Toyota Nation Forum banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello Toyota forum. I just got off the phone with a Toyota representative and at some point in our discussion she made it clear to me she doesn't read the forums or blogs. Until she said that I didn't even think to look one up.

I currently own my third Toyota, the last two purchased new. And I'm sorry to say this will be my last one (and I still have two children that haven't started driving yet).

Last month my sunroof exploded, and when I say exploded I mean like a shot gun in my passenger seat exploded. It was dark, raining and the cover was open, so as it exploded and glass rained down on me, so did the rain and wind. Scared the crap out of me. I'm smart enough to know its impossible for something at the road level to hit the top of my car at enough force to shatter the glass, and there were no buildings or overpasses around, so I literally thought someone was up in the hills with a gun.

The entire thing cost me nearly 2 grand to rectify all out of pocket. And no this isn't an insurance issue, this is manufacture issue. The glass on the sunroofs are being made thinner with material that shatters easier than the older versions. Many manufacturers already own up to this. Many engineers have already proven this. So Toyota, you saved yourself 2 grand, but at the cost of a potential lifetime client.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
11,330 Posts
Hi: This can happen to any car regardless of manufacturer

Contrast in temp, very hot to quickly cool, can cause car glass to shatter, even sunroofs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Yes it can happen to any car. I so happen to own a Toyota, and Toyota has chosen to lose a customer.

As a matter of fact, the RAV4 is on the list of vehicles that this happens in excess with. Kia is currently battling this in court, and Canada's highway department has already conducted their own investigations.

And it's tempered glass. So what temp fluxes are required before the glass loudly explodes at an outward pressure? ....Not buying it.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
11,330 Posts
Yes it can happen to any car. I so happen to own a Toyota, and Toyota has chosen to lose a customer.

As a matter of fact, the RAV4 is on the list of vehicles that this happens in excess with. Kia is currently battling this in court, and Canada's highway department has already conducted their own investigations.

And it's tempered glass. So what temp fluxes are required before the glass loudly explodes at an outward pressure? ....Not buying it.

You'd be surprised. If the temp difference is great enough it can happen. This happened in my area a few summers ago, when it was a really hot day, and it quickly cooled due to rain.. The quick temp difference shattered a lot of car windows.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Coding changes for glass manufactures and the glazing industry started changing in 2012 and 2013 because of this very issue. They recommend laminate for overhead glass, and some manufacturing codes require it. The tempering process is extreme temperature fluxes, and a January early morning PNW weather was consistently cool and rainy for weeks. No fluxes.

Toyota knows they'll eventually lose this battle. They're just out to screw over as many as possible before their hand is forced.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,036 Posts
Any manufacturer will have the potential for the exact same thing to happen.

It absolutely is possible for some road debris to hit/bounce up over your car and shatter a window.

I had a "wing" window in my old 1990 2 door corolla shatter while driving. I also had a rock come over the top of an MR2, the T-Tops were off the car, just pass my head, miss me, miss the seat, and shattered the back window while driving on the freeway. The corolla window broke because a few days earlier I was using an impact gun on the C pillar seatbelt bolt (and it probably rattled or caused a mild crack/chip in the glass - then hitting just the right bump on the freeway cause the rest of the glass to shatter... and yes, it sounds like a "gun shot"). Either way - both failed because of external factors - exactly what happened with yours.

It isn't Toyota's fault that road debris or external factors broke a window. The only glass that's safety glass is the windshield.

If you don't like it - you can also have your windows (including sunroof) tinted with safety tint. Can still break, but it will keep it's form until it can be replaced.

I can understand how you're upset/angry, but it really isn't the manufacturers fault. It also isn't due to the fact that the car is a Toyota nor a Prius. Especially ANY car that is built to save on gas will have things that are made purposely to be lighter - less weight means less fuel needed. Throw in some heavy batteries and some serious trimming needs to take place. (As in - any small car, especially hybrid, regardless of manufacturer will have similar weight shavings).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
This wasn't road debri. Engineers have already determined the cause is manufacturer related. Hundreds of these have happened in the last several years.

Even if a rock had skipped up to my roof it is impossible to obtain enough force to make a tempered sunroof Explode like a shotgun. That's fact.

Toyota is choosing to ignore it publicly even though they have several engineers reports and even the Canadian gov reports.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,036 Posts
Even if a rock had skipped up to my roof it is impossible to obtain enough force to make a tempered sunroof Explode like a shotgun. That's fact.
How is that fact? If you're going to say "that's a fact" then provide the proof.

