An exploding sunroof is a danger most people don’t consider when they purchase a car with a sunroof. But according to Consumer Reports, sunroof related accidents are more common than people think. Consumers have filed 859 complaints about exploding sunroofs with the federal government from 1995-2017. Most of these incidents occurred within the first two years of the car’s life. Shattered sunroofs were reported across 208 models representing 35 brands in the United States. In fact, Consumer Reports found that a sunroof has exploded in every month of the year in every part of the country in the years that data was taken. These explosions have occurred while cars were on highways, rural roads, and even while parked.
The number of complaints related to sunroofs increased significantly in the past five years. In 2013, consumer complaints more than doubled from 41 to 100. The complaints then doubled again to 187 in 2014. Any explosion in a moving car presents obvious safety concerns, but the large spike in sunroof explosions raises questions about sunroof technology and regulations.
A few automakers account for the majority of complaints about shattered sunroofs. These include Hyundai, Ford, Nissan, Kia and Toyota. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has been investigating the Kia Sorento for sunroof explosions since 2013. The Kia Sorento is one of the models with the highest number of complaints. The investigation has not issued any conclusions.
While the exact cause of the explosions is still uncertain, most experts agree that the larger the glass, the more likely it is to shatter. In general, sunroofs have grown in popularity and size in the past decade. Automakers have been reluctant to address the issue and regulatory standards have not evolved to respond to the dramatic changes in sunroof size and design.
Overall, the chances of getting injured from an exploding sunroof are low. The problem is that the owners of affected vehicles do not have much guidance in dealing with this issue. There is no protocol for dealers or automakers in repairing this problem. Consumer Reports has suggested that automakers with a history of exploding sunroofs issue a recall and that the industry voluntarily implement stronger safety standards.
If you or a member of your family was injured in an accident related to a defective part, contact Alexander Law Group, LLC. Our exceptional personal injury lawyers will be sure you get the maximum compensation possible. Call 888.777.1776, or contact us online.