A class action lawsuit against Honda alleges a manufacturing defect in sunroofs and moonroofs of the 2015 to 2020 Honda and Acura vehicles.
Mary Tappana of Webb City, Mo., Darryl Roberts of Tacoma, Wash., and Dustin Fulcomer of Riverview, Fla., filed against American Honda Motor Co. Inc. on Nov. 18 alleging sunroofs and moonroofs in their vehicles “are prone to suddenly explode,” court documents state. The case will be judged in the central district of California where American Honda is headquartered.
Sometime around October 16, 2021, court documents state, with approximately 14,600 miles on the odometer, Tappana was driving her 2021 Honda Pilot when she heard “a loud booming sound and quickly realized that the sunroof on her vehicle had spontaneously exploded.” The explosion distracted Tappana, the lawsuit alleges, putting her and others on the road at risk. While still under warranty, Honda would not cover the $579 cost to replace the sunroof.
At approximately 69,000 miles, around Oct. 27, 2021, Roberts was driving his 2017 Honda Accord when he heard “a loud exploding sound.” The explosion of Roberts’ sunroof also distracted him from driving “and exposed him to the risk of a collision.” Honda refused to pay the $579 for a replacement sunroof.
On or about Dec. 10, 2020, with approximately 300 miles on the odometer of his 2019 Acura TLX, Fulcomer was driving when his sunroof exploded, distracted him from driving and exposed him to the risk of a collision. Under a three-year warranty, Maus Honda dealership refused to pay $1,300 to replace the sunroof.
“The Sunroof Defect creates serious danger for Vehicle occupants and others on the road. Drivers of Class Vehicles have reported sunroof explosions causing shards of glass to fly through their vehicles, sometimes while driving at high speeds. The loud explosion and flying glass distract drivers and create a hazard to the people in the Class Vehicles and those around them,” the lawsuit alleges.
The lawsuit further alleges that Honda has refused to remedy the defect and related damage. “Honda’s representatives often have suggested to consumers that their sunroofs were damaged by a flying object such as a rock or gravel,” court documents state. However, the defect occurs even when the glass is not exposed to an airborne object.
“Honda’s use of thin, tempered glass to manufacture Sunroofs is substandard, dangerous, and inadequate because of the heightened risk of explosion from this material. Contaminants, such as nickel sulphide, within tempered glass render it vulnerable to shattering. Nickel sulphide crystals can change shape or size over time due to factors like changes in temperature. The unstable nickel sulphide deposit embedded within the glass stresses the panel and can eventually cause an explosion,” court documents state.
Documents also state Honda has been aware of the sunroof defect since 1995 when complaints began to be filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
One hundred or more class members have been identified as affected by the defect.