AS Inc/ShutterstockHaving a sunroof can be pretty cool. They seem to be more so in vogue in the car of the commoner nowadays, so there’s less of a need to excessively play with every single one you encounter in a limousine rented for a relative’s wedding. But, naturally, things get serious
And as of late, the reason for concern about the structural integrity of sunroofs has only been exacerbated. Reports of car sunroofs “exploding” have been popping up with greater frequency, and this can be a pretty big cause for concern because the incidents are happening in new cars.
According to Global News, there are certain cars that have been experiencing the freak structural failure more so than others; these are the models with the most incidents so far:
- Hyundai Santa Fe, 37
- Nissan Murano, 19
- BMW 3 Series, 13
- Kia Sorento, 10
- Mazda3, 9
- Toyota RAV4, 9
- Nissan Rogue, 9
- Ford Focus, 8
- Ford Edge, 6
- Hyundai Elantra, 6
Global News interviewed a head of research for a major glass repair company, who stated that the source of the issue might be contaminants in the glass. The contaminants cause the sunroofs to shatter entirely instead of cracking due to excessive internal stress often caused by high temperatures.
An employee of PPG, a major automotive glass company, said in an interview with Consumer Reports that the sunroofs are especially susceptible to damage over time because the panes twist and bend as the cars go over bumps, more so than side windows and windshields. This is happening with greater frequency now due to major changes in sunroof designs, as reported by Consumer Reports.
“ One problem is that modern designs are more three-dimensional and often involve bending glass to the curvature of the roof, notes Rob Vandal, senior director of research and development with Guardian Glass, a major American automotive glass supplier. That makes them more susceptible to impacts, even from very small objects, Vandal says, because they present a more vertical surface for an offending object to strike.”
In early 2013, KIA Sorentos from the model years 2011, 2012, and 2013, were recalled in Canada because “the sunroof can break due to external impacts, which can cause the sunroof crosspieces with some tempered glass attached to dislodge and drop into the passenger cabin onto occupants,” according to Transport Canada.
A lawsuit was brought against Hyundai in December of 2015 after Alabama resident Billy Glenn experienced two instances of a shattered sunroof on his 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport, according to glassBYTES.com. Most of the suit has been since dropped, but according to carcomplaints.com, the suit continued as of January 1st, 2017, on claims of fraud.