When mother-of-five, Heather Savage was driving her four-year-old Eli and her 15-year-old daughter Raquel who she just picked up from ballet class, a loud noise caused her to pull over her car.
“My heart was racing,” she says. “It’s not something you expect to happen when you’re driving.”
The Utah mother thought that she had blown a tire on their 2016 Nissan Pathfinder, but when she got out to take a look around, the tires seemed fine. Then she looked up and saw that the sunroof had exploded, shattering the glass pane into tiny shards of glass that landed on the sunroof's shade guard above her children's head.
“I feel really lucky that I had that shut at the time,” Savage says. “When I was looking at cars, I loved the sunroof, but I never imagined in a million years that would happen.”
While this might sounds like a freak occurrence, a Consumer Reports investigation found that these incidents happen in every month of the year, in every part of the country. It has happened on interstates, country roads and even while a car is parked in a driveway.
While sunroofs have become a popular upgrade in most vehicles, getting bigger and more extravagant, but not necessarily safer.
Although the issue of exploding sunroofs is known in the auto industry and to government regulators, drivers generally assume their sunroofs are safe.
While experts don't know exactly what is causing the glass to explode, one thing is for sure: The bigger the expanse of glass, the harder it is for manufacturers to ensure that it won't shatter.
So which are the brands that are most effected?