NHTSA Upgrades Investigation Into Shattering Kia Sorento Sunroofs

May 20, 2014

Back in October, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) opened an investigation into the 2011-2013 Kia Sorento after a string of complaints that the crossover's sunroof imploded.

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It doesn’t sound like things have gotten any better for the Georgia-built crossover. According to Automotive News, last year’s investigation has now been upgraded to an investigation for an engineering analysis, which it says is a “step in a process” that could eventually lead to a recall if the agency deems it necessary.

Between the NHTSA and Kia, there have been a total of 95 complaints about the sunroof shattering on the Sorento resulting in 18 injuries. That's up significantly from the 15 complaints and one injury that the NHTSA recorded when it opened the investigation last year. An additional 86 vehicles have received warranty repair for sunroof replacement. While this only represents a small number of the 65,347 Sorentos that are being investigated, the NHTSA’s Office of Defect Investigation says that the rate of reported incidents is “concerning.”

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So far, the only explanation for the breaking glass is from Kia, which says the only cause it has identified is due to the sunroof being struck by road debris while the vehicle is in motion. The automaker has found no evidence of a manufacturing defect, and points out that the Sorento’s sunroof has a greater surface area than other vehicles, making the glass panel a bigger target for road debris. 


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