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Exploding Sunroofs!



  • greginazgreginaz Posts: 4
    Our sunroof exploded outward like a gunshot two weeks ago. Lexus at first said it must have been a rock hitting it but there were no overpasses, no trucks around and it would take a huge rock coming straight down to break it while we were going 60 mph on I-10. Finally the service manager said it was a gray area after I pointed out several other cases I found on Google. They said Lexus always gives the customer the service when it comes to gray areas so they did fully fix it on warranty. The car only has 14,000 miles on it. I think it is a more common problem then Lexus wants to admit. For AZ it was not hot, about 95 degrees and we had driven for 20 miles so the car had cooled off.
  • I purchased my Jeep Liberty in April of 2008 and have genuinely been pleased with both the vehicle and the service. On June 24 my wife and I, while on vacation, were driving down I-10 in southern Mississippi and were suddenly frighten by what sounded like a shotgun blast just above our heads. We looked around and there were no other vehicles or overpasses in sight. We pulled over on the shoulder of the road to do an inspection of our Liberty and found that the sunroof had apparently exploded! The glass had shattered into thousands of small pieces from the exact center of the sunroof and the remaining glass fragments in the sunroof were bent outward as if the force of the explosion was from within the vehicle. South Mississippi was under an extreme heat warning at the time, and the outside temperature reading, as read on the vehicle display, was 102 F. After inspecting the outside of the vehicle, we could not find evidence of any other damage. We immediately called the service department of our dealer to report the incident and see what we should do about this. The service manager told us he had never heard of a sunroof exploding and suggested we make an insurance claim to repair the damage. I, however, feel that the explosion was the result of a defective glass which exploded when there was a huge difference in temperatures inside and outside of the car. Since it was unlikely that we could get the vehicle repaired quickly, and we didn’t want to lose the money we had prepaid for a 4-day stay at the beachside condo in Alabama, we decided to do a temporary fix on the sunroof with some gray duct tape, being careful not to get any of the tape on the painted surface on the roof. It’s now Monday morning (June 29) and we have returned home. I decided to get on the computer and investigate if there were any other reports of exploding sunroofs, and found the reports recorded on this site.
    I am now trying to decide if I should file an insurance claim as if the damage was from a rock that struck the roof, or insist it was the result of a defective glass. I feel strongly that the incident resulted from a defect rather than a rock, since there were no overpasses or other vehicles anywhere near us when it happened, and the unlikelihood that a rock would strike the exact center of the sunroof with no surrounding damage of any type. One of my other concerns is that some of the glass fragments that fell between the roof and the interior lining of the vehicle must be removed or they will make noise or cause other problems in the future. Any advice on this matter would be greatly appreciated.
  • I just had the same thing happen to me Friday when I was driving on the highway.I was a nice day temperture about 75F and no cars by me when, the sunroof popped.
    I have a 2006 xi BMW that I purchased in April 2009, I will bring this to the Dealer Monday
    I will let everyone know .
  • Just a follow-up on the 2008 Jeep Liberty exploding sunroof. The dealer has refused to fix the sunroof under warranty; or in other words, they claim no responsibility for having to replacing the sunroof. In fact, the service manager told me that the decision was made by a regional service manager in Atlanta. When I asked for a means to contact this person, she told me that she could not give out any information about this person. She told me I should bring it to a glass shop and file an insurance claim for the repair. When I asked her “are you refusing service on my vehicle” the service manager then backed off and said she would get back with me on the matter. She never retuned my call, although she claimed to have left several messages, none of which I received. Oh well…so much for good service! I’m interested if BMW will agree to fix your car under warranty. Judging from some of the previous reports on this topic, they should. But this is probably the difference between a quality manufacturer (like BMW) and a bankrupt manufacturer like Chrysler.
  • britmombritmom Posts: 2
    I'll actually be very surprised if they fix it!! I know when mine shattered, I tried to call BMW first, but they didn't answer the call after call that I made, and leaving messages telling them to call me asap it was urgent!! So gave up and filed a claim with my insurance. FINALLY they got back to me! Well I told them what had happened, and said that I had actually already filed a claim with my insurance because I had heard nothing back, they said, 'Oh, O.K. thats alright then!!!!' No 'Oh don't worry we'll check it out!..Nothing!!! Then again, it depends where you are, and what your BMW dealership is like!! Hopefully you'll have a nice one :0)
  • The same thing happened to me with my Mazda cx-7 It is out of dealer warranty so they said Mazda wouldn't pay, I have extended warranty but they said they don't cover anything like that. I think they should recall I have a 5 month old baby and 3 yr old. Thank God the roof part was closed. Did you have any luck when you contacted Mazda?
  • We were driving on interstate- nice day about 85 degrees. My 5 month old and 3 year old in back seat. We heard a loud explosion like a shot gun. Actually thought we had blown a tire but after looking the tires were fine. We continued to drive and heard air entering vehicle. We opened the sun roof and saw large hole in roof. Like it just exploded. There was nothing that flew up and hit it. It just exploded. Mazda is saying because it is out of warranty they will not cover it. My extened warranty also does not cover it and my insurance company is saying manf. defect. I am so frustrated!!!!!!!!!
  • Add my 2007 Infiniti FX35 to the list of vehicles with exploding sunroof. While driving home to Canada the sunroof exploded like a shotgun. We pulled over and discovered the big hole in the sunroof. Infiniti won't talk to me about warranty, only that it is not covered. The initial sunroof replacement was C$1,400 and now there is an additional $3,700 ($5,700 total damage) required to remove glass from between the roof and the inside panel. I am getting nowhere with Infiniti on the warranty so I am beginning small claims court proceeding here in Alberta. Very frustrating.
  • my saab 9-3 was at the mechanic, i received a phone call explaining that my sunroof had shattered. When i asked what the hell this meant the mechanic explained that my sunroof had shattered outward, but remained intact except for a few small peices. Anyone else have this happen to them
  • Perhaps you should check the SAAB message board.....

