Sunroofs Can Explode While You’re Driving, With No Warning

For a while now, we’ve shared horror stories from people whose tempered glass shower doors exploded with no warning. while the glass is designed to break into small pieces inside the car and really freaking drivers and passengers out.

CBS Denver interviewed one woman who experienced this problem. She described what it’s like to be driving maybe 70 miles per hour on the highway, then having it rain glass. She heard a “pop,” then a loud crack, and then the sunroof of her Nissan Murano rained down on her.

“I really just thought what the heck, just what the heck,” she told CBS Denver. “How does this happen?”

It’s more common than you might think: a Denver repair shop says that it sees about one sunroof that has exploded for no reason every month. The laminated or tempered glass in sunroofs is strong, but can’t withstand a concentrated hit from something like a piece of gravel.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is looking into safety issues with sunroofs, beginning with Kia Sorento vehicles manufactured from 2011 to 2014. The agency has since expanded its investigation and requested information from four other manufacturers: Ford, Volkswagen, Hyundai, and Nissan. Yep, Nissan.

Hyundai recently recalled vehicles for a related and equally scary problem: vehicles’ sunroofs fly out of the car, a serious hazard to other motorists.

In the meantime, the vehicles haven’t been recalled, and Nissan declined to cover the replacement bill of over $1,300. The Nissan owner in Denver says that she’s nervous every time she hears a little creak in her car.

Denver Driver Experienced Exploding Sunroof [CBS Denver] (Warning: auto-play video)