Family Sues Nissan due to Exploding Sunroofs
About the Lawsuit
On 12 February 2017, a California mom filed a lawsuit with the Solano County Superior Court of California, alleging that Nissan’s sunroofs exploded when exposed to higher temperatures. The lawsuit claims that Nissan was negligent and that Nissan failed to warn its customers of the ongoing defect.
What Prompted the Lawsuit
Janelle Horne, the plaintiff in the case, filed the lawsuit after the sunroof of her Infiniti QX80 exploded without warning while her four kids and husband were in the car with her. She further claims that glass shards covered her family.
Horne also alleges that the dealership attempted to cover-up the issues with the sunroof by claiming that it shattered due to a rock strike while on the highway. After threatening to “go public” with her story, Horne says the dealership agreed to fix the sunroof, but refused to fix other damage to the exterior of the car.
Cars Included in the Lawsuit
The lawsuit filed includes all Nissan and Infiniti-brand cars leased or sold within California with model years 2008 to present. To qualify, the car must have a factory-installed sunroof made of tempered glass. If other plaintiffs come forward, the lawsuit may become a class action against Nissan.
Why the Sunroofs Explode
According to the lawsuit, the sunroofs explode because Nissan uses thin glass in factory-standard sunroofs to reduce weight for improved fuel economy. To process this thin glass it is exposed to extreme heat and is then rapidly cooled during the tempering process. This procedure, though, creates a strain on the glass that can cause it to break. Thinner glass is more susceptible to shattering under these pressures.
As sunlight hits the sunroof glass, it heats the materials, adding to the strain from the tempering process and, in some cases, causing the glass to explode. By using, thin glass, Nissan increases the likelihood that the sunroof will explode.
Nissan’s History of Sunroof Problems
Many other consumers have complained of problems with Nissan sunroofs, although Nissan denies the problem. According to a local news investigation out of Chicago, though, Nissan has received almost 40 complaints of exploding sunroofs in its Murano and Pathfinder models.
Furthermore, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is currently investigating Nissan, and four other car manufacturers, for additional reports of sunroofs exploding.
Other Lawsuits Over Exploding Sunroofs
Hyundai, Kia, and Ford auto manufacturers are also currently being sued for exploding sunroofs. Meanwhile, nearly every other manufacturer is being investigated for potential class action lawsuits as the issues with sunroofs exploding are appearing to be industry-wide.
Potential Injuries from Exploding Sunroofs
All manner of injuries are possible anytime anything explodes within a car without warning. In the case of sunroofs exploding, the most likely injuries are minor cuts and abrasions. Facial lacerations are of the most concern in these cases, as they can cause scarring that forever impacts a person’s life.
Sacramento Auto Products Liability Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento products liability lawyer. If your sunroof has exploded while you were driving, please call me today at (916) 921-6400 for free, friendly advice, or call me toll free at (800) 404-5400.
I am a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. Trial attorneys in the forum have obtained multiple cases worth more than 1 Million Dollars.
Take a look at my Past Verdicts and Settlements page.