Earlier This Year, An Exploding Sunroof Left a Driver in Shock

We accept a certain degree of danger whenever we step into a vehicle. Whether driving around the corner or a few hours away, we understand that there’s a chance of harm, no matter how slight. What we don’t expect, however, is that this harm will come right above our heads. Earlier this year in Orlando, Florida, Heath Martinson and his 83-year-old mother drove to their home in New Port Richey in their Honda Civic when their sunroof suddenly blew out. 

Thankfully, the exploding sunroof didn’t cause much damage to the driver as he was wearing glasses. Additionally, luckily the sunroof didn’t cause a crash. It was only when they returned home that the full extent of the damaged sunroof was seen. Naturally, Martinson was confused about how something like that could have happened. 

When speaking to a Honda representative, their response was, “There has been no identified defect in the moonroof glass of the 2020 Civic and certainly no service campaign or recall… The most likely cause is an object striking it or even prior damage finally cracking as the vehicle body flexes.” 

However, what happened to Heath Martinson doesn’t seem to be an isolated case. From 1995 to 2017, there have been 850 plus complaints regarding exploding sunroofs across 200 different models and 35 different manufacturers. Of these complaints, a total number of 36 people have been injured. Additionally, between 2004 and 2017, 1,250 people died after getting ejected through closed or opened sunroofs. 

Many individuals, organizations, and groups have been pushing NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) to create new rules for manufacturers so that problems like these don’t continue. In the meantime, however, the thought of an exploding sunroof or getting ejected through one is causing many drivers to never buy a vehicle with a sun or moonroof. 

For unaware drivers, however, suddenly facing an exploding sunroof can cause immediate damage and even result in car crashes. Following an incident like this, drivers have the right to file a claim against the manufacturer in question. Having a product liability on your side can greatly help. Trying to pursue a product liability claim on your own can be a complex process to navigate. Alongside gathering the right documentation, many insurance companies might be unwilling to communicate or offer an inadequate settlement. 

A lawyer can help by: 

  • Forcing the other party to negotiate by applying legal pressure 
  • Helping you clearly review and understand your case and rights
  • Determining which parties are responsible or should be held liable 
  • Helping you determine which direction you should take your case in
  • Providing you with clear guidance and answering any questions or concerns you have

While vehicles are much safer today and are held to a higher standard than in years past, manufacturing issues can occur. While it’s not always possible to prevent these manufacturing errors, receiving the necessary compensation and justice when they occur is possible. For a product liability lawyer in Orlando, FL, give David & Philpot, P.L. a call today