Mercedes Sued for Allegedly ‘Defective’ Panoramic Sunroofs

A new class action lawsuit filed in Georgia alleges that the panoramic sunroofs on select Mercedes Benz models ranging from 2006 forward contain a “defect.” The plaintiffs allege that the panoramic sunroofs have a “propensity to shatter under normal driving conditions,” and that the vehicle manufacturer has “long known that its panoramic sunroofs are prone to unexpected and dangerous shattering.”

Filed on February 14, the complaint opens with a brief examination of panoramic sunroofs, with plaintiffs noting the engineering challenges that come with glass replacing sheet metal on the roof. According to the complaint, panoramic sunroofs add mass at the top of the vehicle, raise a vehicle’s center of gravity, and must maintain structural integrity through bumps, jolts and more.

“Mercedes has failed to satisfactorily meet the engineering challenges presented by panoramic sunroofs,” the plaintiffs’ complaint states. “Mercedes vehicles with panoramic sunroofs suffer from a design, manufacturing and/or materials defect whereby their panoramic sunroofs will spontaneously shatter under normal driving conditions creating a safety hazard for the vehicle occupants and surrounding traffic.”

Plaintiffs say drivers who have experienced shattering panoramic sunroofs liken the sound to a gunshot or a bomb, after which glass fragments “rain down upon the occupants of the vehicle.” Natalie Bolling, who brought the case individually and on behalf of those similarly situated, alleges she was driving on the highway when she heard what sounded like a shotgun blast in the vehicle. Bolling says the car then began to shake as air entered through the hole where the sunroof had been.

She then reports that the vehicle was taken to a Mercedes-Benz location for repairs, at which time a service department representative allegedly “admitted” that the situation had repeated itself on several occasions. According to the complaint, Mercedes would not cover the repairs, claiming that the sunroof shattered as a result of “outside influence.”

“Mercedes has known about the propensity of its panoramic sunroofs to spontaneously shatter for more than a decade,” plaintiffs allege. “As early as 2006, Mercedes received reports from consumers, NHSTA, and its own dealerships that its panoramic sunroofs were not withstanding the stresses created by ordinary driving conditions.”

The following vehicles are alleged to have the “defect,” according to the complaint:

– 2011-present C-Class

– 2014-present CLA-Class

– 2011-present E-Class

-2011-present GL-Class/GLS-Class1

-2011-present GLK-Class/GLC-Class2

-2012-present M-Class/GLE Class3

-2015-2017 Mercedes Maybach S-600

-2011-2012 R-Class

-2011-present S-Class

-2011-2019 SL-Class; and

-2013-2020 SLK-Class/SLC-Class.

The plaintiffs allege breach of express warranty, breach of implied warranty of merchantability, fraudulent concealment, unjust enrichment and more.

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4 Responses to Mercedes Sued for Allegedly ‘Defective’ Panoramic Sunroofs

  1. Semone Blackman says:

    Need some more information on this article I have a 2022 Mercedes GLE 350 (brand new from the factory)and the glass on front of my Panasonic roof just exploded as I was driving, no car was near me, nor anything came on contact with it. I took it immediately to the dealership where I got it from and they’re refusing to take responsibility.

  2. James Brown says:

    Mine exploded last week. I’ve been noticing all the reports online. An explosion and glass went into my eyes while I was driving. Me fortunate for me, there was traffic and I wasn’t traveling at a high rate of speed. This would have probably been a lot worse considering the explosion startles the hell out of you.

  3. S.A.Slamo says:

    We had a very similar, all-inclusive “spontaneously exploding panoramic sunroof” episode on our 2015 GLA First Edition 4matic…and State Farm will pay for it…but the kicker is the Manufacturer, MBZ USA and MBZ AG will not make the replacement pano roof nor will they have a vendor manufacture it…they say it’s back ordered! It’s been three months with our vehicle just sitting unused in our garage and now in our driveway with a tarp over the roof, not waterproof nor usable. We just want the manufacturer to MAKE the glass and we can have it installed by the dealer, but it is, how do they say it, NICHT! MBZ AG is out of compliance with federal law that states manufacturers must make parts for model cars they currently make for TEN years AFTER they stop making that model! There you have it.

  4. Frank Fanelli says:

    I have just experienced for the second time a shattered sunroof on my 2017 Mercedes GLE 450. This made me wonder so I got on the computer and see it is a problem. I am willing to testify in any case to resolve this matter. My SUV is stored in a garage every night and both times I walked out to get in my car and the sunroof had exploded overnight in the garage so nothing flew into it.

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