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Mitsubishi Outlander Exploding Sunroof

blovegroveblovegrove Member Posts: 5
edited March 2014 in Mitsubishi
was driving down the highway at 120km and all of a sudden the sunroof exploded up and out. I didn't hear or notice anything hitting the car, just a big bang and we were showered with glass. There was a big hole in the middle of the sunroof, and it looks like someone punched a hole from the inside out. all the glass around the edges pointed upwards. It was only 10 degree celcius and the inside temp was set at 20degrees celcius.
Anyone else had this happen?


  • busta4busta4 Member Posts: 35
    I hope everyone is alright. What year is your Outlander?
  • blovegroveblovegrove Member Posts: 5
    2007 with 19000 km on it.
    everyone was fine, just a little shocked. now the question is, will it be covered under warranty? The dealership is looking into it, but the roof panel is $865 plus labour!
  • comem47comem47 Member Posts: 399
    Definitely a strange event. Could it be possible a stone or other object hit the glass and the low air pressure from the speed of the vehicle sucked the glass upwards once fractured?
  • blovegroveblovegrove Member Posts: 5
    We didn't hear / see or feel anything hit us before the sunroof exploded
  • comem47comem47 Member Posts: 399
    But could that be essentially a simultaneous event (instant explosion covering up impact sound). Don't know, just a question.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    Unless the dealer decides it was a manufacturing defect, I doubt that the warranty will cover it.

    A friend of mine detailed his SUV one day and had removed his sunroof for some deep cleaning. Then another buddy called to say the silvers were running and off they went. He spaced out that he hadn't put the trim back around the sunroof.

    The glass flew off on the highway going about 70 and he watched it land in the middle of the (fortunately empty) road and shatter in his rear view mirror.

    The dealer wanted about $900 to fix that one too, but he called his insurance company and they covered it.
  • ivicaivica Member Posts: 34
    About 4 years ago a friend purchased BMW 5 series, not sure 525 or 530, his window did the same thing as you describe. He went to the dealer and they ordered a replacement and gave him a loaner in the mean time. When the replacement glass came it too shattered while it was being installed. At that time BMW had problems with the glass sunroofs. He is now on this third sunroof and the problem has been resolved. Bmw paid for everything. This is the same BMW that the drivers seat (heated seats) caught fire while he was driving.

  • p100p100 Member Posts: 1,116
    The most likely reason for this is badly tempered sunroof panel glass. After the glass panels are made, they are put through an annealing temperature cycle process to relieve the internal stresses in the glass. The glass article temperature is raised to near the softening point of glass (glass has no melting point as such), then the article is cooled at a slow rate. If this process is done incorrectly, the glass is very brittle due to internal stresses and may shatter any time afterwards for little or no reason.
  • rcpaxrcpax Member Posts: 580
    Is it a manufacturing process defect? I don't think so, or else you will see a ton of post regarding sunroofs just blowing out of the sky. As to the reason why? There must have been previous events that could have weakened the glass that might have caused it to burst. Because the laws of physics and common sense tells me a sunroof doesn't blow up like that for no apparent reason. Even if say the tempering process was defective, which is very remote, will untempered glass blow up like that? If the car was a completely (airtight) sealed cabin then it might. And I think it takes more speed than 120km/h to create enough pressure to blow that glass off.

    If the glass edges were pointing upward, why were the passengers "showered" with glass particles? Shouldn't the particles have blown upward? And traveling at that speed, I don't expect the broken pieces that were blown upward will come back down to hit the passengers.

    I always thought the glass materials that these sunroof were made from are shatter proof? They should not fall into particles when they break. Don't they contain a plastic the holds the broken pieces together?

