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Consumers Union calls for better regulation of glass used in car sunroofs

Exploding sunroofs

(KUTV) Shattering sunroofs can be scary and dangerous, and an investigation by Consumer Reports found the issue is common and dates back decades.

Consumer Reports recently analyzed more than 20 years of data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and found shattered sunroofs reported in at least 208 models across 35 brands. The reports spiked in 2015.

David Friedman of Consumers Union, the policy and mobilization division of Consumer Reports, was acting administrator of NHTSA in 2014. He said, although it’s not clear exactly why this is happening, the evidence that it is happening is really clear. He would like to see automakers being more proactive recall these vehicles.

The NHTSA is currently only investigating the 2011 through 2013 Kia Sorento SUV over shattered sunroof reports, but Consumers Union says the investigation should be expanded.

"These sunroofs are shattering. NHTSA has more than enough evidence to consider this a safety defect. And they certainly shouldn’t wait for a fatality or an injury before forcing the car companies to act," Consumer Reports says. "When it comes to the glass itself, regulators can also call for different kinds of testing and adjust the standards as designs evolve. The regulations around sunroofs are clearly outdated. They were designed when they were a lot smaller. Today they are a lot bigger and sunroof regulation needs to catch up."

Consumer Reports says your sunroof or window shatter unexpectedly, take pictures and video with your phone immediately file a report with NHTSA at safercar.gov.

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