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Exploding Sunroof - Kia Sorento

My sunroof literally exploded a few days ago on my brand new 2013 Kia Sorento. It sounded like a gunshot blast and the interior (including me) was completely covered in glass. I’ve had this car for less than 2 months and there was nothing unusual about driving conditions that day. This has to be a manufacturing defect in some way, waiting on Kia to confirm coverage under warranty. I’ve looked on the internet and found others have had this problem. It’s very dangerous and luckily I didn’t loose control of the car and only had a few small cuts. Is there somewhere that would have some stats on how frequently this happens? I’m concerned it could happen again! Attached is a picture of my roof after the explosion.

I suggest that you go to the website of NHTSA, and register a complaint regarding this as a potential safety hazard. On that same site, you will be able to see if others have registered the same complaint.

I sold my 1988 Accord to a friend when it turned 20.
A few months later while cruising on the highway a tractor trailer roared by and his driver’s side window exploded in a shower of glass.
Last year I picked up a drinking glass from the drying rack, still warm and wet from being washed.
It exploded in my hand and sent shards of glass at least 10 feet away.
Luckily none got in my eyes.

I think glass can sometimes harden with built in stress that can let go at any time.

I have to admit I always cringe a little when I go through a car wash on a very hot day and my sunroof goes from being almost too hot to lay your hand on it to nearly cold in a matter of seconds.

VCDriver - thanks for the great tip.
Re: Circuitsmith and Oblivion - Thanks for your responses as well.
I gotta believe there was a defect in the glass or installation. This doesn’t seem to happen frequently, and in my case, no extreme temperature variations on the day it happened, and the car is only 2 months old. I didn’t see, hear or find anything on the roof that would indicate something hit it. Just doesn’t make sense in the situation. Glass will break/explode when stressed, I have seen it with temperature changes in my kitchen when I forget a glass is code and put something hot in it. But the day this happened my car had been parked in a garage all day so wasn’t hot, and I was driving for about 10 minutes with the sunroof open when it happened and it was an 80 degree day. Hopefully will hear from Kia tomorrow.

It’s possible that the factory warranty will not cover this problem if the sunroof is an aftermarket add-on unit.
In a case like this the dealer should stand behind it so if any balking or anything of that nature surfaces you can bet it’s an add-on roof.

The same thing happened to a friend of mine with a ford edge. Unfortunately for him he was On vacation in Canada when it happened. This glass us tempered and sometimes the supplier just makes a bad sheet of glass.

the car is 2 mounths old somebody is going to pay for a new sun roof

This happens from time to time in cars. Not all glass is flawless (it’s not like they make the sunroof out of crystal) and so sometimes you’ll get exactly the right temperature variation or vibration that causes a microscopic flaw to suddenly become a macroscopic one. Just driving along can do it if the vibrations from the road are just right. As long as Kia replaces it for you (since it’s still under warranty) it’s not really anything to get upset about from a public safety standpoint.

Thanks for the comments. Kia did fix it under warranty which is good. Unfortunately they left glass shards rattling around in the roof cavity. So I’ll have to drop it off again. Not impressed with their level of detail in the service department, but at least there’s no gaping hole in my roof at this point.

Yeah - getting glass shards out of the nooks and crannies of a car is hard. I did it when someone busted my side window (and then stole nothing at all). Took me hours, and even then I’d still occasionally find a little piece of glass for about a year afterward.