Explosions We Don’t Like: Exploding Sunroofs
Picture this: You’re out for a Sunday drive or running errands. You have the family with you. Then, with absolutely no warning, an explosion rocks the car and you’re being showered with glass. You just fell victim to a growing trend: Exploding sunroofs. Sounds like a great time right? No, it actually sounds like an absolutely horrible time. It was bad enough to have explosions going off when you at least somewhat expected them. Now you’re getting a dose of Iraq while cruising with your family. How about a big helping of oh hell no!
In 2007, there was not a single reported incident of catastrophic sunroof failure. By 2016, the number had climbed in excess of 110 and already at 103 in 2017. Exploding sunroofs? Seriously? Something is clearly wrong with our sunroof tech people. This belongs on a list of epic car fails!
The crazy part about the whole issue is that it isn’t just one car company that’s having problems. Variety is the spice of life as it seems no automaker is immune to the exploding sunroof epidemic. The cause of which seems to be the increase in the bends of the glass as the sunroofs become larger and more shaped to the body of the car. Such bending and shaping can present structural stressors to the glass which cause it to outright shatter instead of crack. There have even been reports of the glass shattering while driving down gravel roads because of the torsion on the frame of the vehicle. The tempering process that makes the glass much stronger against impacts makes it susceptible to extreme heat.
While the recalls of vehicles with such a high catastrophic number of sunroof failures does, in part, address the issue, it doesn’t change the fact that the glass is prone to break. Imagine your salesman telling you: “Here is your new vehicle with the same crappy glass.” Who wants that? Nobody! The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) suggests the need for increased safety standards regarding the sunroofs. We suggest checking your glass for any stress marks or anything abnormal that could lead to exploding sunroofs.