Glass manufacturers, frustrated by the wariness government and domestic automakers display toward enhanced protective glass (EPG), are on an aggressive membership push to increase the clout of the Enhanced Protective Glass Automotive Assn. (EPGAA).
The EPGAA expects to have two new members by year's end, says its president, Michael Sanders of DuPont Automotive. The association has 10 members: Huntsman, Tamglass,, DuPont, Grupo Vitro, Guardian Industries Inc., PPG Industries Inc., Sekisui America Corp., Solutia Inc. and Southwall Technologies.
Meanwhile, the National Highway Traffic Safety Admin. (NHTSA) is readying a report — expected for release this year — on EPG's benefits.
Currently used byAG, AB Volvo Cars, Mercedes-Benz and Peugeot SA, EPG is designed for side and rear windows. It consists of a composite film sandwiched between layers of tempered glass that resists shattering, hampers intruders and reduces the risk of occupant ejection.
“Around 10,000 people are killed a year through ejection through side windows. NHTSA's own statistics show that with this type of technology, they can reduce that number by up to 1,300 people a year,” says Mr. Sanders.
By 2003, Mr. Sanders expects more than 1.7 million vehicles will be equipped with EPG — nearly double the current total.