    Hmmm, some parts of this case just don't add up?
  • cjaiyacjaiya Member Posts: 1
    I just had a similar incident occur to me.... I have a 2007 Mitsubishi Outlander I bought in Feb 2008.... It has about 22,500 miles on it.... On Aug. 29, I was driving home from a lunch date on a new highway which very few cars travel and I heard a loud bang and was showered with glass... Unfortunately I was wearing a tank top so I had glass slivers all down my arm, shoulder, and hand... and in my hair... luckily, I was driving alone.... the temperature outside was about 90 degrees and I had the air conditioner on low... I didn't see anything hit it and no other cars were around for miles.... I didn't realize I had the glass in my arms and stuff until I got home and my daughter noticed the cuts and bleeding and had to pull the slivers out for me... the sunroof looked as though someone had punched it from the inside because the glass pointed up but I never touched it... it just exploded.... I was kinda in shock so I called the dealer and brought it in the next day... they told me I must have hit something but I told them there was nothing around.... they said it wouldn't be covered under warranty and so I'm waiting on an insurance adjuster to come look at it..... can you tell me what they decided to do about yours.... maybe there is a defect or something.... and they should be fix the sunroofs.... anyway, I don't know what to do about it... i just know I don't want the car any more.... because the day before that happened I had it at the dealership so they could fix the power steering belt that broke a few days before... I'm thinking for a new car I shouldn't have so many problems with it.... I loved the car until then.... I just don't know what to do....I'm seriously thinking of calling the news station so they can do a report on it..... maybe something can get done about it then....
  • comem47comem47 Member Posts: 399
    If the sunroof isn't covered by bumper to bumper there is something seriously wrong with the term since you can't find an impact crater from the outside in.If this turns out to be a factory defect you should be making noise about suing for medical expenses.

    With AC as part of the vehicle I really didn't care for the sunroof, but it came as an inseparable "sun and sound" package and I definitely wanted the RF sound package. If it's not too late I would take lots of pictures before the evidence is destroyed. I guess it's a good thing I rarely use the roof and keep the shade in place (I only pop it up with the shade just open a little until the hot air is evacuated out when I first turn on the AC.) This I guess may save me from cuts in the future!!!
  • toomanyfumestoomanyfumes S.E. Wisconsin Member Posts: 1,019
    I just can't see a roof exploding for no cause. Something hitting the roof and cracking it and then the pressure exploding it outward seems more likely.
    I'd be curious to hear what your insurance adjuster says. If it was a manufacturing defect I'm sure he would try to pass it back to Mitsubishi.

    One oddball problem (the sunroof) and a rubber belt that fails (not uncommon) does not make it a bad vehicle.
    2012 Mustang Premium, 2013 Lincoln MKX Elite, 2007 Mitsubishi Outlander.
  • tidestertidester Member Posts: 10,059
    just can't see a roof exploding for no cause.

    There certainly is a cause. We just don't what it is. But I do think it's a bit presumptuous to assume that something had to hit the glass. Another possibility is thermal stresses which may suggest a manufacturing defect, e.g. some nonuniformity in composition of the glass affecting thermal conductivity.

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • kuderichkuderich Member Posts: 2
    It just happened to me in my 2008 Mazda5. It sounded like a gun blast in the cabin of the car and a woosh of air. The hole is the size of a soft ball directly in the center of the moonroof. The car is at the Dealers now. 4,100 miles and I don't know if it is safe to drive. My 14 month old daughter was in the middle row seat. Luckily she was sleeping with Elmo on top of her. Tiny pieces of glass went everywhere. The dealer told my wife that someone threw something out of the cabin! This is the only way they will deal with this because of the possible safety issue that would arise from accepting some kind of responsibility. This is total bull. I contacted the NHTSA on this issue as well as calling the local TV stations.
  • kaitytong2kaitytong2 Member Posts: 1
    i would like to know what happened.....i had the Same thing happen yesterday/ my husband thought i was nuts...and the dealer too! we bought this in May is a 2007 outlander. i had issues with my back windows a month ago....
  • blovegroveblovegrove Member Posts: 5
    The dealer said that it was likely a manufacturing defect and tough luck. It was approx $1000 to replace. Fortunately I bought a glass coverage insurance policy covered it. Only downfall was that it took almost 3 weeks for the replacement glass to come in. Good luck
  • comem47comem47 Member Posts: 399
    Not so fast. Assuming you are the original owner and have not traveled over 60K miles this should be covered by the bumper to bumper warranty since 5 yrs has not elapsed yet. It should be on Mitsubishi's nickle if they admit manufacturing defect!!!
    (yes I have glass coverage too, but we're not talking about a rock thrown from a dump truck)
  • blovegroveblovegrove Member Posts: 5
    Warranty doesn't cover glass.....any of them. They never admitted manufacturing defect, they said likely, but at the end of the day the warranty still doesn't cover glass or glass in the sunroof. It will cover the mechanical/electrical of the sunroof not the glass itself. Hope the warranty is different in the states then in canada
This discussion has been closed.