Feds Upgrade Probe Into 2011-'13 Kia Sorento for Shattering Sunroofs


  • 2013 Kia Sorento Picture

    2013 Kia Sorento Picture

    Federal safety regulators are looking into consumer complaints about shattering sunroofs in the 2011-'13 Kia Sorento. | May 16, 2014

Just the Facts:
  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it has upgraded an investigation into 65,347 2011-'13 Kia Sorento crossovers after consumer complaints that the sunroof may spontaneously shatter.
  • Federal safety regulators said there are 95 reports of shattered sunroofs.
  • "Kia advises that the Sorento sunroofs have a greater surface area than many other vehicles, potentially making them more susceptible to road debris strikes," NHTSA said.

WASHINGTON The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it has upgraded an investigation into 65,347 2011-'13 Kia Sorento crossovers after consumer complaints that the sunroof may spontaneously shatter.

Federal safety regulators said there are 95 reports of shattered sunroofs. The number is based on complaints filed with NHTSA and those reported by Kia. There are 18 reports of minor cuts and scratches, but no crashes.

NHTSA opened an investigation into the complaints last October, noting: "The majority of these claims occurred while the vehicle was in motion."

It added: "Glass shattering while driving may distract the driver, and the resulting glass particles which enter the passenger compartment may injure occupants."

Kia said it identified only one potential cause for sunroof breakage: external impacts from rocks or other foreign objects encountered while the vehicle was in motion.

"Kia advises that the Sorento sunroofs have a greater surface area than many other vehicles, potentially making them more susceptible to road debris strikes," NHTSA said.
"While (NHTSA) recognizes that the Sorento may be more at risk due to its larger impact area, the rate of reported incidents is concerning. Thus, the investigation has been upgraded to further analyze the scope, frequency and consequence of these failures."

When asked by Edmunds to comment on the upgraded investigation, Kia Motors America spokesman James Hope, responded: "To date, only debris and hail have been identified as the cause of sunroof breakage in product investigations, supporting the conclusion that the sunroof is appropriately designed and suffers from no defect trend. KMA will continue to thoroughly investigate and research this issue and will continue to share its findings with NHTSA."

Hope said Sorento owners are encouraged to contact Kia Consumer Affairs at 800-333-4542 with any questions or concerns related to this matter.

Edmunds says: The 2011-'13 Kia Sorento has not been recalled at this point. If the glass in your Sorento's sunroof shatters, take it into the dealership immediately.

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