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Sunroofs exploding on certain models of cars

Bucking the trend of improving safety equipment on cars, an optional vehicle feature designed for aesthetics and enjoyment has become an increasing personal injury threat. Reports of exploding sunroofs have grown over the last few years.

Complaints to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have especially multiplied since 2011, according to this agency and Consumer Reports. There were 859 occurrences reported to the NTSB since 1995 and 71 percent of these cases were filed during the last six years. The reported explosions usually occurred within the first two years of the vehicle's life.

The greatest number of complaints involved Hyundai, with 119 cases since 1995. Ford had 85 and the Scion TC had 71. Hyundai, Ford, Nissan, Kia and Toyota were among the most reported manufacturers. In all, complaints have pertained to 208 car models and 35 brands. The only model under investigation by the NHTSA is the Kia Sorento, which has been cited in 43 claims.

The cause has been blamed on the greater size and area covered by sunroofs, which absorb excessive heat. This causes structural failures when the glass expands. Reportedly, vehicle manufacturers are aware of this defect but have not developed a remedy or corrected existing designs. Consumer demand for sunroofs had also been cited as contributing to this problem. More cars are equipped with sunroofs than ever before.

Victims of accidents caused by malfunctioning or defective products may be able to file a products liability lawsuit for compensation. An experienced attorney can help assure that fair and reasonable compensation is sought for injuries and other losses suffered in the accidents.

Source: The Drive, "Exploding Sunroofs Are a Real Problem, Report Finds," Caleb Jacobs, Oct. 12, 2017

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