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Exploding Sunroofs!



  • I just heard about this. Up until now I never heard of such a thing. Leave it to W.L. There was a post about defective tempered glass that sound like it could be a very possible cause. Hope everything turns out OK with the car.
  • nett2002nett2002 Posts: 2
    I had this happen to my car Saturday morning. Clear roads, newly paved in the last year so no bumps all of a sudden we heard a boom and my sunroof was gone. Pulled over to make sure my kids who luckily where sleeping where ok, and contacted my Dealer. Took it in and just got a call they will not cover. The reason because it is shattered. Nothing hit it, there where no cars around and no over passes. It just exploded. I opened a claim with Kia expecting them to honor their 100,000 mile 10 year warranty. They said it will take 48-72 hours for a review. Not happy with Kia, especially since this seems to becoming an issue with sunroofs, from what I am reading.
  • heidijheidij Posts: 3
    edited March 2011
    Yesterday, my husband and I were driving our 2011 Hyundai Sonata on the interstate at 65 mph when we were jolted by a loud explosion that sounded like a shotgun blast over the top of us. We immediately pulled off the road where we found our sunroof shattered. It appeared that the glass had buckled upward in the middle. The weather was clear, 78 degrees, no bumps, and no trucks around us. It just happened. We immediately took it to our dealer. They said it wasn't covered under the warranty. It seems like the glass was defective and Hyundai should cover it. They said "no". The paint on the roof behind the sunroof and top of the trunk was damaged from the flying shards. I have a $250 deductible, so I'm not happy about this. I would be interested to know where the glass in these sunroofs is manufactured. Any attorneys interested in looking at this?
  • winky80winky80 Posts: 1
    I have a 2010 subaru legacy. Today while driving in light snow on the highway my sunroof exploded. SO scary!!! Until now I never heard of such a phenomenon. I called my insurance co. & they'll cover the glass under comprehensive BUT if damage is done to the track I'll have to pay the deductable. I called Subaru to have it fixed & they referred me to a local glass place. Being the first production of a new legacy generation, I researched any known issuse's. What was your end result???
  • heidijheidij Posts: 3
    I'm still waiting for my insurance adjuster. My car is still at the dealership. I will have to rent a car for at least a week. I hope that those people who experience this "exploding sunroof" phenomenon post it on car forums such as this one. Perhaps the glass manufacturer or car company will only take notice when someone get seriously hurt or even killed.
  • nett2002nett2002 Posts: 2
    Hyundai's & Kia's are made by same company I believe. Did you call corp & place a claim? I am still waiting on mine to be resolved now they are telling me 6-8 weeks not the original 48-72 hours.
  • thornt4thornt4 Posts: 2
    This JUST happened to me last night! I have a 2011 Kia Sorento..driving along, heard pop (sounded like gun shot), glass fell around me and the one side of metal frame fell in car too. Tried calling Customer service; not open on Saturday! Have you gotten any more news for Kia??
  • mcelestinomcelestino Posts: 1
    edited April 2011
    There I was…April 17, 6:30 PM. 72 degrees – late afternoon in Los Angeles…70 MPH – and then, BAM!!! Sounded like a gunshot to the roof of my car followed by the whooshing sound of wind above my head. Thankfully my car was NOT the target of some random shooting (…hey, it could happen). Instead, my sunroof had just… exploded! Yep. E X P L O D E D. Weird, right? Cause unknown; I’m comforted somewhat by learning from these postings that I’m not alone in this experience. Thanks to you all here. So – this happens.

    Not due to dramatic changes in temperature; not for too tight of an installation; not sure about anything in particular that could cause this freakish event. I’m just wondering what the common denominator is with those of us – I mean, what was “true” about the sunroofs of our respective cars? Do all of us have retractable power roofs? Similar construction and installation? What could possibly be causing this and what is it exactly that might keep this from reoccurring in the future? I’d love to know this one.

