OEM Glass or Aftermarket? Replacing Car Windscreens

As electrical assistance systems are becoming more commonly used by car manufacturers, the debate over whether drivers should install OEM glass or not is at its peak. In this article, we will examine what car manufacturers think about these two types of windscreens.

If you have a damaged windshield, you’ll have the choice to repair it with either OEM glass or aftermarket. To find out what is suitable for your vehicle and to get the replacement, we recommend contacting a reputable provider of glass replacement such as But first, check out what major dealers like Honda, Mercedes-Benz, and Subaru think.

What is OEM Glass vs. Aftermarket Glass?

A key marker when looking at car windscreens is whether they are classified as Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) or aftermarket auto glass.

The difference is suggested in their names: OEM glass gives you the assurance that the glass has been produced by the same manufacturer as the original glass placed in the car by the automaker. OEM glass should therefore be practically identical to the windscreen you would expect when purchasing a new car. OEM should be easily identified as it generally carries specific automaker branding.

The other type is aftermarket windscreens, which will generally be made by a company that is not the original manufacturer of the vehicle. Aftermarket parts can also be produced by the OEM but on a different production line. Parts may be of a quality akin to OEM but there is no guarantee of this.

Aftermarket glass is considerably cheaper than OEM – but is the lower cost worth it? Let’s see what major manufacturers think.


Mercedes-Benz has stated an opposition to aftermarket windscreen replacements. Their position is based on a concern that incorrect parts could interfere with the working of electrical assistance systems now used in many of their cars.

They believe OEM glass features like solar glass coatings improves the car’s workings. OEM protection from the sun controls how hot the car’s interior gets. According to a statement by Mercedes-Benz, this boosts air-con efficiency and benefits fuel economy. They also stated that aftermarket glass does not provide equivalent levels of noise protection.


Honda has taken a firm stance on their opinion. Since introducing Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, Honda stated that only OEM parts should be used in their cars.

This is due to the use of systems such as Adaptive Cruise Control, Forward Collision Warning and Lane Departure Warning now in all Honda vehicles. The use of a camera (sometimes in conjunction with radar) means that replacing your windshield with anything besides OEM parts could lead to faults.


Subaru has patented an electrical assistance system called “EyeSight”. They have also stated a firm support for using genuine OEM Subaru windshield glass in conjunction with EyeSite. They believe that any other glass could impact the visibility levels of a vehicle’s camera. They also state that any distortion of the glass could affect the correct measurement of proximity to an object.


While OEM glass can often come with a higher price tag, failing to use it could impact on the safety of the car and place you at risk. This is never worth potential savings, as tempting as this may be. OEM glass is the standard, thoroughly checked by manufacturers.

If you are driving an older model which does not rely on the technologies mentioned in this article, then aftermarket glass may be suitable for you, but we would advise you to discuss this with a technician and your insurance provider.

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