Heads Up Danger: Shattering Sunroofs

Sunroofs are shattering across the country, injuring and scaring drivers. A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigation is underway to determine what’s responsible.

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Spontaneously Shattering Sunroofs Prompt Federal Investigation – ABC News

ABC World News
While waiting at a stop sign…all of a sudden we hear what sounded like a gunshot.  Wade Owens says his shattered while driving on the highway. “All the glass caves in…BOOM!  Plus, more stories online about drivers in shock. “My sunroof exploded in front of my eyes.”  Glass expert Mark Meshulam demonstrates what is it looks like when a sunroof shatters. Even pushing it down to simulate it falling on the driver. The cracks go at over 3,000 miles an hour so in an absolute instant this glass is completely broken. What’s going on?  Most are made of tempered glass for your safety breaking into smaller more rounded pieces instead of sharp dangerous shards but experts say that can lead to spontaneous shattering if there’s a manufacturing defect. The glass is constantly in tension and just like when you put a pin in a balloon it catastrophically breaks, the same thing happens with tempered glass.   “GMA Investigates” finding nearly 400 complaints in the national highway traffic safety administration’s database across all makes and models. NHTSA is telling us it’s reviewing the complaints and investigating certain Kia Sorentos. Kia is telling us it’s evaluating the performance of the panoramic sunroofs in the 2011 to 2013 vehicles but in their investigation have found only foreign objects such as rocks and gravel have been identified as the cause of sunroof breakage. Now, some auto safety experts are calling on NHTSA to create new safety standards for sunroofs. Like requiring them to be made of laminated glass like that used in windshields. Which when hit remain in place to protect the driver. You should not have to ride at risk worrying about whether your sunroof is going to explode over you.

For “Good Morning America,” Mara Schiavocampo, ABC News, New York.  > Read More – ABCNews


NHTSA Upgrades Investigation Into Shattering Kia Sorento Sunroofs – TheCarConnection

Back in October, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) opened an investigation into the 2011-2013 Kia Sorento after a string of complaints that the crossover’s sunroof imploded.
It doesn’t sound like things have gotten any better for the Georgia-built crossover. According to Automotive News, last year’s investigation has now been upgraded to an investigation for an engineering analysis, which it says is a “step in a process” that could eventually lead to a recall if the agency deems it necessary.

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Shattering Sunroofs: Audi Latest to Issue a Recall – NBCNews

Sunroofs are intended to give you a clear view of the heavens above without the hassle – or cost – of buying a convertible. But few owners are likely to anticipate the problems that have so far snared at least three automakers, according to reports on file with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Audi is the latest manufacturer to order a recall because the sunroofs on several models can unexpectedly shatter – creating not only a crisis in a rainstorm but also the risk of an accident, warns NHTSA.

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