An OEM windshield is a glass that is identical to the original windshield. It is manufactured by the exact same company that provided the original glass that the automaker placed in your vehicle. This means you can expect an OEM windshield to match your previous windshield in terms of thickness, color, tint and durability, and it must also fit your car perfectly. If you have an older vehicle, such as a collector's car, repairing or replacing anything with OEM parts preserves the originality of the vehicle.
OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer.
OEM Auto glassis produced using the same manufacturing process and machinery as the factory glass your vehicle came with when it came off the assembly line. Some brands of glass may be different, but this doesn't really make any difference. Glass manufacturers may decide to use an additional 5,000 windscreens (if allowed to do so according to the agreement they have with the car manufacturer) because they know that they can ultimately sell these extras for replacement purposes.
If the original manufacturer uses that windshield a year later, it is likely that it will also be considered an OEM part, as long as it is produced in full detail using the original manufacturing process and machinery. Conversely, if another company also operates that same part to sell to automotive glass wholesalers and replacement stores, that part (no matter how well manufactured) is not an OEM part. Aftermarket auto parts are manufactured by a company other than the original equipment manufacturer or by the same OEM company on a different production line. Some of these parts are of similar quality to OEM parts.
If you're paying for out-of-pocket glass replacement, aftermarket auto glass might be the cheapest option. Several years ago, Consumer Reports warned consumers not to allow the insurance company to pressure it to use aftermarket collision repair body parts, especially since your windshield supports the structural integrity of your vehicle, especially in a rollover situation. Some purists might say that unless the part enters the vehicle on the assembly line, it cannot be an OEM part because anything that comes after the original part is installed is a replacement part. Others would say that, as long as the part used for the replacement was manufactured by the same company that manufactured the original part, it is in fact an OEM part. Others go further and say that the replacement part would have to be manufactured by the same manufacturer, with exactly the same specifications on the same production line, at the same time as manufacturing OE glass parts to be considered equivalent. Just for the record, many non-OEM parts are as good as an OEM part.
A term that has become prevalent and promoted by some is the term OEE which means “Equivalent to original equipment”. Who determines if the part is truly equivalent? There is no clear answer. There are poor imitations that should not be considered for use in a vehicle. Deal with reputable providers and people you can trust. The EyeSight system includes adaptive cruise control, automatic pre-collision braking, as well as lane change and roll warning.
It also has lane keeping assist function, blind spot detection and rear cross traffic alert. Automotive glass plays an important role in vehicle safety by providing structural rigidity, eye clarity and “integration” with advanced vehicle technology. Companies that manufacture OEM and aftermarket glass are cautious in taking a position. Another industry veteran points out that OEM products often have very strict inspection criteria and very tight tolerances. Some large glass manufacturers make OEM and aftermarket products so they have more tools in their arsenal to make their products quite similar in both markets. If you are driving a vehicle equipped with ADAS features such as automatic braking and lane change warning, it may be wise to consider OEM glass.
This will help ensure that the sensors and cameras associated with these systems have a clear view of the road which will allow these systems to work properly. However, if you drive an older model with less technology embedded in the glass aftermarket glass may work well for you. OEM or original equipment manufacturer means parts are certified as original parts from the manufacturer like dealer glass. All glasses are AS-1 certified and guaranteed to fit correctly at all times. Automakers restrict the manufacture of OEM windshields and sell them in their parts department to consumers and auto glass repair and replacement shops. It's easy to assume that all automotive glass companies offer approximately the same quality of installations but all too often corners are cut just like in any other industry.
When a consumer needs auto glass repair or replacement they should always look for reputable providers who can guarantee quality service.