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Hi,
New owner of a 2020 Subaru Ascent, bought 2 weeks ago used but with only 3K miles on it. Basically a new car.

Wife drives it home from the dealer, says it's fine. I start driving it — and I start getting a headache. My eyes can't focus on anything; road signs and license plates are blurry. There's optical distortion in the windshield — if you move your head straight up or down with your eyes facing forward, you can see the glass get wavy.

I take it to the dealer. Service guy says, "Oh, we've heard of this; probably defective; you're under warranty so it would be replaced; we'll have a look." Great.
They look at it, he comes back and says, "Nope, not defective — it's blurry because of road dust/rock chips. It's affecting the surface of the windshield. This is normal." Warranty won't cover it. He says insurance would. I'm like, No insurance company is going to replace a windshield on a car I literally just bought.

He assured me this is common/normal for cars now, and that he knows someone who replaces his windshield every 2-3 years because of this. Has anyone ever heard of this? Is this guy trying to pull one over on me?

Would love any advice or stories you might have about this. I'm really sad about this ...
- brunov
 

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Would love any advice or stories you might have about this. I'm really sad about this ...
- brunov
Road dust can be cleaned so as part of the dealer inspection they should have done that and then identified areas of chips that they stipulate caused the distortion. Chips would not cause distortion that you describe. I suggest thoroughly cleaning the glass, identify any chips and then drive it to see if the distortion remains. If it does, contact Subaru of America with your concern. I have no doubt that if there is no damage from driving that SOA will replace it under warranty. Insurance will not cover what the tech is describing unless the chips are severe and cover the total view through the windshield or have created a major crack as to create a hazard.

Distortion of the windshield might also be problematic for eyesight to function properly (depending on the location of the distortion).
 

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Thanks very much!

A Human Factors Analysis of Optical Distortion for Automotive Windshields


detecting optical distortion You might consider contacting your local university to determine if someone has the equipment to test for this.
 
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