As if there were not enough auto defects consumers have to worry about, recent reports are coming in about randomly exploding sunroofs. Upwards of 400 complaints about self-shattering sunroofs have been filed so far, many of them with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). While it seems that the problem could be prevalent in numerous makes and models, a noticeable portion of the complaints include Nissan vehicles.
Federal investigators with the NHTSA are now looking into the problem, starting with 2011 to 2013 Kia Sorentos. When the sunroofs shatter without warning, it could potentially throw bits of glass down into the vehicle’s cab and pose a threat to passengers. In some instances, vehicles were not even in motion and did not have the engine running when the sunroof burst.
The strange behavior of the glass would indicate that it is a manufacturer’s defect. Glassmaking is a delicate process that requires absolute precision and an understanding of the fragile nature of glass. If automakers are cranking out hundreds of sunroofs a day without routinely checking for imperfections in the product and readjusting their assembly line machinery, it would make sense that defective glass would start to be installed regularly into vehicles.
Given enough time under the sun or enough jostling from bumps in the road, an imperfection in a sunroof’s glass could worsen all at once and instantly widen. The result is an “explosion” that shatters the entire thing.
Finding Help & Compensation
In at least one case, Nissan has reimbursed a driver that said the sunroof on her Pathfinder exploded like a bomb without warning or clear cause. However, the NHTSA has not called for any recalls yet, as it does not believe at this point that the shattering fiberglass of the typical sunroof could pose an “unreasonable risk to safety.” If someone has been hurt, it will be up to them to take matters into their own hands and create a lawsuit against the auto manufacturer.
The Gilbert Law Group® is the legal team you can trust if you need to make a lawsuit after an exploding sunroof harmed you or your family. Our auto defect lawyers are based in Denver but we have been there to support clients the country over. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation, during which we may be able to tell you how much your case is worth.