A defect in a motor vehicle that places drivers and passengers in danger is something one would think auto makers and safety agencies would deal with swiftly. This does not seem to be the case with reports of sunroofs spontaneously exploding in California and across the country, often while drivers are operating their vehicles at highway speeds. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has apparently kept records of reports of exploding sunroofs for five years, but no action concerning this auto defect has been taken on the federal level.
Since the first reports came to the attention of the NHTSA, the agency has logged over 900 incidents of exploding sunroofs. Car owners relate similar experiences of driving along, hearing a sound like a shotgun overhead and feeling chunks of glass raining down over them. Numerous injuries resulted, though none fatal, according to reports. However, safety advocates warn that the situation is a tragedy waiting to happen if a driver traveling over 60 mph suddenly cannot see because his eyes are full of glass.
The problem is not limited to a single manufacturer, make or model. Shockingly, car makers appear to know of this defect, yet they and their dealers fail to alert consumers. Manufacturers suspect tempered glass combined with a ceramic coating may compromise the integrity of the sunroofs, and an overly tight installation may build pressure in the vehicle. There is no action a driver can take to reduce the risk.
Drivers and car owners in California love their sunroofs, and with good reason. However, the danger of a spontaneous explosion seems to be growing, with reports of this auto defect coming more rapidly in recent months. While only a small number of companies have issued recalls, some consumers are seeking justice through the civil courts. Those with questions about their own circumstances can contact a consumer protection attorney for answers.