The National Highway Safety Traffic Administration’s is investigating 2011-2013 Kia Sorentos for possible “sunroof implosion” after receiving 15 complaints.
“Of those complaints, 13 occurred while the vehicle was in motion,” NHTSA officials write in online documents. “One injury was reported where the complainant suffered minor cuts from the shattered glass. The ODI (Office of Defect Investigation) has also received early warning field report data from the manufacturer regarding the alleged problem. Glass shattering while driving could distract the driver and the resulting glass particles could injure the occupants.”
ODI has opened the investigation. Approximately 64,117 models are impacted.
“My husband and I walked out of the house about noon today. The sunroof is shattered,” a consumer writes in a complaint filed about a 2011 Kia Sorento on April 21, 2013.
“While driving on a toll road at 65 mph, the sunroof violently exploded off the roof of the car. The sunroof was closed and fortunately, the sunroof shade was also closed which prevented most of the shattered glass from cutting my wife and I. … The car behind us was damaged by the glass flying off our roof,” according to another complaint filed on May 30, 2013 about a 2013 Kia Sorento.
In an additional complaint filed on October 5, 2012 about a 2013 Kia Sorento, a consumer writes, “The front portion of the panoramic sunroof on my Kia Sorento 2013 exploded while I was driving the car. I did not see anything coming toward the car that could have hit the sunroof. … I pulled over immediately and did not see anything on top of the car that would indicate it was hit by something. I had minor cuts and after clearing the glass, drove it right back to the dealer.”
So far, Kia has not issued a voluntary recall for the impacted models, but this could change as the investigation progresses.
Kia officials would not identify which company manufactured the sunroof.
“Kia Motors America has been evaluating the performance of its panoramic sunroof as part of ongoing vehicle monitoring activities conducted as a standard practice on all Kia models,” says James Hope, national manager of product communications.
“To date, the identified cause of investigated sunroof breakage has been debris impact or hail. Kia Motors will continue to research this issue and share the results of its research information with NHTSA,” he adds.