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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #51  
Old 03-29-2008, 06:02 PM
X5CLUB X5CLUB is offline
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X5 Sunroof Explosion

I have a 2005 X5 with the panoramic sunroof and I was driving on the interstate today at about 70mph. The internal temp was about 75 degrees and the external temp was about 73 degrees. All of a sudden I hear a loud BANG and the larger front sunroof was completely shattered. Pieces of glass fell into my car all over the place and on me. It scared the crap out of me. At the time of the "explosion", all of my windows including both sunroofs were closed. Some of the pieces also flew back and hit the car behind me.

This probably didnt have anything to do with it but earlier that morning I had driven through a carwash that has one of those very forceful blowers that is used to dry your car after the wash.

Exploding sunroofs are dangerous!!
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  #52  
Old 03-30-2008, 05:28 AM
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Yep, scary stuff.

X5Club,
I'd recommend you NOT mention the carwash bit to the insurance or dealer, whichever you use to get it fixed. While it certainly didn't have anything to do with it, both entities always look for loopholes, and they may try to pin it on that.

Amazing thread. I never would have guessed that sunroofs and windows on these cars would just explode spontaneously. Wow.
Even knowing this, I'd *still* be scared as hell if this happened to me...and I've got a 500 mile drive tomorrow.... Lol.
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  #53  
Old 01-09-2010, 09:57 AM
F01BMW750Li F01BMW750Li is offline
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BMW 750Li sunroof explosion

I recently purchased a new 2009 BMW 750Li. I purchased the car on Tuesday and when I drove off the lot the car only had 8 miles on it. On Thursday morning when I was driving the car on the interstate, the sunroof just blew out. I was going 75mph, however there was no cars around me, it was wide open road. The car is brand new, only 2 days old and now, it not only has a broken sunroof, but the paint in the rear of the vehicle is scratched and chipped from the flying glass. When I took it to BMW service, they told me it would not be covered under warranty and on top of that, there is only one spare sunroof in the whole world and its in Germany, meaning it will take sometime to get the new one installed. I am very disappointed with how my experience is going with this situation. I have read many post and descriptions of these "BMW sunroof explosions" and thoroughly believe this was a manufacturer error and they need to cover the repairs completely.
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  #54  
Old 01-09-2010, 10:23 AM
jbrovage jbrovage is offline
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Scary stuff. In Michigan, when i hear of this (happened to two of my friends) it's always on rural roads heading up north, and side windows. I suspect drunk or careless hunters.

I wonder if, due to the flush nature of the glass, there's a load on the glass from the surrounding roof. perhaps the car was in a prior accident, and the "squareness" of the opening for the panel was altered slightly?

I'd certainly rather have little bits of glass rain down on me than large, jagged pieces that could open someone up. Sounds like a necessary risk for safety glass. I've seen very minor bumps on rear windows causing the same thing. Wouldn't this be applicable for insurance to cover as comprehensive?
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  #55  
Old 01-13-2010, 01:52 PM
malex malex is offline
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sun roof exploded and blew out

I was traveling at about 75 miles an hour on the tollroad when there was a loud "explosion" sound. I pulled over in a rest stop and found that the sun roof had exploded upward, it was shaped like a volcano. Small pieces of glass had scratched the roof and the trunk roof. My BMW dealer said they had never heard of this happening. I have a 2008 528xi, 13,000.miles. The dealer replaced the sunfroof and buffed out all the little scratces. They covered it 100% as warranty work. This was pretty scary, there was no warning and the noise was tremendous...thankful I had the presence of mind to not lose control of the vehicle. On the dealer work order it stated "faulty glass."
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  #56  
Old 01-13-2010, 06:51 PM
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Just FYI: I just added no deductible glass coverage to my insurance policy: $40 per year. Well worth it, IMO. Of course, I did it AFTER I spent $400 on a new windshield . . .
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  #57  
Old 03-16-2010, 12:12 PM
sburns65 sburns65 is offline
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Exploding sunroof - in the middle of an empty carpark!

