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Exploding Sunroofs!



  • It is so typical of car manufacturers to not accept responsibility. I really think Ford is using defective glass as this has happened to me twice already, and to numerous other Ford owners.
  • Re: Kylen2002:
    I just had the sunroof explode on my 2013 kia sorrento, which I have had for 6 weeks. Very similar situation to yours... driving along then boom! Kia is supposed to call me tomorrow. Curious - where did you end up with Kia on this? God forbid - after the fix did it happen again?
  • Lexus fully covered ours in the IS-250 3 years ago and it didn't happen again. I think it is a weakness in the glass and once it is fixed it won't happen again unless you are really unlucky.
  • I had this happen to me in April2011 on my 2011 Kia Sorento. Same story, I was driving, loud pop and glass fell all over me. Got it towed to dealership and they covered everything under warranty. Now, get this, I was driving the same car today and the exact thing happened...yep, explosion #2. I again had it towed to the dealer and they gave me a rental. They will keep me posted. I don't expect a problem, KIA should cover the defect under warranty; however, I am concerned since my car is much older now. They will be in for a battle if they tell me it isn't covered!
  • My sunroof suddenly shattered recently too. I have a older Ford SUV but it turns out the make and age don't matter so much as the details on the sunroof itself.

    On another forum about this issue I found the below post and it turns out my sunroof is part of the recall and I never got the notice, though I have had it fixed at least 3 times as the open/shut mechanism is constantly breaking down. So I am posting this in hopes that others might read it and not spend their own money if they don't need to. I would not have known if I hadn't spent 1/2 hour or more researching the issue on the net. The glass shattering suddenly is exactly what happens in the defective sunroofs though supposedly it is "rare".

    I was driving down the highway and heard a loud bang, like a large boulder fell on the roof. Then there was a rattling, crunching noise like the boulder was rolling around on top. When I stopped a couple of miles later off my exit, the glass on the sunroof was totally missing. This happened after I had been stopped in the traffic on the highway, heard a screeching and looked in my side mirror to see a little red car behind me swerving widely across three lanes or traffic, nearly tipping over and forcing other cars to swerve and screech as well. The person had jammed their brakes on to avoid rear ending me as I guess he wasn't expecting stopped cars on the highway. No one was hurt and no cars collided amazingly but my nerves for sure where on edge. And then the sunroof thing happened 5 minutes later. What are the chances of that I wonder? Especially because the defective sunroof issue is. "rare" ( riiiiigggght, but common enough to deserve a recall??!!).

    Good thing I didn't have the sunroof's inside cover slid back or I would have been showered with glass going down the highway at 65mph. Good thing also that I didn't panic and swerve or slam the brakes on since I could have had a accident. But then again, having had many "clunker" cars in my life this is not the first time something drastic and unexpected has happened to my car while traveling 65 in the fast lane. Try the car stalling suddenly at this speed or the hood flying up and covering the front windshield so that you can only see through the little air vent grate; both of these happened to me in different cars and more than once, since the problems weren't easily fixable.

    I thought a rock hit it, though, since I wasn't going under anything or near the edges of the road, I couldn't see how that was possible, since it would have to drop straight down with a lot of force. As they mention, actually, I did notice more wind noise than usual from the sunroof over the past month or two but I thought it just wasn't fully closed, since the mechanism to close the roof never seems to work right. And I guess you might not know if your sunroof is aftermarket either, since the dealer or the person you bought it from may not have told you. This only applies to aftermarket sunroofs, i.e. installed after the car leaves the factory assembly line.

    So, to make a long story short, everyone reading this might want to check their sunroof unless they are positive it is factory installed. I don't think this is only for older sunroofs either. The website shows the pictures of the sunroof open/close buttons and if your sunroof control buttons don't look like that then you are all set. If it they do then all you have to do is open the roof and look at the serial numbers pasted inside the front frame of the sunroof opening and if they are between 6000000 and 6396298 you need to replace the roof ( for free but not at the dealer; the website will list the places to take the car)

    Webasto Product North America, Inc. ("WPNA") has decided that a defect that relates to motor vehicle safety may exist in vehicles equipped with certain Hollandia 700 and 600 ("700/600") aftermarket (non-factory installed) sunroofs manufactured from 2002-2009 and all TVS 900 ("900") series aftermarket sunroofs. These sunroofs are involved in a voluntary safety recall. In rare instances, conditions existing with the adhesive bond between the glass and metal frame in these affected Hollandia 700/600 and Hollandia TVS 900 series aftermarket (non-factory installed) sunroofs can increase the risk that the sunroof glass may completely debond from its frame. Completely debonded sunroof glass can detach from the vehicle while driving and could strike another vehicle or injure a pedestrian.

