After over four years of litigation Ultra Bond has filed for Summary Judgment to put an injunction (immediate stop) and for corrective advertising to Safelite’s false and misleading six-inch / “size of a dollar bill” criterion which has made them billions of dollars of ill gotten gains. Safelite’s entire business model is based on a lie about a competitor’s patent and the auto glass industry’s windshield repair standard (ROLAGS).
Here is a summary with a link to read the entire motion which includes some very interesting facts about Safelite’s deception of consumers and insurance companies.
PLAINTIFFS’ MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
I. PRELIMINARY STATEMENT
This case presents a text book example of an industry giant’s deployment of an organized marketing campaign to bury an industry standard that threatened its profits, and any competitor that dared to practice it—regardless of the admitted harm to consumers. The cornerstone of Safelite’s1 business model is based on the demonstrably false “dollar bill rule,” the Safelite messaging that automobile windshields must be replaced and cannot be repaired whenever they are damaged by a crack that is longer than six inches (or roughly the size of a dollar bill). In promulgating the dollar bill rule through commercial advertisement and promotion, Safelite purposefully ignores and subverts the U.S. industry standard allowing for repairs of windshield cracks up to fourteen inches in length.
Safelite employs its dominant market position to set six inches as the universally incontrovertible windshield repair standard—as opposed to simply a Safelite policy—by flooding the market with the dollar bill rule message in virtually all formats, including point-of-sale oral communications, on the internet, in videos and brochures, on the radio, and through so-called “educational” materials for insurance companies and insurance agents. Safelite’s messaging is often conveyed to insurers and consumers in a literally false format, e.g. stating that if the windshield crack is longer than six inches a replacement windshield is necessary and/or that it is not safe to repair a windshield crack longer than six inches. The reason is simple. Windshield replacements are far more lucrative to Safelite than windshield repairs.
Safelite’s misrepresentations have damaged, and continue to damage, Plaintiffs2, whose business is both repairing windshields with cracks longer than six inches (“Long Cracks”), and selling the tools and supplies to third parties to perform repairs of Long Cracks for their customers. The uncontroverted evidence shows that Safelite’s false advertisements have damaged Plaintiffs’ Long Crack repair business, and have caused Plaintiffs to suffer significant lost sales and lost business opportunities. In addition, Safelite admits that windshield repairs are safer and far less expensive than windshield replacements. Thus, Safelite’s knowing and willful misrepresentations have also caused great public harm.