NHTSA Probing 2012 Hyundai Veloster for Shattering Sunroofs

By Jacob Brown | October 05, 2012
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened a probe investigating the 2012 Hyundai Veloster for a sunroof that can shatter without warning. Available on the Hyundai Veloster is a panoramic sunroof that covers the entire roof, an alleged weak spot in the Hyundai Veloster's design. According to initial reports filed with the NHTSA, 11 drivers have reported their sunroofs shattering. Seven of them said their cars were in motion when it happened, which could lead to a possible injury or accident.In an August 3 report, a driver filing a complaint with the NHTSA said, "I had shards of glass in the top of my head, back down the inside of my shirt, and the glass still hanging was flying off." Fortunately, the worst that has been reported has been with passengers incurring minor scratches. Other reports from owners on Hyundai Veloster forums online say that sunroofs cracked and exploded when their cars were parked. Both cases have been a source of headaches for owners with the sunroof glass not being explicitly covered in the warranty.
Hyundai spokesman Jim Trainor says the automaker is working with the NHTSA to find the root of the shattering glass problem. Hyundai has sold more than 18,000 Velosters in the U.S. with the panoramic sunroofs, and 11 vehicles isn't that statistically relevant. However, if the two parties conclude there is a design flaw, Hyundai could be forced to recall the hatchbacks. Now in its second model year, including a the more powerful 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo that recently debuted, the Hyundai Veloster has been a runaway success for the Korean automaker. It is not yet known whether or not 2013 models are affected. With an NHTSA probe now rearing its ugly head, it'll be interesting to see how Hyundai fixes the problem. We'll keep you updated as we find out more. Automotive.com's take: It is assumed that there are imperfections in the glass that could be causing the breakage, but we won't know that until the NHTSA concludes its investigation. Sources: Seattle Times, Veloster.org