More than 400 complaints have been filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration regarding spontaneous sunroof breakage. Reporter Jim Donovan talked to folks who experienced the glass explosion while driving their cars. At first, many though a rock or piece of debris had hit their car, but inspections revealed this was not the case.
Some possible explanations?
- Cars are more air tight than ever, putting more pressure on the glass
- Although the glass meets safety standards, these days it is being manufactured to be lighter and thinner
- On hot days, heat can get trapped between the sunroof and a closed visor
Sunroofs are made out of tempered glass, designed to shatter into small pieces for safety. Any disturbance in this type of glass can cause shattering under pressure without warning. Such flaws can occur during manufacture or due to road debris.
Car repairman Mike Layton says he sees the problem often, repairing about 10 exploded sunroofs a month.
Steps to take for Sunroof Safety:
- Parked? Keep sun visor slightly open on hot days
- Not using your sunroof? Keep its visor closed
Damage costs in these situations aren’t typically covered by the manufacturer, so how can we avoid them?
Susan Lynch, a State Farm insurance agent in Federalsburg, says, according to State Farm Insurance, with high summer temperatures, the interior of a vehicle can surpass 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Interior surfaces in direct sunlight can surpass 195 degrees Fahrenheit. Keeping your vehicle cool is a must, and here’s how Susan says you can do just that:
- Park your car in the shade if possible
- Crack your window if it’s safe to equalize the air pressure
- Use a windshield sun protector