    Complete glass-to-frame debonding can develop gradually and may be evidenced by metal corrosion around the sunroof frame, wind noise, vibration, visual bond separation and/or water leakage. These conditions may be observable for several months before complete glass-to-frame adhesion debonding can ultimately occur.

    Determining If You're Affected: The most recognizable components of the sunroofs affected are the switches and presence of a Webasto logo on the sunshade handle. Below, we have provided documentation so you can identify whether your sunroof is included in the recall. All affected sunroofs will have one of the following switches (I can't post the pictures of the switches, so check the webpage, )and have a Webasto logo on the sunshade handle.
  • On Thursday August 2, 2012 my wife and I we traveling from Simi Valley Calfornia to Vancouver, BC Canada. We purchased our SRX in June 2012 and had less than 2,000 miles on it when we started our trip. We got a far as Gilroy, CA (about 300 miles into the trip) when we heard a loud explosion and then the sound of wind and broken glass. We were traveling about 65 mph on highway with no cars in front or to the side. The Sun roof was closed at the time and the shattered glass could be seen through the head liner. We got off the freeway quickly and asked ON-STAR for the nearest Cadillac dealership. Luckily it was only 1 mile away. ON-STAR downloaded turn by turn instructions and we got to the Gilroy Cadillac dealership at about 2:30 pm. They looked at the damage and tried to locate a replacement part, however, none were available in California. The dealer coordinated with the regional Cadillac rep and ordered a part from Detroit. The part was overnight shipped but would not arrive until Monday. The Cadillac people provided us with a rental car and we continued on to Oregon. We shortened our trip and returned to pick up our repaired SRX on Monday evening (4:00pm). We put over 1,300 miles on the rental car. Cadillac covered everything under warranty including the rental car.
  • Consider yourself lucky - or just smart for buying a US brand .. my son had to use his insurance and pay the deductible, Kia wouldn't pay anything!
  • Thank you for taking the time to post this, larryz2! We're glad that the dealership took such great care of you, and wish you many more happy miles in your SRX!

    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • This just happened to me while driving to work. I was on the highway here in Raleigh and doing about 70. Suddenly, just as everyone else described, a loud gunshot noise and glass flying everywhere. It was nice yesterday afternoon so my sliding cover was open since I had been using my sunroof recently. I have been in touch with Volvo USA and it sounds like they may cover the costs. Nothing hit it, I am sure, because the glass is coming upwards. A cop stopped to help me (nice folks those NC troopers!) and told me weirder things have happened, but that this was pretty weird! The glass is still cracking and I'm going to have to drive it, but with the cover closed... VERY VERY scary. Thankful I was in the right lane and was able to pull off quickly in rush hour traffic. Whew. Any other reports of this from Volvo owners? I have seen some on Volvo forums.
  • Could you please email me the doc? [email protected] Sunroof on my 05 Volvo s40 exploded this morning while on my way to work (on the highway, glass fell all over me...) and I'd really like some answers/possibly use this to get the $950 bill paid for. Thank you so much!
  • At least I aint the only one. Just read this and it's happening everywhere
    Why do sunroofs explode
  • On December 26th, 2010, I was entering the highway in my 2007 Hyundai Sonata with my wife, mom, and two young children when I hear a noise that sounded like a shutgun going off above our heads. When I pulled over to inspect my vehicle I noticed that there was a large hole in my sunroof. Fortunately I had the sun shade pulled and nobody was injured.

    I took it to the dealership but they wouldn't do anything since my warranty extended warranty wouldn't touch it either. My insurance company wouldn't cover it since I didn't think anything struck the glass, they felt it was a vehicle defect, not an accident.

    To make a long story short, I ended up contacting Hyundai USA's corporate offices, submitting a bunch of paperwork, and they wouldn't do anything. I had to pay the $650 or whatever to have it repaired. While I am thankful no one was hurt, I feel they should have covered this.

