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Exploding Sunroofs!



  • 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).
  • Pam445,
    Glad to hear that you were able to get it covered. Our experience was with Colonial Volkswagen in Massachusetts. Contrary to your experience, they were very helpful. Good luck!
  • I wish I could say this was the only issue I have at only 285 miles. Prior to delivery the hatch was damaged by the delivery truck. After waiting months for my new car I was willing to accept the repair and move on. At time of delivery I was informed that some molding and the windshield would have to be replaced due to a flaw found in it by the local rep. Again can live with it but it is feeling less like a new car. Driving home one nigh nobody else on the road and boom sunroof explodes like a ball was shot though it from the inside. Glass gets on the wipers on scratches the new windshield as well as the top of the car. I'm ready for the new car I purchased now,I think I should call VW. So VW customer care lets me know how sorry they are but they are not going to cover the sunroof but the dealer has chosen to take care of it under goodwill. The other damage sorry to hear. I questioned them on the sunroof and was told that there experts had determined it was broken from outside influences ( Im the only one on the road). I pressed for clarification on determining this and was told the trained experts at the dealer know these things ( I'm in the dealer parking lot at time of the call from VW) back inside I go. Dealership says they made no such statement and that the district rep had made the call without seeing the car based on his experience. VW says the matter is closed and the local rep making these calls he is not available for such things (really).
    My first VW a1976 Sciricco, 34 years of VW this might be my last .
  • spannellspannell Posts: 1
    My sunroof exploded on my 2010 Subaru just last week. I was completely shocked! Although on the interstate, other vehicles weren't that close to have hit me with a rock. I think it just blew up. I just bought my car in December. So far, my dealership hasn't been very helpful. I am still trying to get some answers from them about the costs. Reading these accounts really helps.
  • greginazgreginaz Posts: 4
    My 2009 Lexus IS-250 did the same thing on I-10 in Phoenix. Lexus covered it 100% but didn't like doing it. After showing them this web site and all the messages they agreed to pay for it.
  • Same thing happened to me today in a 2008 Toyota Highlander, traveling on the freeway at 65mph. Cool, windy day. I wouldn't have believed this happening, if I was not driving the car myself when it happened. I'm certain that we are all dealing with an issue known as "differential pressure". Check your Physics book. High pressure inside the car and low pressure outside the car (the higher the relative wind speed, the lower the pressure outside). This is the only logical explanation I can come up with, as a mechanical engineer by trade. Temperature was not an issue, it was only about 60-65F. There were mildly gusty winds, which, combined with the freeway speed, made a big pressure drop outside. I had the shade drawn underneath it, so at least I didn't get glass all over.