    This is the Mazda CX-7 board.... The chances of a CX-7 owner, also being an owner of a Saab 9-3 are miniscule....
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Sorry, no, this is not a Mazda CX-7 board. Please look at the top of the discussion to see the vehicles this conversation includes. In fact, it includes any vehicle with an exploding sunroof, whether listed or not, since only up to nine vehicles may be listed at a time. Have a look at the Saab 9-3 "board" and you'll see this discussion appears there as well.

    As with the other posters here, Robbie's actual experience was terribly unfortunate, but his post is welcome in this discussion. :)
  • When I look at the top of this page, it says

    You are here: Make Index Mazda CX-7

    That says Mazda, CX-7 which is the make and model I navigated to.

    Says it on the bottom of my page too.

    If people want to populate the forum with off-topic models and cars, then so be it. Being the moderator, it would be more effective as a research tool to keep the members focused on the MAKE as indicated on the You Are Here page...
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    You are missing the What is this discussion about? line in the header at the top of the page. You can list any of those make/models and find this discussion there (did you check the Saab 9-3 link I gave you?). If you display the discussion from any of those page lists, that particular vehicle will show up where you are seeing the CX-7. In other words, this discussion belongs to all of those models just as much as it belongs to the CX-7.

    We have many discussions that encompass more than one make/model and this is how we manage it. I am sorry if you don't find it to your liking, but it's been this way for many years and it's not likely to change.

    Rather than you and me continuing to disrupt this topic with this subject, please feel free to email me directly, or else to use the Help link to find the Contact Us page.

  • I have a 2007 Mazda 3 and the same thing happened to me last week. I was driving down the interstate during a warm day and I also heard air coming in via the sunroof cover and opened it to find a huge hole in my sunroof glass, the whole thing shattered. Any luck with Mazda?
  • I could not have a sunroof! I really just wanted more head room...
  • Exploding sunroofs are not a manufacturer defect. They only happen when the sunroof is closed and the windows are rolled up. Car manufactureers have gotten very good at making the cabins airtight so the inside of the car will remain at the same cabin pressure as when the car was sitting still. Now when you are driving down the freeway at 65-70 miles per hour the air rushing across the top of the car creates lift (bernoulli effect). If you are driving against the wind you can add the wind speed to your traveling speed and soon have pressure differences like you might see in a tornado tearing the roof off of a house. The specific day's barometric will also be a factor. Anyway the glass is literally sucked upward and breaks equalizing the pressure. The immidiate change in pressure stops the upward suction, and the remaining glass falls in your face. Side windows, windsheilds and rearglass do not have the same ammount of pressure on them because of the aerodynamic shape of the car. Sunroofs are positioned close to the windshield where the air traveling over the car still wants to travel in an upward direction.
    So- it is not a manufacturer defect, but it is a design flaw. Sunroof cars should be have a pressure equalizer much like modern airliners do. Or at least move them back on the roof a few inches (but thats not as much fun. right?) I haven't done the math, and dont plan on it, but my theory is that the tinted wind diffuser on the front of many sunroofs (that help deflect the wind from entering the car when the roof is open) probably makes the upward pressure worse when the roof is closed.
    Wow- feels good to actually use some of that college physics I studied so hard for. Studied Physics/aerospace - work in real estate! LOL
    Anyway I saw how many people were commenting about exploding sunroofs, but didn't see any answers provided.
  • pam445pam445 Posts: 2
    This just happened to my two month old 2010 jetta sportwagen TDI! We were driving on the interstate when we heard an incredibly loud bang and realized the sunroof had imploded. This is a panoramic sunroof with two separate panes of glass, and it was the front one that imploded. We were on a wide, open road with no cars around. Nothing hit us. The glass was completely shattered and the glass that hadn't fallen or flown off was pointed upwards, not down into the car like you'd expect if something large enough had hit it to break it.

    Dealer has quoted just under $2K to fix the sunroof and shade (which was also torn). They say they can't cover it under the new car warranty b/c glass breakage isn't covered, but this is obviously some sort of defect or flaw! I'm not letting this one go lightly. Could have easily caused a wreck or severe injuries. Scary stuff.
  • We had this happen to our 2010 jetta sportwagen TDI about a month ago, just after about 1000 miles. I would press the dealer, as our dealer did cover it under warranty with no grief. We were told that it is a known defect that was traced to a specific manufacturing station and has since been corrected. It was the rear panel on our sunroof, but there was also another car at the same dealer (not sure what panel). If the dealer isn't helping, I'd contact VW directly. Besides the car being at the dealer for nearly 4 weeks, while the glass was located and shipped, no other issues.
  • My sunroof exploded this morning on my 05 Dodge Magnum..
    It was tilted open, front windows down about an inch, just like every other day.
    52 degrees outside at 6am.
    No pressurization issue, no temperature change, no moisture issue, no debris, NOTHING!
    Just driving to work, like every other morning, then BANG.
    Glass everywhere.
  • To: massti
    Re: 2010 jsw exploded sunroof

    I fought back about this, contacted VW directly, and also contacted the head of the dealership where I purchased the car. VW finally decided to cover it (apparently they happened to have a rep visiting my dealership last week), but said they only had a record of this happening ONE other time to this car, and told me that it was the rear panel of the sunroof (ours was the front). Would you mind telling me which dealer you were at so I can be sure they know I know this has happened more than once! Because they are acting like this is just a "Good Will" coverage.

    My car is still being repaired, because all the parts haven't arrived yet. They did give me a loaner car (only after some hassle).
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