NHTSA Recalls 2011 Outlander Sport Over Panoramic Glass Roof Issue
June 28, 2013

by Jenna Reed, jreed@glass.com

Mitsubishi is recalling certain 2011 Outlander Sport vehicles because the panoramic glass roof might not have been installed properly and could become detached, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

"A necessary primer may not have been applied to certain vehicles during the installation of the panoramic glass roof," John McElroy, senior general counsel for Mitsubishi Motors North America (MMNA), writes in a later to NHTSA. "Continued use of those vehicles without the primer could result in reduced glass roof adhesion, and in the worst case, detachment of the panoramic glass roof."

The 2011 Outlander Sport models were manufactured between August 26, 2010 and March 29, 2011.
The recall involves 2,802 vehicles in the U.S. and 379 in Puerto Rico.

"The percentage of vehicles that may experience the subject condition is unknown," McElroy writes to NHTSA.

In March 2011, Mitsubishi Motors Corp. (MMC) received a complaint from a customer outside the U.S. that the glass roof on one of these models became detached, according to the letter. The automaker then began an investigation.

"MMC completed its investigation in May 2011, determining that a total of 12 vehicles produced on July 15, 2010, may have been manufactured without the application of a necessary primer during installation of the panoramic glass roof. This error was the result of a temporary operator responsible that day for the primer application," McElroy writes in the letter.

On March 27, Mitsubishi reports that it changed the equipment used during the installation of the panoramic glass roof to "assure that the glass could not proceed to the next step without primer application."

"On May 9, 2011, MMC advised MMNA that the Outlander sport vehicles imported to the U.S. were not affected by this issue since U.S. specification Outlander Sports were not produced on the day this factory error occurred," McElroy says.

"Some 18 months later, in January 2013, MMC received a similar complaint from a different foreign country that the panoramic glass roof had detached from a vehicle manufactured outside the build date of the initial recall," he continues.
From February through May 2013, MMC conducted a further investigation.

"MMC determined that prior to the implementation of the production improvement on March 27, 2011, the primer application process may have been erroneously omitted on certain additional vehicles," McElroy writes.

"This was the result of additional factory operators being assigned to assist the primer application operator when two consecutive vehicles with the panoramic glass roof were run on the assembly line. The original primer operator, under the impression that the assigned additional operators had applied the primer, may have sent a glass without any primer to the next sealing process," he adds.

"On June 17, 2013, MMC decided that conducting a safety recall was necessary in Japan and other countries for all vehicles manufactured before the production improvement was implemented on March 27, 2011. Accordingly, MMC advised MMNA to conduct a safety recall in the U.S. for this condition, even though no related claims have been made in the U.S. market," McElroy writes in the letter to NHTSA.

The automaker's "remedy plan" calls for dealers to inspect to panoramic glass roof to determine if the primer was applied. If the primer was not applied, the glass will be removed and properly installed, according to the automaker.
The manufacturer of the sunroof was not named in NHTSA's report.

This story is an original story by AGRR™ magazine/glassBYTEs.com™. Subscribe to AGRR™ Magazine.
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