VW sunroof issues may fall under lemon law

One of the benefits of living in California is the glorious sunshine year-round. Having a car with a sunroof is a must for many car owners who want to enjoy that sunshine, even when they are driving. However, some are taking advantage of the state's lemon law to seek redress for a defect in their sunroofs that has the potential to cause injuries and accidents.

Owners of Volkswagen models say the company did not warn them that the sunroofs in their vehicles may spontaneously shatter, often while motorists are driving. The drivers report that the sunroofs explode without warning with a loud "boom," and many liken the sound to a gunshot. Shards of glass then rain down over the occupants of the vehicle.

A lawsuit claims that VW failed to engineer the sunroofs so they would be properly attached and stabilized. The complaint also charges that VW has known about the engineering defect since at least 2009 when the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration began receiving reports of exploding sunroofs in certain models of the company's Jettas, Golfs, Passats and others. Additionally, VW's own testing revealed that the roofs tend to shatter when the car is driven over potholes, and the company issued a recall for one model.

The problem is apparently more far-reaching than one model. The plaintiffs report that VW denies the allegations of faulty engineering, saying the sunroofs must be shattering because of roadway objects striking them. However, the consumers say the windows are shattering from the inside, and some have burst while the vehicles were parked.

The lemon law in California protects consumers who purchase new vehicles with engineering defects. Because of the complexity of such laws, those who believe they have a lemon vehicle are encouraged to keep careful documentation of the issues with the car. The advice of an attorney may also help car owners know the best way to seek satisfaction.

Source: consumerist.com, "VW Drivers Claim Company Didn't Warn Them That Sunroofs May Spontaneously Explode", Mary Beth Quirk, Sept. 21, 2017