A couple of months ago, I was leaving work and was in the parking lot, when suddenly I heard a loud crack/bang noise that sounded like it was inside my X5. I stopped driving (was only doing about 5 mph) and looked around ... nothing. No cars near me or any people. I felt uneasy, but continued home. On my way, I could hear my sunroof cracking and felt sick. I only live 3 miles away, so I kept going. When I got home, I looked at the roof and saw a hole looked like it had originated from INSIDE the vehicle. When I called my husband, I described it as 'volcanic' looking. Because I live in Juneau, Alaska, and there are no BMW dealers here, we called BMW North America. After various phone calls between them and my husband, BMW agreed to ship my car down to Seattle and fix it under warranty, with the proviso that we would pay for shipping back to Juneau. We didn't really feel this was fair, since it seemed to be a fault with the car, but when you're in Juneau, you don't have lots of options. So we agreed. Then the fun started. Once the car got to the dealer, we were told that BMW would not pay for the cost of repairs and denied ever making that promise. Now they want to not only replace the glass, but the whole assembly - more than $3200 - and want us to pay half. Hmmm. If it's only the glass that's broken and there's no problem with the assembly, why do they need to replace it all at that huge expense. They say it's so they can ensure there's no glass left in the tracks, but it seems other people manage to change the the glass just fine. I only had my car for 10 days before this happened and the whole experience has left me very leery of BMW. We won't be bringing the car back to Juneau and I know we won't buy another Beemer again.
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  #58  
Old 03-16-2010, 05:43 PM
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Sounds like a tempering and curving problem to me possibly. When glass is tempered and curved, it goes through certain stresses if not done perfectly. Also, if the glass gets a scratch from the manufacturer or factory installer, according to ford, even an unseen scratch could cause it to shatter at a later date.

The new cars on here were likely sold with the problem originating from the factory, and there should be no denying that.

In one way, I can see bmw's side, and that is something could have happened at the dealer or with the owner, and they don't know about it, and figure the insurance and owner should deal with it. I suppose it would take persistance, pictures, letters and cool headed phone calls regarding this to get through to bmw and make them understand.
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  #59  
Old 03-30-2011, 02:14 PM
teewoodham teewoodham is offline
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My sunroof exploded today! I have a 2008 535i...

I was driving on the interstate at about 65 mph, no vehicles in front of me, no overpasses, no bumps in the road. It was raining and I was on the phone and not hands-free (I know, I know). All of my windows were up and the sunroof shade was open. It literally sounded like a gun went off in my car, and the person I was talking to on the phone asked if I had wrecked. The sunroof blew upward and pieces fell back in the car. The glass remaining in the frame looked like a volcanic crater because the glass was pushed upwards.

The car is CPO and still has some of the original warranty on it. My dealer told me to bring it in right away and gave me a loaner. The dealer is doing the right thing with the repair and is giving me excellent customer service. I'm a little concerned about the safety factor, but I was unharmed by the event.

This car is awesome... twin turbo, 300 hp, paddle shifters, sport suspension, etc... But I've had to have the key battery replaced, the car battery replaced, and now the sunroof replaced. What next?!?
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  #60  
Old 03-30-2011, 02:33 PM
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Great! Another item to add to the BMW general anxiety list.
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  #61  
Old 03-30-2011, 02:41 PM
jarhed1964 jarhed1964 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon S. View Post
I've been hanging around the BMW Service drive for the past
8 years, and I've never seen anything like that...

Did anyone get injured or cut from the glass?

Btw, didn't the first E39's (MY 1997) have steel sunroofs?
My 1997 has steel, the 99 has glass. I think they started adding glass in 1998 (based on the 98 528 that I'm regularly butchering parts from).
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  #62  
Old 03-30-2011, 02:50 PM
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I realize this is a thread from 2003 that was resurrected so I'll just point folks to the generic sunroof adjustment and diagnostic repair threads:

- How to repair & reset the sunroof (1) (2) (3) & how to fix sun roof rattles (1) & how to test & fix moonroof leaks (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) causing water on the front passenger carpet & how to remove the roof headliner (1) & how to free up a stuck open sunroof (1) (2)
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  #63  
Old 03-30-2011, 06:57 PM
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Last night I heard a massive ass knock on the sunroof area, but it's still there...... Maybe it's a sign of things to come

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  #64  
Old 03-30-2011, 07:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DominguesE30 View Post
Last night I heard a massive ass knock on the sunroof area, but it's still there...... Maybe it's a sign of things to come

Boooooom!



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Sounded like a major fart? Maybe it's sign from above??

mw
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  #65  
Old 03-30-2011, 07:18 PM
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MatWiz MatWiz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teewoodham View Post
My sunroof exploded today! I have a 2008 535i...

I was driving on the interstate at about 65 mph, no vehicles in front of me, no overpasses, no bumps in the road. It was raining and I was on the phone and not hands-free (I know, I know). All of my windows were up and the sunroof shade was open. It literally sounded like a gun went off in my car, and the person I was talking to on the phone asked if I had wrecked. The sunroof blew upward and pieces fell back in the car. The glass remaining in the frame looked like a volcanic crater because the glass was pushed upwards.

