When you’re buying a new car, chances are you’re mostly in the gas mileage and the car’s reliability. Still, having a sunroof is quite nice, too. The chance to get the wind in your hair without buying a convertible is a nice change of pace. Unfortunately, a recent string of incidents has put sunroofs in the spotlight—and not in a good way.
Believe it or not, your sunroof is at risk of exploding. A recent Consumer Reports investigation has shown that sunroof explosions are on the rise and occur each month across the country.
What Causes a Sunroof to Explode?
It’s unclear as to why a sunroof may randomly explode. The research team behind Consumer Reports’ study has a few ideas, though.
- Size: In recent years, sunroofs have grown in size. Originally, sunroofs were around six inches long, but some are twelve inches long these days. The greater surface area absorbs more sunlight and is more prone to warping or impact damage, especially with the thinner glass used today.
- Extreme Heat: The sunlight beating down upon t larger sunroofs causes the glass to shatter. Glass is tempered and shaped, but the increased size allows more heat to impact the surface area, increasing the risk of a mishap.
- Manufacturer Defects: Countless vehicle owners have filed incidents with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration because of exploding sunroofs. These reports indicate manufacturer defects in the materials.
What Is Being Done?
- Manufacturers are recalling vehicles with exploding sunroofs.
- Automakers are responding to complaints.
- Safety standards are being investigated and addressed to help reduce the risk of an exploding sunroof on modern vehicles.