Tempered glass is simply that - tempered glass. It's the same material of all the windows in the car except for your windshield. All tempered glass in cars is 3-5mm thick.... tempered glass is far more resistant to breakage than normal glass, but when it does break, it goes out in style - "explode like a shotgun". It also depends on what the debris was that caused the breakage. You can hit it with a hammer and it probably won't break. Fling a small piece of ceramic at the pane, and it'll shatter.

If you want a sunroof in your car and you're concerned about it breaking, then get some break proof film.

Insurance would cover it under comprehensive. Your $2k out of pocket is either because:
1) you don't have comprehensive
2) your insurance tricked you into thinking it isn't covered
3) you are absolutely convinced that nothing other than "manufacturer defect" could be the problem, and insurance is now using that as a reason not to pay (when they would have if you had simply said "I don't know why").


When you google "exploding sunroof" yeah, sure, you get a lot of hits. Even mention of "hundreds" of complaints..... but, really...? hundreds? There's hundreds (probably thousands) of cars in my psuedo back woods community of 600 houses. There's hundreds of thousands of cars in the county, millions in the state. This includes Priuses.

If there was some huge problem with sunroofs exploding all over the country, especially a particular make/model, there would be more than "hundreds" of complaints. Some may be from defective glass, but it's the same as buying, say, a new starter and it being defective in a short period. Glass breakage is common and somewhat expensive (in relative terms) - and is why it's covered by insurance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
My out of pocket expense isn't for any of your reasons, but you seem to have that figured out so have at it.

I did my research, before even calling the insurance co. I checked out dockets, three different governmental car complaint sites, class action suits not yet in court and US required reporting traffic and accident figures and this is an issue.

I did the research. Do it yourself before blasting me.

I also reviewed engineers reports on the matter and looked into glass and types used vs specs used prior to 2011. If I'm going to stand up on a soap box I'm going to know my facts for and against my case.

But you have this all figured out too....

Just because manufacturers want lighter weight doesn't mean they have the right to risk our safety for it. Yes they're going lighter on sunroofs and particularly panoramic sunroofs ( your research didn't show this? Oh wait, you didn't research it). As a matter of fact, choosing light weight over safety and increasing breakage probability is the Reason they should be paying for this and changing the way they're manufactured. It Was Intentional.

The spike in incidences started in 2011 with knowledge of the manufacturers part in 2012 thru investigation. My car is a 2014. It would be different if it were prior to 2012, but they've been aware of this for years.

Not to mention leaving all the glass in my car and making me drive home sitting on glass was simply an a hole move. Not at all professional.
 

·
Registered
'12 Prius v
Joined
·
140 Posts
Stuff happens. Sometimes stuff happens and there really isn't any blame involved. You didn't have a $25k engine failure like folks I know with other car brands. You didn't have rust out within 2 years in a new car, I did .. twice. You didn't have the transmission fall out and see parts dropping to the ground out your rear window, I did. Your problem is, believe it or not, comparatively minor.

And you obviously had a good enough experience in prior ownership of the same brand to buy this one.

If you are going to change brands over one happening, good luck finding a better car.

(I hate sunroofs. Owned two without incident and probably didn't drive 2 miles with them open. I hate it that Toyota makes a sunroof mandatory if you want some other options including some safety related ones.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
What was that?? "My problems are bigger than your problems so shut up"

Wow

You're right. The guy that was burned so badly that he required multiple surgeries and grafts and will have lifelong issues from it shouldn't have sued or even complained because his "minor" issue wasn't as bad as having the wrong leg removed in surgery.

I'll retreat into my rock. Be satisfied that my "minor" issue won't be resolved. Be satisfied the next time your contacted for a recall that other "minor" issues will be covered for you through the hardship of hundreds of others that have experienced the issue.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,036 Posts
Just because manufacturers want lighter weight doesn't mean they have the right to risk our safety for it.
Manufacturers don't want it. You do.

This could get psuedo political.... but....

Most hybrid buyers are liberal - one of their major agendas is increasing CAFE standards to increase fuel mileage. To be "green", whether accurate or perceived. To increase sales of hybrid and electric vehicles and reduce "pollutants".

As a consumer, you don't want to buy the extremely well built/engineered hybrid/electric (Tesla) and/or you can't afford it. As a consumer, you are asking/demanding for higher fuel mileage and lower cost hybrid cars.

Hybrid systems are expensive. In order to meet CAFE standards, hybrid expectations, MPG expectations, AND a cost low enough to the consumer - something has to give.