    BTW, this is a very expensive repair (2007 E350) especially since at 70 mph the aerodynamics of shattered tempered glass efficiently chops away at those beautiful deep layers of black lacquered paint. (Ouch…)
  • Today my wife was driving on I-55, normal speed. It was clear, about 90 degrees, so she had the sunshade closed. She heard a loud pop, opened the shade to find the moonroof gone, with shattered glass pointing upward. It was after 5pm when it happened so I couldn't get in touch with anyone. She had the state police do a report. I will be trying the dealership first. I wish everyone that this happens to would post their experience. This seems like a defect to me. I will update when I find out how this will be handled.
  • mylilmulemylilmule Posts: 2
    I have had my 2012 Focus HB for about 5 weeks. Within the first week my sunroof stopped working. I took it to the dealer and they said that it was just stuck and they fixed it. Well, fast forward 4 weeks and I'm driving down the interstate at 70mph. It's about 95 degrees outside, the windows are up(all tinted by the way), A/C on, music up, sunroof shade closed. I'm almost at my exit when the shotgun blast happens. Scared the crap out of me!! I pull over to find my sunroof had exploded. All of the edges were pointing outward so I knew nothing had hit it. I took some pics before I touched it and then called the dealer. They told me to bring it in before they could say if they were going to cover it or not. I'm still not sure if they are going to cover it, will find out today I guess, but I've never had this happen with any cars I've had. I've actually never even heard of this happening before. Now I'm wondering if the original issue of being "stuck" was the cause of this! Crazy stuff!!!
  • jennasesjennases Posts: 1
    This happened to me today!!! I was on I-10 and had just pulled out of the Welcome Center, driven a few miles and "BOOM!!" I immediately contacted Roadside Assistance and they drove my car to the nearest dealership. I am having to stay in a hotel as I am out of town and wondering what will happen. The dealership indicated that this doesn't just happen and they are not sure how they are going to handle it. I am glad to know I am not the only one this has happened to.
  • mylilmulemylilmule Posts: 2
    **UPDATE** Well, it's now July 8th and my car is still in the shop. Apparently, the manufacturer of the glass is not making any for service, only production!!! Luckily, Ford is covering it under warranty and they have provided me with a rental car. But, the owner of the dealer is involved and has contacted Ford but there is no ETA on when they might have a new sunroof for my car. :mad: So I sit here, driving a Mazda CX9 SUV rental, until they get one. My only issue, I'm paying for a car that I haven't had in the past 4 weeks and that I have no idea when I get back!!! But at least Ford is owning up and taking care of it, it could be much worse!!! I'll post updates as I get them!!
  • So I was driving down the freeway in auburn today its about 65 degrees n sunny. I have a hyundai sonata 08 and we jus got it used at the end of I was on the freeway and my sunroof exploded and it was super scary..... it sounded like someone threw a firework on my roof. I would like to kno more about ur situation. If u can email me at [email protected] only signed up for this to talk to u bcuz ur sitiation matches my exactly....
  • kmaishkmaish Posts: 1
    My 2010 Ford Escape's sunroof just exploded today. Just driving down the road doing 35 mph, warm out. Hopefully Ford will pay! :)
  • sally35sally35 Posts: 1
    While driving 75mph on the interstate yesterday, suddenly a huge explosion (like a bomb) goes off above me. The sunroof exploded into a million little pieces all over me and the car. I literally was in shock! Pulled over to the right and called my husband who told me to drive the rest of the distance (15 miles) to the VW dealer. Pieces of glass continue to fall on me as I drive to the dealer. They said it will be covered by warranty. That's good, very expensive! The temp. the last few days has been very hot, not sure if that was a factor or . Never want a sunroof again!
  • My's son's 2011 Kia Optima had the same thing happen. Kia warranty would not cover - even though car was only 3 months old. How did you come out with the dealer? He is in Colorado by the way.
  • Have been reading on different sites that Kia may be selective on what it covers under the bumper to bumper warranty. Any experiences with a problem they say isn't covered?
  • heidijheidij Posts: 3
    Hyundai wouldn't cover my sunroof repair either. The glass as well as the framing needed to replaced plus body work on the roof, sides of the car where shards of glass cut up the paint. My insurance covered the cost but my deductible was $500 which I'm mad that I had to pay. I really think it's defective glass.
  • There is a news story about an exploding sunroof:
    I think if there is a defect in the glass, it will explode or shatter under pressure. I think it should be covered by the auto dealer - if it will shatter as they say from being hit by a rock, then it's an accident waiting to happen. Can you imagine getting caught in a hail storm? I would hope the glass wouldn't automatically just shatter - should be stronger than that.
  • This Just happened to me I too
    have a 2011 Hyundai Sonata Limited. I was traveling on tollroad 90, no overpasses, no truck around, NOT HIT BY ANYTHING!!!!! All of a sudden I hear this LOUD explosion and the next thing I know I am covered in glass. I was doing 70 miles an hour and must of had an angel on my shoulder cause I didn't CRASH> My husband called roadside assistance and they put him in touch with the Hyundai consumer line which said "they never heard of this before" BULL_ _ _ _. U know they have and they are covering something up. THIS IS A DEFECT, and someone is not going to be as lucky as you and I. If my grandson was in the back he would have been hurt and then , well OH MY just imaginne.
  • Hi,

