Sunroof explosion

klomp63

Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2005
Location
Bothell, WA
TDI
2013 passat TDI SEL
I was driving on a beautiful day with and heard a lot gunshot type noise and my roof blew out. The windows were up and the sunroof was closed when it happened. I was not near any traffic or overpasses.
I took it straight to the dealer (Chaplins VW) and they assessed and decided it was an outside influence. I contacted VW customer Care and after many phone calls they also decided not to cover under warranty.
Now probably heading to an insurance claim
Anyone have experience with the sunroof exploding for no apparent outside force

 

kulak

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2013
Location
FL
TDI
Passat NMS
I can't speak for Vw but Ford F-150s have a lot of rear window explosions that Ford routinely denies even though the widespread problem has been covered in news segments. Ford usually claims a rock went backwards and shattered the window while you were driving forward on the highway.

Hard to explain with simple equations of motion. I think it is also hard to explain your sunroof unless it was a bullet falling at terminal velocity.

You will have to push VW or make it a problem for them. Park in a prominent place at a large car show with vinyl magnetic lettering affixed saying warranty denied.
 

TDIEQNY

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2013
Location
East Quogue, NY
TDI
'13 Passat TDI SEL
Presumably, you have a giant hole in your roof where the glass used to be.

I'd have it fixed and continue to pursue VW via forums and an attorney if you feel that strongly.
 

smoav8r

Veteran Member
Joined
May 10, 2000
Location
Weston, FL
TDI
2000 Jetta Man (sold), 2013 Passat TDI 6M
Stuff happens. I had the inner pane of the bathroom window blow out with nobody even in the bathroom. Tempered glass was everywhere. Outside pane was completely intact.
 

JohnWilder

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 13, 2013
Location
Breckenridge, TX
TDI
2003 Jetta 5 spd manual
How fast were you driving? With your windows rolled up and driving fast you will develop a sizable amount of lift (the dynamic pressure on the outside of the roof is lower than the internal pressure). This is analogous to the life generated on an airplane wing. Did you have a head wind? The pressure differential may be low but over the area of the sun roof the total force may be substantial. This sounds like a design flaw to me.
 

VeeDubTDI

Wanderluster, Traveler, TDIClub Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 2, 2000
Location
Springfield, VA
TDI
‘18 Tesla Model 3D+, ‘14 Cadillac ELR, ‘13 Fiat 500e
It happens. If you Google "sunroof explode" you will find all kinds of incidents across a wide range of vehicle brands. Have your insurance company take care of that for you.

I have heard of a few panoramic sunroofs on the Sportwagens exploding, but this is the first Passat.
 

czeetah

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2014
Location
Mountains, NC
TDI
2014 Passat 6MT / Opera Red
Had a driver side window explode. 97 Nissan Pickup.

Was going from sea level-ish daytime hot to up a mtn climb thousands o feet night setting in cold.

I blame it on a weak stress point during manufacture or some such non-technical I don't know about glass term and temp change.
 

no-blue-screen

TDI Nut
Joined
Feb 9, 2006
Location
Maryland
TDI
TDI
It happens. If you Google "sunroof explode" you will find all kinds of incidents across a wide range of vehicle brands. Have your insurance company take care of that for you.

I have heard of a few panoramic sunroofs on the Sportwagens exploding, but this is the first Passat.
What VeeDubTDI said about sums up my thoughts. I am sorry this happened to you and I know I would be mad. I got an SE without a sunroof after owning many vehicles with a sunroof. My reasoning was that I don't like that glass over my head and a potential leaking problem down the road.

As was said this is the first I am hearing of this happening in a Passat....but my sister had the passenger side window blow out in her Jeep years ago with no apparent cause.

I doubt you will get anywhere with VW and would say it probably isn't worth your time. If it were me, I would either bite the bullet and pay for replacement (if I had the extra funds) or go through insurance.

I really wish there were something more I could say to make the incident easier to swallow for you but there isn't.
 

nord

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 5, 2010
Location
Southern Tier NY
TDI
All turned back to VW. Now a 2017 Hundai Tuscon. Not a single squalk in 10k miles.
That's what glass insurance is for. You pay for insurance. You also pay for representation as part of your policy. If your carrier decides to pursue the matter with VW, then all the better. But the bottom line should be that you don't have a big hole in your roof.
 

psd1

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2011
Location
OR
TDI
2006 Jetta 2013 Passat SE 6Man
So if you don't have a clue what happened why does it automatically become VW's fault?
 

tdiatlast

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Jan 21, 2009
Location
Fort Worth, Texas
TDI
2009 Sportwagen (boughtback); 2014 Passat TDI SEL (boughtback)
^^^Actually, the OP DID offer a clue. He said he "heard a lot gunshot type noise" before the sunroof blew out.
Maybe you gave them TMI? (How gunshot could strike your sunroof remains a mystery, though)
 

czeetah

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2014
Location
Mountains, NC
TDI
2014 Passat 6MT / Opera Red
One of the cases a lady got BMW to pay because some research dude showed that the chances of a rock hitting strong enough to break sunroof (with height, angle of sunroof, etc.) would be next to impossible unless a rock just fell from the sky out of nowhere.

Think about it. Windshields get the hardest rocks possible and when is the last time you heard of a rock just blowing a windshield up?

Now imagine the angles a rock would have to jump, and the way it would glance off the sunroof.

It just doesn't seem feasible.

But I'm not a physicist

And if so common -- how many times do you recall in your life getting a big ding on your car roof from a rock? Heck, or even the hood or trunk? If all the sudden rocks from no where are blowing up sunroofs I would think a good portion of us here would remember back when a big rock on the interstate put a fat dent on the trunk lid.
 
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Driver_found

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2005
Location
Phila
TDI
Former MKV Jetta TDI 5M, Former 2013 Passat TDI SE 6M, 2015 Mazda 6 Touring 6m
Had the rear window on my Audi 90 sport Q just go for no reason. Just parked.
 

VernK

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2012
Location
Kelowna
TDI
2012 Passat 2.5L Gas
The windshield is laminated, the sunroof tempered. Overseas, where tempered glass is allowed for windshields (or was, maybe they got sensible by now), it's not uncommon of windshield to dissolve from a big rock. They actually temper the glass in a pattern so that, when it explodes, there are bits you can still see through to get the car off the road safely.

Yours
Vern
 

MyAvocation

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Jun 9, 2004
Location
Hoffman Estates, IL
TDI
2017 Passat SEL TSI
That's what glass insurance is for. You pay for insurance. You also pay for representation as part of your policy. If your carrier decides to pursue the matter with VW, then all the better.
I doubt an insurance co. will bother to pursue VW in this case.
 
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