Sunroofs provide a seductive connection to the outdoors. That makes it a desired feature for many car owners. However, a long-standing complaint about exploding sunroofs present a serious safety concern for some drivers and their passengers. Based on Consumer Reports (CR), anyone can be a victim of this phenomena. These accidents, have reportedly happened in economic as well as high end vehicles from all over the world. They have also occurred in every season, while the car is parked, traveling on country roads or on interstate highways. The unexpected shattering of glass overhead has resulted in injuries and dramatically increased the likelihood of wreck. Exploding sunroof injuries are more common than you think.Although recalls and stronger manufacturing standards have been slow in coming, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recognize the risk associated with exploding sunroofs. Following the investigation of hundreds of complaints about sunroof explosions one NHTSA experts suggests that the spontaneous shattering may be related to a manufacturing defect. The NHTSA have also validated and noted that if the sunroof breaks while the car is in use both driver and passengers are at risk of being injured. Despite the fact that this is a high risk, widespread problem, some dealers and auto manufacturers have failed to assume responsibility.
Complaints about sunroof explosions began in 1995 with a major spike occurring between 2013 through 2015. Sunroof explosions occurred in Models and brands such as Kia, Hyundai, Ford, Nissan, Toyota, Honda, Volkswagen, Cadillac and BMW. Finding answers for sunroof explosions have not been simple. Some experts believe the cause of this phenomena may be …
- An installation flaw.
- Imperfections in the glass.
- Rock or debris that hit the sunroof.
- Safety standards and regulatory oversight of sunroofs have been outpaced by design changes.
As glass expert Mark Meshulam told NBC, “Tempered glass can be like a ticking time bomb. There are little imperfections. They’re like little stones. If they happen to be inside the tempered glass, there’s a chance that down the road that little stone will grow sufficiently to actually spontaneously break the glass.” Meshulam also explain that because tempered glass shatters into hundreds of little pieces, f evidence is not preserved quickly, proving there was a flaw in the glass can be difficult.
But while automakers are scrambling to pinpoint an answer, the experience can be frightening and dangerous for motorists. Despite dozens of injury claims, most automakers are lax in treating the trend as a safety issue. In the meantime, dealers and automakers are skirting responsibility for these accidents and car owners are left with injuries, medical and car repair bills.
Ways to protect yourself and Evidence after a Sunroof Explosion
- Be sure your warranty covers manufacturing flaws and sunroof breakage.
- Check to see if your sunroof is made with laminated glass. Similar to a windshield, laminated glass is designed to remain in a single piece if it shatters.
- Find out if there have been any reported sunroof explosions for your vehicle and if your vehicle is subject to recall. This information maybe available on the NHTSA website.
- Ask your insurance company about coverage for incidents that aren’t covered by the car’s warranty.
- If your sunroof explodes, Meshulum suggest putting a piece of duct tape or clear strapping tape over glass that is still hanging after the incident. He advises that this must be done immediately before it collapse to preserve your evidence.
- If your sunroof shatters…
- Secure any evidence you can.
- Document all damage to your vehicle,
- File a complaint/report with the NHTSA or your respective national car safety agency, your dealer and or manufacturer.
- Verify that the damage is covered under your policy or warranty.
If you were injured due to the sunroof explosion, call a qualified personal injury attorney to find out what your rights are. While the variables of every incident may be unique, sunroof explosions or shattering have been an ongoing issue. Whether or not the manufacture takes responsibility, they may be liable for failure to address an open and known defect in their product that cause the harm to you and your property. Call for a free consultation today at (561) 655-1990 or visit our website.
About Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath
Conveniently located in West Palm Beach for 27 years, Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath, LLP concentrates in Personal Injury, Wrongful death, Medical Malpractice, Product Liability and Auto accidents. At Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath, we specialize in helping victims and their families get fair compensation for injuries caused by the negligence or recklessness of others. Our main areas of practice include personal injury, wrongful death, auto accidents, product liability, medical malpractice, and premise liability. We provide each client with the highest quality representation from a top Florida accident and injury lawyer.
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