    It is not so much a defect as a known property of tempered glass. Go back to my message #61 in this discussion for more on this. I did some research that explains why this happens.
  • I have a 2011 Jetta TDI, less than 1300 miles. Sunroof exploded in an outward direction while driving down a 2-lane road (no overpasses) at about 60 mph. Really don't think a rock hit it (as dealer professes) and no other logical explanation. It happened 10 minutes into the drive, outside temp. was 45 degrees, hadn't yet turned the heat on in the car. It's only Oct. and snow removal hasn't used rocks/sand on the road yet.
    Dealer will replace it under direction from local VW mfg rep. as a part of their "good-will gesture" program since it's a new car. Great, it's paid for but what if it happens again? I'm a little concerned VW is brushing this incident off as something it isn't in order to avoid a recall. There is a flaw here that is potentially a safety risk.
    I'll put up another posting after my car is fixed and I've had a deeper discussion with the dealership.
  • I had little bit different experience. One day, I got into my car & look up the sky I noticed my sunroof glass was shattered. I was freaking out what had happened. When I took it to Mazda dealer & they inspected and conclude that there's no way this glass would shattered like this unless
    manufactured defect sunroof glass. When I called Mazda USA customer service, they said your waranty has been expired. They'll not cover the sunroof. They said that's why you have insurance. I couldn't believe my ear when he said that. I also have other problem with steering wheel. Mazda is a junk car. More to that Mazda USA is junk company which would not listen customer's voice. I would never ever buy Mazda again & I'll tell all my friends about this company
  • coming home to arizona the sunroof exploded on our minivan. felt like rocks were dropped on the roof. We did not hit a bump, 45 degrees, 70 mph and no drop in elevation. And no my wife was not driving. The hole was in the center of the window and the remaining glass was angled outward like the object hit the glass from the inside. we had the cover shut which was good because otherwise glass could have hit anyone inside the car
  • on the way to work today!! scared crap out of me!! Brought it right to Woodhouse Mazda in Omaha where without hesitation they said it would be covered under warranty & has happened to 2 other Mazda vehicles. They said it was because of higher pressure in the vehicle & it is very windy day.
  • optimasxoptimasx Posts: 1
    Mine exploded on Monday, being covered by warranty, no issues. That some are not getting this covered is bs....this shouldn't be happening.
  • kylen2002kylen2002 Posts: 1
    edited April 2012
    I just had the same situation happen with my 2012 Kia Sorento EX (new when purchased; owned for 8 months; 8,000 miles currently), and I'm wondering how you were able to get Kia to cover this under warranty.

    I was driving down I-88 on Saturday, April 21st when suddenly there was a loud gunshot/explosion sound. I wasn't driving under an overpass, and no cars or semi's were anywhere near my vehicle. It was actually a nice sunny day with the temp in the mid 50's. After recovering from the initial shock, I noticed wind coming from above. Luckily I was able to grab the sunroof cover (which was thankfully closed) and hold it closed before it opened and allowed thousand of glass shards to fall onto my girlfriend and me. Once I realized what had happened, I pulled over and called Kia roadside assistance immediately. The vehicle was towed to the nearest dealership for inspection as directed by the people at Kia. Once the service manager was able to take a look at the vehicle on Monday, he said that he could not find an impact point from any outside force, and that it was obviously a defect in the glass. For some reason the Kia rep in Arizona is saying that this is not covered under warranty. We fought back on this all day Monday, and the case # is currently being escalated for further review. We are supposed to hear back by today. I have a bad feeling that they are going to come back, and still refuse warranty coverage. Sorry for the wordiness, but I wanted to explain my experience as detailed as possible.

