Shattering Sunroofs Might be More Common than you Think


At least 859 complaints about exploding sunroofs have been filed in the past 22 years.

Consumer Reports recently conducted a study into exploding sunroofs, finding that the safety standards and regulatory oversight of sunroofs have not kept pace with dramatic size and design changes over recent years. The publication used data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Office of Defects Investigation’s vehicle owner complaint database from 1995 to September 2017 to determine the vehicles with the most complaints.

The list included at least 208 models of cars from 35 different automakers with the Scion tC being the most popular with 71 complaints. Hyundai topped automakers with 119 complaints, with Ford coming in second at 85 and Nissan in third with 82. Other vehicles that had frequent complaints include the Hyundai Veloster (54), Kia Sorento (43), Nissan Murano (28), and Kia Optima (25).

One of the biggest issues with shattering sunroofs is that consumers are left on their own to deal with it if it occurs. Consumer Reports found little consistency in how dealerships or automakers acknowledge or resolve the issue, or even worse, who should pay for it.

SEE ALSO: Hyundai Sonata Recalled for Sunroof Issue

Exploding sunroof complaints increased steadily from 1995 until 2013, when they spiked through 2015. Many of those complaints came from Kia and Hyundai owners, although complaints have declined since then.

If you’re interested in protecting yourself, Consumer Reports has published some tips including asking the dealer if a sunroof is made with laminated glass before you purchase a vehicle. In addition, you should ask about the vehicle’s warranty and specifically if it covers shattering sunroofs, and listen for warning signs such as popping sounds coming from the sunroof area.