According to a recent Los Angeles Times’ story, Hyundai is recalling 13,500 Veloster 2012 model year coupe automobiles in the U.S. because their sunroofs can shatter and cause injuries to drivers and passengers. The problem may also occur in cars built by Kia, notes Hirsch.
According to Hyundai, no crashes due to the Veloster sunroof shattering have been reported yet, but some five people have incurred minor injuries and customer complaints have been reported. In October 2012, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) initiated an investigation into the problem which is believed to have been caused by a faulty manufacturing process which may have weakened the sunroof’s assembly or damaged the glass (Associated Press) at the factory.
Krystal Miller was driving a Kia Sorrento last October with her 13-month old daughter in the passenger seat heard a pop like a gunshot and the two immediately became inundated with shattered glass shards from the sunroof. Ms. Miller then felt a rod from the sunroof come down hard and hit her across the chest; she then swerved and nearly lost control of her car. Fortunately, Ms. Miller and her daughter were shaken but not seriously injured. She reported the incident to the California Highway Patrol office—Kia says her car was hit by an external object. Yet numerous complaints continue to be reported about Kia’s sunroofs shattering.
In January 2013, Hyundai will begin notifying owners and will inspect and perform necessary replacements of the sunroof glass. Hyundai is also recalling 4,300 additional Velosters with manual transmissions to fix a parking brake problem.