    Now that Hyundai has issued a recall on 2012 Veloster cars due to exploding sunroofs, I am revisiting my claim with them.
  • dknitsdknits Posts: 1
    We have a 2001.5 VW Passatt, 110,000 miles. On 12/31/12 we heard a very loud double explosion while driving 65 mph in clear conditions at 34 degrees F. The sunroof had exploded. Glass shattered all over us. We did not see any flying rocks, and were not near other cars. We had gone under a few overpasses and wondered if someone had thrown a large rock. We had driven for about 150 miles at the time, and 50 miles earlier had driven through some snow and 29 degrees at the coldest. Prior to this time we had not opened the sunroof for at least a couple of months. We did have the inside shade open. We bought the car new with the sunroof already installed. We were in shock for a few minutes, but found a Home Depot and taped card board over the opening to complete our trip. Do we look for a body shop that has experience with VW? Will call our local mechanic. Had never heard of this problem. Do we report this to traffic safety? Is an older car exempt from safety concerns? Hope this does not happen often to others. Very scary
  • My sunroof was open, my husband was driving and I was reading a book in the passengers seat cruising down the Interstate. Without warning glass started raining down on us. There was no sound (like a rock hitting) or other warning, the glass just started falling on us. Luckily my husband was wearing a baseball cap or he might have been blinded by the falling glass resulting in an accident or injury. We were so shocked, we limped off at the next exit and pulled over. It looked like a stress fracture to us as both sides of the sunroof were at 45 degree angles. How could the alleged "rock" that we didn't hear manage to break the glass from two different locations (pictures available). Our car is less than 3 months old! The Dealership is repairing, but the repair is on my insurance. The Service Manager said they use tempered glass that is designed to shatter...on a roof. I think this is an engineering defect and a safety issue. Although my moon roof is being repaired, I doubt I'll use it ever again. I am taking it to have 3M film applied to the glass to prevent the glass from showering us again. It is a very unpleasant occurrence.
  • I had a Scion (Toyota) with the same problem. It was under warranty but Toyota refused to pay for the repair. I took them to arbitration (explained in your owner manual) and they paid for the repair. I suggest you do the same. It can all be handled through the mail.
  • Rear passenger window on 2011 KIA Sorento exploded for no apparent reason while driving on I-75 in 72 degree weather on a beautiful day. KIA refused to replace, even with the bumper to bumper warranty purchased with vehicle.
  • Bought the 2013 Venza less that two months ago with 6 miles on it. Salesman went on about how GREAT this vehicle is, bought the warranty the finance guy said "everything but the brakes" were covered and guess what? They aren't covering the phantom EXPLODING sun roof!! NOT happy about the sudden "I don't know them" syndrome I got from the dealer. They are blaming it on Toyota but I think it's just like every other dealer out there, once they got ya they leave ya. Oh yes, they talk to you like they owe you money. they sold you a hand full of rocks and they promised they would be marbles...My bad, It wont ever happen again.
  • rocco1951rocco1951 Posts: 7
    I had the same problem with a Scion Tc. I took them to arbitration and they paid. Procedure is in your Toyota owners manual.
  • denee246denee246 Posts: 4
    I bought a 2013 Venza 12/15/12. Feb. 22, 2013, my moonroof shattered as we were driving down the interstate. Very scary and made a mess of my car. It seems a stress fracture to us. Please post your experience at Toyota does not notify their dealers of any problems until there are several. The moonroof raining down on you is a serious safety issue--could have blinded the driver resulting in a wreck. Mine wasn't covered under warranty either. Now moon roof grinds from glass remaining. I share your pain.
  • ajgrantcshajgrantcsh Posts: 9
    I had this happen on a 2009 BMW about six months after I got it. Just coincidentally I mentioned it to a friend who said it had happened to him with a new shower enclosure. He had just had the bathroom renovated, and heard a loud bang. Fortunately the bathroom was vacant at the time. He said it was like shrapnel exploded, destroying all the new work. Amidst fighting with contractors and manufacturers he did some research and found an architectural white paper, which reported that spontaneous shattering is a known phenomenon of tempered glass. Every so many units per the millions manufactured have microscopic defects that cause the glass to shatter. The auto dealers automatically tell you something hit the glass, which in most cases is not true. But it's a fight to get them pay for the repair.
