Passat Wagon 2001.5 Window shatters

maw4maw4 Member Posts: 2
edited April 2014 in Volkswagen
Just purchased a new 2001.5 Passat Wagon. Less than 24 hours after pick up, opened and closed rear passenger window - when window exploded - shattering glass all over rear passenger and leaving scratches in exterior where glass fell. My guess is that glass had a flaw or tension was set too high on open/close mechanism causing the window to break under pressure when closed. Anyone ever hear of this problem? Dealer is making light of it. I've lost confidence in the car and want the dealer to replace the car. Any thoughts?


  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    This is not uncommon, and may in fact be related to a defect in the glass.

    I think, if I may say so with no criticism intended, that you are over-reacting to this issue; furthermore, there is no way a dealer would consider a replacement vehicle for a defect of this sort, nor would you qualify for one under a Lemon Law.

    While I understand that a shattered window is a fairly dramatic thing, in fact it is a minor matter and I think the dealer was basically correct in making light of it, to put you at your ease about the car.

    I think it would be most regrettable for you to put yourself in a negative head space over this--it does not warrant such a serious state of mind, IMO.

    This is what new car warranties are supposed to deal with...the occasional statistical and inevitable errors of large scale mass-production.
  • maw4maw4 Member Posts: 2
    Thanks for your perspective. I'm surprised that this is not uncommon - never heard of it happening. I may be reacting strongly because the rear passenger was my infant daughter. I was hoping for a safe family car and in within 24 hours, the baby is sprayed by the shattered window. Not a good start for the Passat.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    No, it's an ugly thing, and I don't mean to say otherwise. But it does happen, either from an impact of a door slam or from excessive is actually an organic substance and cannot be perfectly controlled in manufacture. I'm amazed it doesn't happen more often than it does. Probably this glass is part of a 'bad batch" and other owners with serial numbers close to yours may have the same issues. If it happens again on another door, I would discuss with the dealer the possibility of replacing the other door glasses as well.
  • jackielejackiele Member Posts: 22
    Are you out of your mind? You are making light of something that is definitely a major and dangerous situation. I was looking to buy this car until I started reading "vortex" and the Passat Town Hall comments. I wouldn't touch this car with a ten foot pole. Everyone keeps on making excuses for a gorgeous, state of the art car that just cannot hold itself together. Pardon me, but I'm buying a Honda Accord. When I want to gamble, I'll go to Vegas!
  • odd1odd1 Member Posts: 227
    I don't think Mr. Shiftright is defending the car. I believe he was talking about the window shattering. I have had this happen to me. The first time was on I10 in Houston at 70 miles an hour. Talk about unnerving. After I got safely off the freeway I was shaking for three hours from the adrenaline rush, my wife said I hardly filched at the time. The safety glass worked as it is supposed to and I did not receive a scratch. This was a three year old American made vehicle's driver's window. I learned at the glass shop that it happens frequently. Change in pressure, tension, and body flex all cause it.

    The other time was in a foreign make less than a year old again the safety glass worked as it is designed and just crumbled in small granules just like the first time.

    I have yet to have it happen with another window in those vehicles. We still own and drive one of them daily and it has been almost four years since the window exploded.

    Maw4- We were considering this vehicle and I seem to vaguely remember some early models having glass issues. Maybe look at early posts on the Passats boards.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    No, I'm not making light of it, just stating that it's not a major or dangerous situation. It happens more frequently than people might realize, and it will happen on a Honda Accord, too, and a brand new Porsche. If you think brand-shopping will protect you, I don't think so in this case.

    It is certainly no reason to reject a car or feel uncomfortable buying one. You just go get it fixed and it's a new day. Like a plumbing leak or a trip to the dentist. We'd rather not deal with this stuff but in fact nothing made by humans beings will ever, ever be perfect. If it were, manufacturers would not even offer warranties, they would not need them.

    Nice thing about safety glass is that it really works. It looks AWFUL when it's shattered, but unless you actually have it propelled toward you will tremendous force, chances of it hurting you are pretty slim. It is remarkably effective. You can thank Henry Ford for it, he was one of the first to introduce it into his cars, but only in the windshield, back in the late 1920s.
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