Hyundai’s Sunroofs Have a Propensity to Rattle and Explode

Panoramic Sunroof Problems

Panoramic sunroofs are the new hotness. They look great and provide a ton of natural light. But they also come with problems — reduced structural integrity, added complexity and noise, plus additional weight (glass is heavy).

When it comes to Hyundai’s offering I’m not sure which is worse — your shattered dreams, or the shattered glass that will inevitably rain down from above. You see, Hyundai’s panoramic sunroofs have a tendency to explode under normal driving conditions.

Lawsuit for Exploding Panoramic Sunroofs

In 2016 a class-action lawsuit was filed against Hyundai over concerns with their giant sunroofs. Specifically:

  1. The sunroofs darkened with a ceramic tint tend to shatter without warning
  2. Numerous complaints have been filed to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and
  3. Despite its awareness of the dangerous defect, Hyundai has done nothing to fix the problem or warn drivers about the risk

Despite its awareness of the danger, Hyundai to this day has not warned drivers about the risk of sunroof shattering, still sells the defective vehicles and denies that the defect exists even after owners experience the problem.

Hyundai did file for a motion to dismiss the case and while the judge agreed to drop most of the lawsuit, he did allow the plaintiff to amend the complaint on claims based on fraud. The case is pending.

“_The judge said the plaintiffs can move forward based on claims of fraud and can amend the complaint if they want the judge to reconsider violations of consumer protection laws and unjust enrichment.

Not the First Time

This isn’t the first time Hyundai’s sunroofs have been in the news.

Back in October 2012, NHTSA opened an investigation into complaints about shattering sunroofs in the Veloster. By the end of the year Hyundai agreed to recall the vehicles in question to replace their sunroofs. The automaker blamed the problem in glass that may have been damaged during installation at the factory.

A few months later, Hyundai expanded the recall to include additional Velosters but no other models were involved.

That doesn’t vibe with owners of other Hyundais experiencing similar problems. That includes the:

  • 2011-2015 Sonata
  • 2011-2015 Tucson
  • 2011-2015 Veloster
  • 2013-2015 Santa Fe
  • 2013-2015 Santa Fe Sport
  • 2013-2015 Elantra GT

Strange Noises From Above

Even the sunroofs that have managed to keep it together don’t exactly inspire confidence in the people sitting below them. Numerous owners have complained about strange noises from above. And this problem isn’t isolated to Hyundai.

“_Panoramic sunroofs introduce added complexity to a vehicle. Suddenly you’ve got two or more heavy glass panels; motors, channels and rollers for the sunshade; plus the main motor and sliding mechanism for the sunroof panel itself.

Aside from all being parts which could break or go wrong, they’re all positioned directly above your head, with the potential for a myriad of rattles, squeaks and flexing noises to develop and annoy the hell out of you as you drive along._ —

Fixing a Panoramic Sunroof’s Noise

Fixing the squeaks from a sunroof is a bit of a crapshoot. First, you need to find a mechanic willing to do it and that’s often difficult if they can’t replicate the issue during a short test drive. Second, if you do find someone to help you out it can be tricky isolating the source of the noise. Here’s a few tips from owners who have had success:

  • Lube it up: lubricate the dealers and the sunroof track itself
  • Tighten the bolts securing the sunroof crossbar
  • If all else fails, closing the shade can help mask the noise

TSB 13-BD-02

Hyundai has issued a technical service bulletin (TSB) in the past on how to treat panoramic sunroof noise:

“On some 2012-2013 Sonata (YF) and 2012 Sonata Hybrid (YF-HEV) vehicles with panoramic sunroof, a slight creaking or rattle noise in the roof may be heard. If the source of the noise is around the roof area on top of the B-pillar, follow the procedure outlined in this bulletin to eliminate the noise.”

This TSB recommends the dealership use acoustic felt and Loctite to secure the sunroof cross-members to stop the creaking.

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Hyundai Consumer Affairs

P.O. Box 20850 Fountain Valley CA 92728-0850