  • mfj62mfj62 Posts: 1
    My 2013 Hyundai Sante Fe sunroof exploded for no reason. The weather was mild at the time (59 degrees). I was traveling at 60 mph on the freeway, and the roof was open to the vented position at the time. It sounded like a gunshot. Glass showered the inside of the car.
  • Yesterday my wife was driving her 2013 kia optima sxl down the interstate when a loud pop sound was made followed by falling glass from the sunroof. A softball size hole was noted to the rear of the glass with the remainder being shattered. Luckily her nor our 5 year old son was injured. Took it to the dealership today and we ate waiting on the Kia area rep to give us a decision on if they can replace it under warranty or not.
  • insulmaninsulman Posts: 1
    On May 31st 2013 - While traveling down RTE 93 South in New Hampshire we experience a very loud bang, there were no other cars or truck around us, no one threw a rock, no bird hit the SUV.
    I happened to glance up at the roof and realized that the front sun roof had exploded into a million pieces, fortunately it was safety glass and it all stayed in one piece. We are now waiting for the new sun roof to come in. No one seem to have one in stock and it needs to be ordered out of OHIO. I did call Chevrolet headquarters and they took the information and gave me a claim number. They said they would investigate it and call me back which they did bat stated that there is no know problem with the sun roof. It was a windy day, 90 degrees out and we put the air conditioner on, I don't know it this has any thing to do with the cause of it.
  • delrio41delrio41 Posts: 1
    My car is less than 6 months old. I was driving on the interstate when I heard a loud noise (like a gunshot). The front glass panel of my sunroof exploded...fortunately, I had the cover on, so no glass entered the interior. I've taken the car back to Ford, and I'm waiting to hear what they say...hoping they do the right thing AND, try to tell me it was just a rock.
  • dmz4dmz4 Posts: 1
    We were driving on I-71 in an open area (no trees, no birds, no bridges, no other large vehicles, no construction near us) when our moonroof exploded. It sounded like a shotgun blast and when we looked at the moonroof there was a quarter sized hole with the glass shattered all around it. Fragments of glass began dropping into our van, in our hair, on our clothes and in our drinks. We pulled the moonroof cover closed and glass continued to blow out of the moonroof until we were able to pull over safely. Pieces of glass are now everywhere in the van and in our clothing including down the backs of our shirts. What a mess to cleanup! We're so glad our kids weren't injured with all the glass shards. I hope Toyota will do what's right and find out why the glass unexpectedly shattered. It is definitely a safety issue especially with little kids in the van.
  • terriehterrieh Posts: 8
    This happened to my 2013 Ford Escape last week. What resolution did you get from Ford and/or your dealership?
  • dbbogeydbbogey Posts: 3
    I have had this happen twice - two years ago my wife's 2008 GL 550 exploded outward. Out of warranty and I replaced at dealer. They never offered to fix and since out of warranty I didn't fight it and was not sure of my wife and daughters story. This week the same thing happened to me in a brand new Audi A8L. Tooling along about 75 with only cars behind me, and I thought a cannon had gone off. Glass was blown outward and scratched the paint all the way back to the trunk. Audi will replace and fix. I am looking into what company supplies sunroof glass for the German Automakers. Interesting link to a story about a women in San Francisco with a new BMW, physics professor got into the act when BMW first tried to deny.
  • terriehterrieh Posts: 8
    I'm STILL fighting with FORD over it. They said there was an impact too. I can guarantee there wasn't. I wasn't driving near, behind, over or under anything or anyone that would have thown an object. Insurance said the same thing...that ford should pay. My car is only 7 months old. I'm going to send them the link that you shared as well showing the engineers point of view. Thanks for sharing.
  • terriehterrieh Posts: 8
    Ford is refusing to cover this issue. They have denied the claim. They will not stand behind their products. Never again will I buy another Ford. EVER. Nor will I recommend a Ford to anyone. This is complete BS.
  • charfacecharface Posts: 1
    While driving to work yesterday, on a major highway, my sunroof spontaneously shattered and fell in on me. Has anyone else with a VW, that had this issue, reached out to VW about this? Did you have any resolutions. The car is a 2009, I find it highly unacceptable that this could happen. Not to mention extremely dangerous.
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