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Exploding sunroofs: Are you at risk?

On Behalf of | Feb 16, 2018 | Consumer Protection |

Many car buyers specifically look for vehicles with a sunroof. Sunroofs range from standard size to panoramic in size and provide increased sunlight and stunning views while enjoying a family road trip.

Unfortunately, there are numerous reports that these windows come with a surprising risk — explosion.

There has been a significant increase in the number of reports of sunroofs shattering spontaneously without any impact from a rock or other object.  The increase in reports is most likely related to car manufacturers designing vehicles with larger panoramic sunroofs and also curved glass in sunroofs.

A recent Consumer Reports investigation found almost 900 explosion incidents that included over 200 models within 35 different vehicle brands.  Vehicle models with the highest reports of sunroof explosion incidents included Scion tC, Hyundai Veloster, Kia Sorento, Nissan Murano and Ford Explorer.

A sunroof failure while driving is a serious safety concern. The explosion of a sunroof results in shards of glass falling down upon passengers, especially children in the back seat. The glass pieces can result in serious cuts to those in the vehicle. Another concern is that when a sunroof shatters, it is sudden and can be quite loud. The loud, unexpected noise from an exploding sunroof is a distraction to the driver and can lead to an accident.

    Unfortunately, automakers have been hesitant to admit the existence of the problem and often fail to cover the costly repairs under warranty.  Manufacturers should act reponsibly and cover repairs under warranty for exploding sunroofs and should also engineer vehicles in a way to minimize the risk of spontaneous sunroof failure.  If your sunroof exploded without any impact and the manufacturer refused to cover the damage, consider contacting a lemon law or car warranty attorney. An attorney experienced in lemon law and breach of warranty matters can provide guidance on whether the manufacturer should be liable for the repairs, damage or injuries from an exploding sunroof.

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