    The sunroof glass definitely appears to be thinner than standard side window glass or windshield glass. And it is probably not the same "grade" of glass. Plus, the sunroof itself is quite long, so the center is not well supported. This is an obvious design defect.
  • menifee1menifee1 Posts: 1
    My wife was driving down a empty two lane highway with no cars in sight and no overpasses. Slowing at about 50 MPH to a red light a huge bang Liek a gun shot happend with glass flying everywhere behind the car. My wife was startled and my 3 and 1 year ol kids started screaming... Luckily teh sunshade was closed so no glass came inside the vehicle TG. So she calls Lexus dealership (Riverside, CA) right away and tehy say bring the car in- 40 miles later she gets to the dealership and tehy simply smerked and say yeah right! NOT happy she call Corp.- Corp. was cordial but said tat it would be a couple of days before they could say anything. Today Corp. says that tehy won't do anything about it. My wife asked based on waht and they said that they realy on what the dealership says- well if it has never happened to them or ever seen it I wouldn't belive it either- BUT it did happen and will continue to fight with Corp. to get this taken care of- So FAR Lexus is turning thier head- Insuranec will cover obviously but the principle of it happening and Lexus not beleiving a happy customer pisses me off- What if it happens again?? this time with teh sunshade open - belive me there will be lawyers knocking at my door to say teh least!!
  • greginazgreginaz Posts: 4
    Ours is a 2008 IS-250, my wife was going about 60 mph on a pretty hot day. Exactly the same thing. Contact Arrowhead Lexus in Phoenix, they paid all costs for it.
  • rocco1951rocco1951 Posts: 7
    Rear glass windshield ( not side windows ) exploded outward while driving 60 mph. No impact from above or any vehicle caused this. Toyota dealer referred replacement decision to Toyota Corp rep who inspected car and refused warranty claim. I asked Toyota Corp for arbitration hearing. One was scheduled but Toyota paid my repair bill from Safelite Auto Glass two weeks before hearing date. Arbitration procedure is outlined in the owner's manual. I had a similar situation for a suspension repair on my 2007 Toyota Tacoma truck. Dealer refused warranty claim but Toyota Corp paid my out of pocket expense-this time without a request for arbitration. Imagine what this would be like if Toyota was not having public relations problems !
  • Glad to hear that no one was hurt. Can you tell me which sunroof option you have?
  • 3reese3reese Posts: 1
    edited September 2010
    Our sunroom shattered 2 days ago, it was in the 80's outside, and myself, husband and 2.5 yr old were all in the car, ready to leave the store and we heard this huge BOOM. I thought someone lobbed a brick at the car, we both got out and our sunroom had shattered and there was a hole in the middle, but we've both looked and there is no rock, or anything that hit the window. Checking with the dealer today to see what the options are, we've only had the car for 6 weeks. :cry:
  • The sunroof on my 2010 RX350 blew. Dealer claimed to have never have heard of such a thing. I pitched a fit!!!! They said Lexus corporate would make a determination. I expcted "sorry" but they covered the entire repair. I have forward this forum to them.... Mine had a hole in the center with the glass pushing outward with thousands of stress fratcures in the glass.
  • tjj4tjj4 Posts: 1
    While driving down the highway the sunroof of my VW CC exploded upward. It sounded like a gun shot. Very loud and the entire glass shattered with pieces of glass flying up and out of the vehicle, as well as within the car.
  • I was very surprised to discover that my sun/moonroof glass seemed to explode unknown to me sometime in last 24-48 hours. The ambient temperatures have been 20-50F mostly in winter, some snow sinc e Christmas, no heat, no noted trauma to roof, maximum speed in Surburban driving 0-45 MPH, sunroof not opened since some months ago....and suddenly heard what sounded like gravel in roof, and when sunscreen indoor electric opener activated, I could see small rounded fractured glass shards from roof. When inspected from outside, appeared to have bubbled/exploded outward, sometime in last 1-2 days, unknown to me..I heard nothing while driving, was hit by nothing, and first sign of trouble was gravelly sound in roof of truck cab.....from glass shards..the outward bubbled fractured glass to the right of the midline, anteriorly with fragmented glass causing defect in about 15% of the roof. my auto insurance's glass warrenty pays for all minus a $100 deductable...awaiting for a reservation for their repair... Very Strange all of the other reports of this kind of incidence..seems not unique to any single brand or model....just happens...hmmmmmm
  • I like your explanation. We just had the sunroof on our 2007 CX-7 explode. There were no cars in front, behind, or passing us at the time. It was a cool day and we had just the normal heat on inside and had been driving around town for most of the day at moderate speeds. About 5 to 10 minutes before the explosion, we did here what sounded like a rock hitting glass as we were driving on the interstate at about 65 - 70 mph but we didn't see any damage to windshield or other glass at that point. We were startled by the loud noise. It sounded like a gun shot to us and I wondered if we'd been shot. I stopped just a block down the road to inspect the damage. There was a big hole in the sunroof glass and large chunks and chards of broken glass had been blown mainly into the back seat with finer pieces flying all over the two of us in the front. The remaining glass was broken and protruding upward as if pressure from inside the car blew it out. We immediately called our insurance company then took the car to the local Mazda dealer. The Service Manager said he'd never seen this type of sunroof explosion before. I took photos and left the car with the dealer for repair. There was no damage to frame or exterior of car that we noticed. Our insurance said this is 100% covered with no deductible.
  • Mine blew up yesterday. In traffic at low speed. No way anything hit it. I keep seeing people talk about cabin pressure being a possibility but it would blow your eardrums before it blew out a window. The other thing I've seen alot and even had the dealer suggest to me is that it might have been an electrical issue. When I asked for an explanation for how an electrical issue could blast out a sunroof their response was "well, we need to take a look at it before we can determine the cause" Then they act like I'm lying to them when I say nothing hit it. What possible reason woud I have for lying about something as stupid as this ? AND Lets say I had been doing 60 - 70 mph down the highway and a rock fell off a truck or something. It would have to be small enough for me to not see it but large enough to bust the glass AND hit it at an angle that would break it, which at that speed would be damn near impossible especially since it was closed. All that aside, We were doing 15-20 in traffic and everyone was too close toghether for anything to have bounced off the road. Early morning so the sun was not a factor. my best guess is somethings bad in the glass making or framing process. Just a theory though. Insurance claim. 100$ deductable. Weak.
  • I had it happen a while ago and have posted on this forum. I did some research and found documentation that this is a property of tempered glass. It is well known in the industry. One in every so many thousands units of glass that are produced have undetectable defects that cause the glass to explode. It can happen up to ten years after the glass has been manufactured. It is not limited to automotive applications. A friend of mine had it happen with a shower enclosure. He had just renovated his bathroom and fortunately was in another room when he heard what sounded like an explosion. The shower door shattered spontaneously - there was nobody in the room - and flew like shrapnel, damaging the newly installed woodwork.

    I have an architectural industry report on this, but there doesn't seem to be a way to include an attachment here. If anyone can figure that out, I'm happy to share it.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,076
    For a variety of reasons, we can't accept attachments within messages. However, if you have a link to the report and it's located somewhere online, you are welcome to post a link to it.


    Need help navigating? [email protected] - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

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  • fastpitch3fastpitch3 Posts: 1
    edited February 2011
    i had almost the same thing happen to my sunroof today. driving 65 mph when the sunroof exploded. sunroof was closed. when i stopped the deflector shield was up??? and the two side metal frames were no longer attached to glass. thank you for your post. hope i can get this paid for! is anyone else having problems out there????
  • We drove our car off the lot less than 24 hours ago. My husband was driving on the highway, normal speed. It was raining, about 50 degrees, so he had the sunshade closed. Heard a loud boom, opened the shade to find the moonroof basically gone, with shattered glass pointing upward. Drove immediately to the Dealership where all of the staff has never seen anything like it. The Chrysler Warranty Rep on site coincidentally. The Dealership kept the car, will fix the roof and areas of dented/scratched paint and immediately gave my husband a rental car at their expense. Very scary and thank god no one was hurt, luckily light traffic. So far the Dealership has been great.
  • Unfortunately, it's no longer available online. If you can figure out a way for me to share it, I'm happy to do so. I think this report answers most of the questions in this thread.

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