Heads up, Nissan owners! That giant piece of glass above your head may soon be on its way down in a thousand little pieces.
There’s a lawsuit alleging that since 2007 all of Nissan’s factory-installed, tempered-glass sunroofs (panoramic or otherwise) can explode without warning.
It’s a bold claim, but there are reports of sunroof explosions to back it up.
An Industry Wide Problem?
So what’s going on?
For starters, there’s probably an uptick in sunroof complaints because there are more sunroofs than ever. It really used to be more of a luxury upgrade.
Not only do more cars have sunroofs, but many of the sunroofs are bigger. Nissan advertises their large sunroofs as panoramic which sounds really nice. The problem is, glass is heavy → large pieces of glass are really heavy → really heavy can affect MPGs → MPGs are king. So to offer a “panoramic sunroof” Nissan needs to use thinner glass.
Tempering is a thermal or chemical process that strengthens the glass and also makes it safer in the event the glass breaks. Instead of life-ending shards, when tempered glass breaks it breaks into small chunks.
But thin glass is more difficult to temper. In addition, when CarComplaints.com asked four top university engineering professors what makes sunroofs explode?, they said that imperfections in tempered glass will cause it to shatter under pressure. Considering cars are more airtight than ever, the pressure is really on.
The lawsuit against Nissan blames the automaker’s tempering process.
Automakers like to blame sunroof explosions on owners or random rocks (that somehow shatter the glass from inside). Here’s one reason they’re wrong.
OK, Now What?
Maybe you've experienced this problem. Maybe you're concerned you will soon. Whatever the reason, you can help make sure it gets the attention it deserves.
Below are a handful of steps you can take to make sure this problem gets the attention it needs.
File Your Complaint at CarComplaints.com
CarComplaints.com is a free site dedicated to uncovering problem trends and informing owners about potential issues with their cars. Major class action law firms use this data when researching cases.
Notify the Center for Auto Safety
The Center for Auto Safety (CAS) is a pro-consumer organization that researches auto safety issues & often compels the US government to do the right thing through lobbying & lawsuits.
Report a Safety Concern to NHTSA
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is the US agency with the authority to conduct vehicle defect investigations & force recalls. Their focus is on safety-related issues.
Spread the Word
Social media is all the rage these days. And for good reason – it can help spread a message quickly. So get out there and start spreading this page.