    Can you please provide me with some detail regarding your experience? I don't want to have to take Kia to court, but I will gladly do so if it comes down to it. I'd appreciate any help that you can provide. I'd be happy to provide you with my personal email address if you'd prefer. Thank you.
  • steveo22steveo22 Posts: 1
    I was driving on the highway with no traffic in front of me doing about 110 km when I heard a load bang and found that my sunroof had blown out.
    I spoke to Nissan about what had happened and they gave the same answer that many of you have heard “it was probably caused by road debris”
    Nisan for some reason does not seem to be taking this as a safety concern and considered the matter closed when I told them insurance was going to cover it.
    Unfortunatly I don't really expect any answers from them I did still want to ask the questions.

    I have sent Nissan Canada the following letter:

    To the attention of Nissan Canada I had a sunroof catastrophically fail at highway speeds shattering into small rectangular fragments. The road was quiet and I did not see anything hit my car but when it blew out it sounded like a shot gun going off. When I pulled over to inspect what had happened I found a large hole in my sunroof about 6 inches in diameter with the edges pointing outwards. The interior of the car was also covered in small shards of glass as well as a piece approximately 2 inches in diameter that was still intact. How common is it for tempered glass to fail in this way and is this being treated as a safety concern with Nissan? In my opinion a sunroof should not be able to shatter in this way, either from being struck by an object or from a catastrophic failure of the stresses that is inherent in tempered glass. Much of the glass shattered into pieces .15 x .15 x .05 inches. These fragments are easily small enough to go into the eyes of the occupants and cause injury as well as a possible accident. I am surprised that a laminated glass such as that used in the windshield of all modern automobiles is not used for this application as it would have solved this problem. I did speak to Nissan Canada as well as Brasso Nissan and was given the same answer, "Nissan is not responsible for glass damage since it could have been caused by road debris.
    The problem with this answer is that they are not taking responsibility for the safety concern and there should be no circumstance that a sunroof should fail in this manner. This is Nissans responsibility weather or not the damage is being caused by road debris or defects in the product itself. Either the process being used to manufacture the sunroof is wrong or the wrong material is being used for this application and it Nissans responsibility to solve this problem and provide a safe automobile for its customers. Since Nissan does not appear to be taking responsibility, could you please supply me with the following information?

    Specifications of the glass being used
    Manufacturer of the glass to make the sunroof
    Lbs of force required to shatter the sunroof
    The percentage of Sunroof glass that is found defective at time of production and was not released.
    The percentage of these sunroofs that were found to be defective due to the international stresses
    Measures used for quality control for this product

    I am not writing this letter merely for compensation for the repairs to the Nissan Rouge although I do believe Nissan should be compensating both myself and Wawanesa for any cost incurred. Wawanesa Insurance is covering my claim even though I do not carry glass coverage since in there opinion the damage was not caused by road debris but instead a defect of the product itself.The reason for the letter is to make Nissan and Nissan owners aware of what I believe to be safety issue that up to this point Nissan has not yet addressed.

    A copy of this letter will be sent to:

    Nissan Canada
    Wawanesa Insurance
    The Alberta Motor Vehicle Council (AMVIC)
  • 2003focus2003focus Posts: 2
    I have had the 'exploding sunroof' happen twice on my 2003 Ford Focus ZTW.The first time was about 3 years ago in spring with the ambient temp being just above freezing. I can't recall if it was windy or not, but I was going about 30kmph when I heard the 'shotgun blast' referred to in many of the previous stories. The second time was Tuesday this week with the temperature being about 15 degrees Celsius with a very strong gusty wind. Again shotgun blast followed by tinkling glass on the sliding cover. The interesting quirk is that this episode happened within less than 1/2 mile of the first incident on the same highway. I am inclined to think that it may be the car flexing that may cause this, but who knows. I would appreciate any insight. Good thing about the Ford Focus is that the glass is very easy to replace, and I was able to find new roofs at a salvage yard on both occasions.
  • The exploding sunroof just happened to me in my 2011 Ford Taurus. It is still in the warranty period, but Ford is fighting me on it saying that is a road hazard. Noting hit the car. We were going 70 mph on a 74 degree day on an open 4 lane highway with no other cars around. It's obvious that the forces went outward.

    If I were on an LA Freeway, there would have been a big accident behind me as the glass started hitting cars.
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