— The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is still trying to find out why Kia Sorento sunroofs allegedly explode for no apparent reason.
NHTSA originally opened its investigation in October, 2013, after receiving 15 complaints about exploding sunroofs in the Sorento, with 13 people claiming it occurred while driving. It's been seven months and NHTSA says 26 consumer complaints have now been submitted, along with reports of four injuries.
Kia says it knows of 123 reports of exploding sunroofs in the Sorento, 101 warranty and goodwill claims, and 14 reports of minor injuries from cuts and scratches.
Kia says the only thing that could cause the sunroof to explode is external objects striking the glass while the car is moving. Kia claims the Sorento sunroof is susceptible to rocks and other objects breaking the glass because the sunroof glass area is larger than many other vehicles.
NHTSA admits the sunroof is larger than most, but the government isn't buying Kia's explanation because many customers have complained their sunroofs exploded while the cars were parked. The flying road debris theory pretty much goes out the window when the car is parked. Additionally, owners say the glass exploded outward, not inward from an external object impact.
NHTSA is expanding the investigation to find out why the Kia Sorento sunroof explodes without the need for grenades or other explosives.
Kia shouldn't feel alone considering other automakers have experienced shattered sunroofs, including Hyundai which recalled the 2012 Veloster for the problem.
A previous investigation by CarComplaints.com found the problem is usually the glass itself, not necessarily how it was installed in the vehicle.