Exploding Sunroof Case Continues for Volkswagen

A lawsuit against Volkswagen Group of America (VW) will continue, as a California federal court judge ruled against VW’s motion to dismiss “certain claims” in the plaintiff’s second complaint. The judge also stated there is enough supporting evidence alleging the carmaker had prior knowledge about a defect that causes its sunroofs to explode spontaneously. The official announcement was made in court last month.

The original complaint was filed in 2017 against the German automotive company. It claimed certain models from VW had a defect in its sunroofs and that the company was aware of it. According to court documents, the models impacted included the Jetta, Golf and Passat. Rosaura Deras stated she leased a new Jetta in 2013, purchased it in 2016 and was driving normally when she heard “a loud boom” and noticed the sunroof had shattered.

“Ms. Deras noticed that there was a large hole in the center of her [sunroof], and the edges were pointing outward/upward indicating that the break came from the inside,” a portion of the complaint reads.

After the judge stated the plaintiffs did not have enough sufficient evidence to argue the vehicle maker was aware of the inherent defect to continue further court proceedings, the plaintiffs argued VW knew about its issues following a number of recalls made warning vehicle owners and preparing shop owners.

In response to the judge’s statement, the plaintiffs alleged VW was aware of the issues years prior through its involvement with a South Korean investigation that included the company’s panoramic sunroofs. The investigation concluded VW was allegedly aware and continued to sell the models that were at a higher risk of having the defect.

“In December 2012, KATRI, which is the South Korean government’s automotive safety and testing arm, launched an investigation into shattering sunroofs of numerous automotive manufacturers. Throughout KATRI’s investigation, VW and other manufacturers were kept apprised and KATRI ultimately concluded that the panoramic sunroofs were prone to spontaneous shattering. Over ensuing years, VW was notified and kept apprised of KATRI’s investigation through direct contact as well as through various trade organizations of which VW was a member. At a hearing in November 2013 before Korea’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport (MOLIT), KATRI presented its findings and allowed automakers to respond. Representatives from VW as well as other manufacturers were present at this meeting. According to KATRI, its investigation confirmed that the panoramic sunroofs are prone to shattering,” a portion of court documents reads.

The case continues March 20, 2019.

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11 Responses to Exploding Sunroof Case Continues for Volkswagen

  1. Pingback: Exploding Sunroof Case Continues for Volkswagen – The Shop Magazine

  2. Kristen Mingus says:

    This happened to me and my baby today on the freeway. Luckily we were not hurt but very, very scary.

    • Beverly Ortiz says:

      The same exact thing happened to me last night. I was driving at 65 mph and my sunroof just blew up out nowhere. It blew up upward/outward with no explanation. Shattered glass quickly fell inside, falling on myself, my
      puppy and my husband. Don’t know how to proceed with this incident. !

      • Cassandra Marvin says:

        This just happened to me! It was terrifying! I’m curious to know if anyone has pursued anything with Volkswagen???

  3. Angela says:

    Same thing happened to me last night on the interstate…I am out a $500 deductible to get it fixed.

  4. Carrie says:

    I just had this happen yesterday while my vehicle was parked. Thankfully I wasn’t driving when it happened but now I’m going to be out $750 for my deductible for something I don’t think I should have to pay for.

  5. Chris says:

    This exact thing happened to me last Friday with my 2019 Atlas. VW is taking no responsibility and like others have said, I don’t think I should have to pay a $500 to have this fixed. It is very clearly a known and ongoing issue with VW sunroofs.

  6. Mbongeni Domenic Smith says:

    Oh my word. Legit just suffered the same this morning while driving on the high way. Vw must answer to this. This could easily harm and/or kill.

  7. Lee Van Alstyne says:

    While driving on I25 northbound in Colorado my panoramic sunroof in my 2021 Atlas SEL shattered. Sounded like a Gun going off in the car. Glass went everywhere almost causing me to lose control of the car while traveling next to a large truck. The explosion blew the glass outward telling me that there was nothing that dropped on to the glass from above. Could not close the screen do to glass in the track. Had to get off the Highway and limp home so the remainder of the glass did not fall down on me. Very scary situation. Volkswagen needs to address this issue and pay for repairs. Will be contacting dealer in Greeley Colorado for repair advice.

  8. Umar says:

    This just happen to me with my family inside the car loud explosion on the roof outward. Took it to VW and said cost $2700 to replace!!! Warranty doesn’t cover glass. What if the new replaced explode do i need to spend another $2700. Atlas 2021 50k miles

  9. Dalilah says:

    This just happened to me in my Jetta 2022 gli. WHile parked in my garage! I closed the door and heard glass rain comin in towards the screen, which luckily was closed. Now vw quoted me a $2050 repair bill. What is going on?? Now what??

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