It's why in a prius all of the interior is made from plastic. They advertise it as green by saying it's all made from recycled material (to make the buyer all warm and fuzzy about the environment) - but the fact of the matter is.... it's cheaper and lighter to make than a traditional thick 'cardboard' with rubber wrapped/leather wrapped add ons and pockets. The seats aren't as nice/comfortable/soft as what may be found in other vehicles - it's cheaper because they have to offset the cost of the hybrid system.

Same goes for the sunroof. If the standard thickness of automotive tempered glass is 3-5mm and - whoah, look at that, we were using 5mm and we can now use 3mm.... saving almost 1/2 the material cost and saving weight.... it's a win win for cost and MPG.

Hybrid battery systems are heavy. Weight offsets need to happen.

It isn't the manufacturers wanting this. It's buyers expecting more for less.


Here are sales figures, in thousands:
2011 197.4
2012 176.9
2013 145.2
2014 101.9
2015 43.7 (through July)

so that's a total of 563,200 Prius's sold since 2011, the supposed year where the "manufacturing defect" took place.

Lets go with a low figure and say 20% of the were sold with sunroofs.

So that's 112,640 Prius's sold since 2011 with sunroofs.

Per your claim "hundreds" have complained. Lets say not all are complaining and that's 10% of those who have been "impacted" (no pun intended). So, lets say 5,000.

Not all who have complained by any means are Prius, especially since there was a recall of aftermarket glass in the US - so lets say 25% (which is an exaggeration) are Prius's.

So, that puts the "defect" at about 1,250 cars.

That is literally 1% of the Prius vehicles with a sunroof sold since 2011. A 1% failure rate is not a manufacturing defect.

We are also talking about many that are 5 years old at this point. Since we are talking about glass here (which is an easily broken item - how often are you chucking little pebbles at the windows of your house and angry when they break?).... a 1% "failure" or really, replacement, rate.... is probably considered not bad at all.


Now you call yourself "Last Toyota" but really, if you were intelligent - it would be "Last Sunroof".... because Toyota has nothing to do with it. Every make/model someone online is complaining about their sunroof "exploding".

Lastly - if you were to go buy a car and they said "Well, the sunroofs are made thinner to save weight and costs.... We have a solution to make them less likely to burst - we've seen reports of about 1% have broken while driving. We offer a specialized film layer that can be added for an addition $750, and then we also offer a monthly insurance - so that if your sunroof were ever to burst, we would replace it. The replacement cost is usually $1500-2000, so the cost to replace isn't cheap. The monthly cost is an additional $15."

Would you buy the film and insurance?

Or would you brain go "99% chance it won't happen to me, $750 extra up front and an additional $900 over the course of 5 years is actually more expensive than a replacement cost... so, no I will not buy the 'extra protection'."

?
 

·
Registered
'12 Prius v
Joined
·
140 Posts
Didn't I read in a review of the 2016 Prius that the sunroof was now polycarbonate? The v starting in 2012 used it too. Saves 50% in weight.
 

·
Premium Member
06 HiHy,10 Prius
Joined
·
510 Posts
Last Toyota, what catches my attention is the cost... Why $2000? The solar panel equipped sliding glass panel lists for under $1000... why was the repair $2K? Although I haven't had one out, I cannot imagine the labor being $1000. Did they tell you why the cost was so high? I am also surprised at the reaction you received... at the dealer we used to call the customer service people "1-800-whinetoyota" because they always seemed to give away anything the customers complained about, so we were constantly replacing things under warranty that should never have been covered. Anyway, I'd love to hear that part of it....:confused:
 

·
MarylandPriusOwner
Joined
·
1 Posts
My sunroof exploded yesterday while stopped at a red light. It was very hot outside; but the interior was not uber cold (although AC was on). I thought a sniper was aiming a shotgun at me. Very alarming. I got out of the car and saw the whole sunroof shattered around the edges, one worse area above driver. It was completely buckled, so when I drove to the body shop today it began to collapse and fall on the highway. I sent an email to my toyota dealership to see if they would subsidize the repair; I learn the cost on Monday. I have a $1000 deductible but why is this just the cost of owning a car? Really? Looks like there are lawsuits with other car makers, why not Toyota? Not enough critical mass? The big hole in one photo is where the buckle fell off while I was driving to body shop. I do not believe this was road debris; I was still at a turn signal. The velocity of the explosion, if that's the term, was considerable. If it's the heat outside and the AC inside and manufacturers have known about this for years, why is there not a warning? I could have opened it a tiny bit, perhaps, and this would not have happened if I had known.
 

Attachments

1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top