Having problems with the panoramic sunroof?
Sunroofs today have been replaced by significantly larger panoramic sunroofs which, quite obviously, require a lot more glass. Yes, modern vehicles must adhere to strict safety standards, such as rollover tests, so having a big piece of glass above passengers' heads is not something to worry about. But what about when it spontaneously shatters?
According to glassBytes, a couple from Washington state sued Ford because the panoramic sunroof in their 2013 Ford Escape suddenly and spontaneously shattered. Jessica Beaty was driving the vehicle at the time with her daughter in the back seat. Both were injured with scratches on their hands and faces from the falling glass. Jacob and Jessica Beaty's lawsuit alleges the automaker failed to address the issue of spontaneously shattering glass sunroofs whereas other automakers who offer the same feature have already done so by issuing recalls.
As the lawsuit states, a shattering sunroof is a driving hazard. Not only is the falling glass extremely dangerous, but it makes an alarming sound described by owners as sounding like a gunshot. Ford disagrees with the lawsuit and says that disclaimers and what's written in the warranty itself protect it from being liable.
Furthermore, Ford says the lawsuit exaggerates the tendency of these sunroofs to shatter. Ford claims the Beaty's were one of the first customers to purchase an Escape with the panoramic sunroof option and, therefore, it had no information at the time about any potential issues like this. And then there's this vital claim: Ford believes a rock hit the sunroof and didn't just spontaneously shatter in the first place.
The Beaty's clearly disagree: "Ford's suggestion that it satisfied any duty through warranty language stating its vehicles may 'chip, scratch, crack, or break' wholly misses the mark," a portion of the Beaty's filed response reads.
Another interesting point: this lawsuit was filed two years ago and the case's assigned federal judge has yet to issue a response. Meanwhile, the Beaty's continue to make allegations that Ford was aware of this defect while the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration was investigating it and other automakers beginning in 2012 over this very reason.