NHTSA Opens Investigation into Kia Sorentos for Possible “Sunroof Implosion”

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.

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7 Responses to NHTSA Opens Investigation into Kia Sorentos for Possible “Sunroof Implosion”

  1. angela hewat says:

    On Nov.23,2013 my friend and I were driving home in her 2011 Kia sorreto and bang the sunroof imploded.Glass every where thank god no one was coming at us or behind us cause it could have caused a major accident. Nothing hit the glass it was like a bomb went off. Kia needs to do a recall and get this fixed before someone is killed. Not funny and after this incident I know I won’t be buying a Kia of any sort. Thank god we are still alive

  2. Tom Guthrie says:

    On Feb.6 2014 I had just dropped my wife off at the airport, I was on the highway doing 65mph when I heard a explosion and looked in my rear view mirror and saw a dark cloud of broken glass flying behind me. The sun shade was closed and prevented most of the glass from entering the vehicle. The glass chipped the paint on the roof and the rear window shade. If anyone was behind me it could of been catastrophic. I called 911 and pulled to the side of the road, the officer and I could not find any cause for the breakage. I hope the NHSTA investigates this safety problem.

  3. Wilhelm Lombard says:

    I was driving on the Highway in Pretoria South-Africa. With a frightening bang, just as the other people explained, I also experience the hole in the middle of the glass. This is rare and I believe it is a manufacturers error. Please inform me about the progress of this issue.

  4. Monte Cooper says:

    Add us to this list. This morning, driving down the road, no other cars or people around and BOOM, the back sunroof glass of our 2013 Sorento shatters. No signs of anything hitting it and nothing found on the ground where it happened. We closed the shade to keep the glass from falling into the seat and now it’s off to the dealer we go. All these cases need to be filed with the NHTSA.

  5. Tim Lamb says:

    04/10/2014. Just had a sun roof failure on my 2013 KIA Sorento today, it went off like a bomb, unfortunately I had the curtain open, I was injured by the glass and taken to hospital by ambulance, 1 stitch to repair an arterial bleed and 5 stitches to close the wound. I was driving at just over 100 kph, in gusting winds just east of Ottawa, Ontario when the event happened.

  6. Pingback: NHTSA Upgrades Kia Sorento Investigation over Claims of Sunroof Breakage | glassBYTEs.com

  7. Stephen says:

    I just got a used 2013 Sorento Ex and I’m very concerned reading about the sunroof problem. How long does it take an investigation and something to be done about this. I always have some young and old people in the car and now I fear for their safety . I don’t want to be a statistic.

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