidentally drilled a hole all the way through the windshield. At this point I asked them for a new windshield and they said all they could do is give me a $30 discount on a new windshield. What should I do? Call my insurance? Take them to small claims?

It is raining outside and I cant even drive my car because of this.


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First you need to read the paperwork you signed. Is there any mention of the shop not being liable for additional damage caused while trying to effect the repair?

If not (and, arguably, even if there is), your three options are to keep hounding them, sue them, or give up and walk away. The correct answer is entirely dependant on how involved you want to get - if you want to convince them you’re right, then keep hounding. If you want to force them to pay, you need to sue. If you dont have the time or inclination to deal with the BS, you take your car elsewhere and get a new windshield.

Assuming when you say a hole, you really mean a drill-sized hole, a piece of clear boxing tape should seal the hole temporarily, and be relatively durable in the rain.


And leave them an honest review on Yelp, Google, etc…

I was thinking duct tape should hold it, but I’ve never done that on glass and it’s prolly a pain to remove the goo.

First, the raining. No offense to your intelligence, but I’d rather err on too much detail than not enough. As @glitch99 mentioned, clear packaging tape may be sufficient.

On a dry, warm day, put a piece of cardboard on your dash, floor or seat so that if anything drips from the hole, it will land on the cardboard. Put a piece of clear packaging tape on the inside of the windshield. Then put one drop of super glue in the hole. After an hour put one more drop of superglue in the hole. After a couple of hours, remove the tape with the flat side of a razor blade. Use a razor blade, because if you pull the tape off, it may pull the super glue with it.

As for the your other options, is it a local franchisee of a national chain? If so, go up the chain. If not, contact the owner. If you’re still batting 000, check out their facebook page and leave a few comments describing your wonderful experience. Small claims court is next. If you don’t have the time or patience to deal with that, you can always …

The following is a JOKE - Don’t actually do this … Drive back to the place, and fill the hole with C4. Ask them to at least try to fix the problem. Stand back about 8’ and get ready to duck if the guy’s drill goes flying. :slight_smile:

There’s a physical hole in the windshield. Once the tape comes off, the window is being replaced anyways - so no worries about residual goo.

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If using superglue makes you feel ghetto, you can use one of those at-home windshield repair kits. Or, since they’re designed to fill a crack, you may need 2-3 of them to have enough resin to fill the hole. But the kit’s injection method may help fill any residual cracking around the hole so it doesnt slowly spiderweb, and make it a somewhat permanent fix…

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Since no one has mentioned this yet. YES. If you have comprehensive coverage, you should call your insurance. You probably should have called them before the repair, as many insurance companies will pay 100% for a repair since it means they don’t have to pay out for a windshield replacement later. But now that you need a windshield replacement, absolutely go through your insurance. This is the exact reason you have insurance. And since you know who actually broke your windshield (unlike a rock chip being kicked up while driving), the insurance company will be the one to go after the windshield repair guy, which they can do and you should insist that they do. And when your insurance company collects, you get your deductible back.

The only thing that could go wrong with getting your money back eventually is what @glitch99 mentioned. If you signed something that said the repair guy wouldn’t be liable if he caused more damage while doing the repair, you might be out of luck on that end. So for future reference, on a windshield repair, go through insurance first and use one of the big guys like Safelite which probably wouldn’t have handled the repair this way.

It may be a state-by-state thing, but I’d never file a comprehensive claim for a windshield - unless I lived in a state where I had chosed full glass coverage (not available where I am now). The cost verses the [typical] deductible leaves the insurance company little or nothing to gain from passing the liability on to the shop and trying to collect from them. If he wants it paid for, he will probably need to pursue it directly, himself.


True. I carry comprehensive with glass coverage specifically because of rock chips and had a great experience with my last professional repair. It was 100% painless, done in my parking lot at work, and didn’t cost me a dime out of pocket. Back before this car, which is by far the most valuable car I’ve ever owned, I either didn’t have comprehensive or kept my comprehensive deductible too high to bother with using it for glass coverage. I always used those self repair kits from the auto parts store and got windshield replacements from the auto glass place next to the junkyard on the other side of the tracks for cheaper than what a normal comprehensive deductible would have been anyway. These days with all those sensors attached to the windshield, there’s no way to repair them cheaply, so I’d rather pay for the insurance to do it and take it to a legit place like Safelite.

