“Unexplained Explosion of Sunroofs Persists, Baffling Drivers Despite Federal Investigation Closure”

Drivers Still Complain of Exploding Sunroofs Despite Closure of Federal Investigation

Despite the closure of a federal investigation into exploding sunroofs, drivers across the country are still experiencing dangerous and costly incidents. While automakers have denied responsibility, frustrated drivers are left with few options other than expensive repairs.

The Rise of Exploding Sunroofs

Over the past several years, reports of exploding sunroofs have become more and more common. These incidents occur when a sunroof, typically made of tempered glass, shatters or explodes without warning. The result can be dangerous flying glass and expensive repairs for the vehicle owner.

In 2018, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) launched an investigation into the issue after receiving hundreds of complaints from frustrated drivers. The investigation covered vehicles from multiple automakers, including Hyundai, Kia, Nissan, and Toyota.

The Federal Investigation

After months of investigation, the NHTSA ultimately closed the case in late 2019 without any finding of a safety defect. The agency noted that “most incidents are a result of isolated manufacturing or installation issues,” rather than a widespread safety issue.

Automakers, including Hyundai and Kia, have also denied responsibility for the problem. In a statement to Consumer Reports, Hyundai stated that “sunroofs are not inherently more prone to breaking than any other piece of glass on the car.”

The Continued Problem

Despite the closure of the federal investigation and automaker denials, drivers are still experiencing exploding sunroofs at an alarming rate. Consumer Reports notes that it has received more than 300 complaints about the issue since the NHTSA closed its investigation.

One driver in California recently shared his experience with NBC News. While driving on a highway, he heard a loud explosion and looked up to see his sunroof shattering with glass flying into the car. The driver was not injured, but he was left with a costly repair bill.

What Can Drivers Do?

For drivers who experience an exploding sunroof, the options are limited. Even if the automaker denies responsibility, the repair costs can easily reach thousands of dollars. Insurance may cover some of the expense, but a high deductible can still leave the driver with a significant bill.

In some cases, drivers have turned to class-action lawsuits to seek compensation for their damages. Earlier this year, for example, Hyundai and Kia agreed to settle a lawsuit over allegedly defective sunroofs. The settlement covers certain vehicles from the 2010-2015 model years and includes free repairs and reimbursements for previous repairs.

For now, the problem of exploding sunroofs appears to be ongoing. While some automakers have introduced laminated glass sunroofs as a potential solution, these options can be more expensive and may not be widely available across all models. Until a definitive solution is found, drivers may continue to face the risk of dangerous and costly sunroof incidents.

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  1. Interesting report WSB-TV.
    I worked at a major auto glass company and, my furnace line made many makes & models of Sunroofs.
    I may have insight and more…

  2. Word of caution. Putting window tint on a sunroof will increase the likelihood of the glass exploding. Brand new cars often come with window tint from the dealer. A good window tinter will tell you about this risk. It is especially more likely in hot places like Texas. I have my panoramic sunroof tinted. Both cars. No problems. But, I was told of the risk by my tint guy. On the safe side, sunroofs are tempered glass, so the falling glass will be pea-sized pieces that will not cut you. You may have to change your underwear, but you won't have to go to the hospital.

  3. They are waiting for somebody die or a newborn get killed by the glass or something bad happened so they can do something about it like always 😮😢😮😢

  4. Just get it fixed and roll on heat rises and glass doesnt like to flex glass also doesnt like to be hit but who honestly knows what causes this more dont break then the ones that do

  5. Use a ceramic based wax on your sunroof, turtle wax makes an excellent one, you spray it on wipe it dry lasts a year….my 22 year old volvo with a sunroof has never had this happen…those manufacturers are trying to skimp on materials in all parts of cars, especially the new ones.

  6. It's almost like using glass as a roof is a bad idea. From the T tops to sunroof to targa tops they have always done this. Nothing new to all of you out there that are perplexed by this.

  7. Heat. Glass is a poor conductor of heat so heat is very slow to level out across a glass object. My wife placed a tempered Pyrex dish on a hot glass top stove unwittingly. I cracked in many pieces instantaneously. Tinted Sunroofs absorb heat, not just some of the light. A heat differential will take place between the upper surface and the a/c cooled interior. Car companies might be able to use high tech plexiglass. Like the "gorilla glass" on expensive cell phones. Or thicken the glass substantially, or have segmented sun roofs, sort of like a T roof. One glass over the driver, one over the passenger. Or not tint them, and if the sun is too bright the driver deploys the metal roof roof to slide over.

  8. Looks like more and more Car CEOs, Engineers, top-level executives making intelligent decisions under the influence of all sorts of drugs. Keep on smoking people.

  9. I do not need a greenhouse roof installed on my vehicle. I live in the southern part of the country. It gets hot down here.
    A vent is nice sometimes. But a vent could be a metal or fiberglass panel instead of glass.

  10. Seems the manufacturers could do a recall and add a layer of plastic to the bottom of the sunroofs. That would at least keep the glass pieces from raining down.

  11. See, I had a feeling about these sunroof. Even if heavy debris land on it, it will break because the roof made of glass.
    Would be better if the glass is the same made as the windshield

  12. You can hire an auto shop to cut a box square on top of your car roof and install thick clear plastic that can be fitted to still keep any leak of rain out. Better to fit it manually where you yourself have to slide it in and out like a window not automatic. Clear plastic exists and is probably safer.

  13. A stealth hover crafts hover low above cars and are cloaked invisible shield and are in New York FBI agency and United States and Europe daily . Jet fuel at 16 military bases and military bases have traitor embezzlement warrants in FBI agency received embezzled money paid by a terrorist for jet fuel in $400,000 a fuel up a day or week and fourteen years in military base stolen jet fuel. FBI agent Bob Mueller is aware of these traitors embezzlement and use lasers and magnets to cause car crash and death mostly. Murder warrants for these 8' tall albinos on Bob Mueller 's desk in Boston MA FBI agency many years and still no arrests. A black 7' tall is suspect breaking the moon roofs and crushing persons in hills and rock climbers recent.

  14. This happened to me in a brand new 2023 Toyota Avalon. I was driving and boom! It was not a panoramic sunroof, just a regular sunroof. When I filed a claim the body shop they sent me to said they get at least two spontaneous sunroof claims a week, and have had for years now. Sounds like more than 4000, but they may not be getting reported to NTSA.

  15. 2014 Lincoln MKT: sitting in the car while it was parked on a cloudy day. Huge blast, I get out expecting a huge bolder of something to be on top of my car. To my surprise, absolutely nothing. But my glass did not break in the middle. It had two large cracks going down both sides from front to back. Note: Panoramic moon roof as opposed to “sunroof”…