If the car you drive has a sunroof, you might need to fear it shattering as you drive down the road – or even as it sits in your driveway.
Consumer Reports issued a new warning Oct. 12 regarding a rising trend in exploding, shattering sunroofs in vehicles at all times of the year.
Shattered sunroofs have been reported in at least 208 models of vehicles from 35 different brands over more than 20 years in the U.S., as Consumer Reports found in a complaint database organized by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Since 1995, 895 shattered sunroofs have been filed by American drivers, with 71 percent of those reports occurring since 2011. Most of those complaints were in vehicles made by Hyundai, Ford, Nissan, Kia and Toyota.
The Scion tC, Hyundai Veloster, Kia Sorento, Nissan Murano and Kia Optima were the most-cited models. The Sorento is the only car currently under investigation by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, according to Consumer Reports.
“These incidents have happened in every month of the year in every part of the country, in vehicles from all over the world; they have occurred on interstates, on country roads, and even while parked in driveways,” the report states.
At least 36 people have reported an injury from the exploding sunroof, mostly cuts and scrapes.
“The odds of this happening to you are low, but when a vehicle’s sunroof does shatter, consumers are often left on their own to deal with it,” Consumer Reports said in the study.
The investigation found that there is no consensus on what is causing the glass to explode, but experts do agree that the bigger the span of glass, the harder it is to prevent it from shattering.
“Our investigation has found that, with a few exceptions, automakers are not acknowledging or resolving the issue,” the report states. “It’s also clear that the safety standards and regulatory oversight of sunroofs have not kept pace with those dramatic size and design changes and that more needs to be done to guarantee they are safe.”