Interestingly enough, that insurance company, Geico, has stealthily raised my rates the past two renewals hoping I wouldn’t notice. I just switched to a different company, Progressive, and I’m paying significantly less now. But this conversation has me wondering about my glass coverage, so I’m going to reach out to see what it is specifically.

EDIT: just checked and the online chat said this:

So, unless you live in a state that has what @glitch99 has regarding glass coverage, if you carry comprehensive, you should always go through your insurance company for a repair. And depending on your deductible amount, you should go through them to get a replacement by a legit company like Safelite. Obviously if you don’t carry comprehensive, or keep the comprehensive deductible high to save money, paying out of pocket for a windshield is your only real option. My comprehensive deductible is $100 specifically because I want to be able to do these sort of repairs/replacements without having to worry about the cost and whether it’s worth it to find a deal somewhere.

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Since the insurance company knows who is liable for the damage, if he didn’t sign something exempting them from liability (which is a big “if”), he shouldn’t be responsible for the deductible regardless of if the insurance company pursues the repair guy or not. The point here is that he knows who caused the damage. If he has coverage, he should use it - unless he exempted the repair guy from fault. But even if he did exempt the repair guy from fault, it still worth it to see what his options are with insurance.

Slam dunk …no one can attest to the integrity of a windshield that had been drilled

I resemble resent that. :slight_smile:

Just make sure you’ve got a good seal (suction) before injecting.

This is absolutely the best advice, and you’ll know for the future. Some states (my current one) exclude deductibles for windshields from comprehensive coverage.

From personal experience, a detailed (long) recount:

I got a chip in the windshield of a rental car halfway thru an 1800 mile journey and took it to a higher quality Safelite knockoff. The form they asked me to sign included a disclaimer about further damage during the repair. I struck it through, signed it, and asked, in a very off-handed way, the unobservant counter blondie to sign it. She did, and I took a picture of it, quite satisfied with how I had avoided their legalese.

The dispatcher noticed the strike-through and said no. :frowning: We looked at the chip and I negotiated to sign another form, but adding “except negligence” to the disclaimer. Less smug than before, I waited … and waited, until finally a tech set up on the windshield and repaired it. I stood to the side and did not bug the guy until he was finished. When finished, he asked if this was my car, and that all went well. I said it looked like the long wait was worth it. He then said that he was the senior tech and worked their mobile truck. The manager had him return to the shop to repair my windshield, and was I a relative. My smugness returned, I profusely thanked the dispatcher for a job well done and the promise of good google and yelp reviews, albeit under a pseudonym. :slight_smile:

ETA: Although my current state excludes windshield repair/replacement from deductibles, it is only a win if you put a lot of miles (higher chance for damage) on your vehicle. It is a net loser if you don’t drive a lot.

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OP here. I did not sign anything. They handed me some paperwork and they drilled the hole before I signed.

On a related note, it is an ASE certified local chain that has several locations. Anythone know if ASE certifications can be revoked if they don’t fix what they break?


Let them know that you’re going to small claims, and the fees you will pay. They will make an offer that you can counter. FYI, small claims is a time sink. Put that in your equation to accept or decline their offers.

ETA: I don’t know if ASE can be revoked for errors they make. Without making accusations, I would inquire of the ASE what their membership requirements entail.

Good luck. It sounds like you’re in a decent bargaining position.

I have done a few repairs with those at-home repair kits, including one on my current car. It has held up unexpectedly well for the past 6+ years.


Thank you for the results, and congratulations. I have encouragement (or excuses) for the next time I get a chip.

What year model was the 6+ year repair?

Then call your insurance. Legally, this is no different than someone in a parking lot accidentally dropping their groceries onto your windshield, breaking it, giving you a note saying who they are, then refusing to pay when you call them.

Probably not.

If this is a chain with several locations, are you sure that you have gone high enough up the ladder speaking to someone that actually realized their responsibility here?

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2008 Prius. The repair should be done ASAP, before the dirt gets in.

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OP here once again. Just thought I’d post an update. I had the windshield replaced at a different shop. I contacted my insurance and they will be collecting from the shop that drilled through my windshield.