Tempered glass draws many complaints

Hundreds of city residents have complained to the quality supervision bureau this year about problems with tempered glass, including shower doors that suddenly explode and car windscreens that easily crack.

Bureau officials say it is often difficult to tell if the problems are caused by quality defects during manufacturing or improper use or installation.

The Shanghai Bureau of Quality and Technical Supervision received 151 complaints about tempered glass during the first nine months of this year, making it one of the most complained about products in the city. The bureau didn't say how many complaints it received about tempered glass in previous years.

Tempered glass goes through a special heating process to strengthen it and ensure it shatters instead of breaking into sharp pieces.

A woman surnamed Wang complained in June that she and her family were awakened one night by the sound of their shower screen exploding.

She then contacted the producer for compensation, but the firm claimed it is natural for 0.3 percent of all tempered glass to explode, and it wouldn't provide compensation unless Wang provided a quality test for the broken screen.

Wang then complained to the bureau, which told her the company is right and it couldn't do anything to help with her problem.

Officials suggest consumers buy tempered glass thicker than 6 millimeters, which is relatively safer. Those with a China Compulsory Certification are also recommended.

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