San Diegan says SUV sunroof spontaneously exploded

Posted at 6:12 PM, Jul 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-13 07:53:43-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A Bay Park driver says her Kia SUV’s sunroof spontaneously exploded this week. It’s reportedly been a problem that drivers nationwide have experienced.

“I am kind of nervous. Could it happen again?” says Stephanie, who declined to use her last name or show her face on on-camera. We met with her on Thursday, where she showed us the big chunks of shattered glass from the sunroof of her 2011 Sportage. She was inside her home at the time and reportedly did not see it happen, but claims the vehicle shows no evidence of vandalism and it does not appear that any objects fell on it. She also says that the alarm did not sound. When she came out of her house Wednesday to go to her car, she says she noticed the problem and then researched other claims about Kia’s sunroofs spontaneously exploding. 


With the help of ABC News in Phoenix, 10News obtained an interview with a couple claiming it happened to them last year. "All of a sudden it was just an explosion," says Travis Hawthorne. He and his wife say they were riding in their Sportage, when their sunroof shattered. "The first thought was the I-10 shooter with the shotgun," says Travis.


A class action lawsuit has now been filed against Kia, alleging that a defect in its panoramic sunroofs causes them to explode without warning, endangering everyone on the road. The law firm reports that hundreds of drivers across the nation have filed complaints with authorities.


Team 10 checked the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website which shows there’s an "open investigation" into spontaneous sunroof breakage for the 2011 to 2013 Kia Sorentos.


10News reached out to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for more information, but did not receive a response by air time.


On Thursday, a media representative with Kia sent 10News the following statement.


“Kia Motors America (KMA) is proud of its strong safety record and the integrity of our products, all of which comply with all federal government vehicle safety standards. KMA has been evaluating the performance of panoramic sunroofs as part of ongoing vehicle monitoring activities conducted as a standard practice on all models. KMA initiated discussions with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and has been cooperating with the agency throughout its Engineering Analysis (EA). In KMA’s investigations, to date, only foreign objects such as rocks and gravel have been identified as the cause of sunroof breakage, supporting the conclusion that the sunroof is appropriately designed and suffers from no defect trend. Kia will continue to thoroughly investigate and research all new information regarding this issue and share its findings with NHTSA. Owners are encouraged to contact Kia Consumer Affairs at 800-333-4542 with any questions or concerns related to this matter.”