The car is CPO and still has some of the original warranty on it. My dealer told me to bring it in right away and gave me a loaner. The dealer is doing the right thing with the repair and is giving me excellent customer service. I'm a little concerned about the safety factor, but I was unharmed by the event.

This car is awesome... twin turbo, 300 hp, paddle shifters, sport suspension, etc... But I've had to have the key battery replaced, the car battery replaced, and now the sunroof replaced. What next?!?
535 twin turbo? You have the E60, not the E39. What year model do you have?

...oops, sorry. You have the 2008. That's the E60.

But that sun roof explosion, I have seen many pictures of that. It seem to happen to newer cars. If your car has been driving around for years and nothing happened, your sunroof is probably safe.

mw
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Last edited by MatWiz; 03-30-2011 at 07:21 PM.
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  #66  
Old 03-30-2011, 08:26 PM
Roy AT Roy AT is offline
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wow this is scary
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  #67  
Old 05-04-2011, 11:40 AM
kwayne48 kwayne48 is offline
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Smile

Same thing happened to me two weeks ago. I was driving my new (Less than a 1,000 miles old.) 328i XDrive about 65 mph on the interstate, heard a LOUD pop, and lots of air noise. I thought I had a catostrophic tire failure, but the car handled fine. Couldn't see that any window damage. I slid the sun roof cover back and the sun roof was gone. Took the car back to the dealership, where they gave me a loner car, and had my car fixed by the next afternoon, with no charge and a sincere appology.

Last edited by kwayne48; 05-04-2011 at 11:42 AM.
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  #68  
Old 11-26-2011, 03:48 PM
DrHarvey DrHarvey is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by surs73 View Post
I wanted to share with everyone the experience I had over the weekend and also to find out if it's happened to anyone else.

I was driving my 528i on vacation over the weekend when the sunroof, for lack of a better term, exploded and shot glass everywhere. I was going about 75mph, all the windows were up, the sunshade was pushed back to let light into the car when the sunroof glass just gave way. It sounded like a bomb went off inside the car. The hole was the size of a large dinner plate and the glass was mushroomed outward as if someone had kicked the glass out from the inside. No cars were around me and I can assure you no object struck the car. I pulled over and called roadside assistance who directed me to the nearest BMW dealer about 45 minutes away. I have spoken with both the dealer I bought the car from as well as the BMW center that repaired the car and they both said they've seen this happen a handfull of times over the past 5 or 6 years but only in 3 series cars. They said this was the first 5 series they have every seen this happen to. The car only has 17,000 miles on it and they are replacing the sunroof under warranty.

Has anyone heard of a similar incident happening to them?
I just had the same experience with my 328X i. I was driving along on the freeway and all of a sudden the glass roof exploded. Thank the Lord that he roof was closed from the inside or it very possibly could have killed My wife and I. When we stopped, we examined the roof to see if anyone hit it with a rock or something and we found nothing, just broken glass.
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  #69  
Old 03-20-2013, 06:23 PM
stu530xi stu530xi is offline
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Me too

Just did a search on 5 series touring sunroof explosions and came up with this forum, hard to believe this can happen and there hasn't been a law passed to strengthen sunroofs. I was doing 65mph today on a highway with plenty of snow / slush so driving was pretty average, oncoming truck passed about the same speed and boom, the sunroof completely exploded. Haven't had the chance to follow up with the dealer but how thankful I am the shade was closed and the kids were not in the back seat, what a mess especially in -10 Celsius weather. Pics attached. No rocks but a full length ski box, no way a rock could have done that especially when the glass has pushed upward and not inward. I am not surprised the roof is replaced without cost, think of the law suit if kids were shredded in the back. Makes me sick, and why hasn't anything been done about it such as laminating them?
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  #70  
Old 06-12-2013, 04:19 PM
justinestes21 justinestes21 is offline
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Another one bites the dust..

My 2012 X5 sunroof exploded today, just like everyone else's.. same noise, same pattern, etc.. Have an appointment at BMW of Bellevue next week. Keeping my fingers crossed that they'll cover it. The worst part is the major inconvenience of driving 2 hours each way to the nearest US dealership (only 24 miles from the dealer in Vancouver, B.C.). So, four hours driving to/from Seattle to drop the car off and four hours when I pick it up.. sucks
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  #71  
Old 06-12-2013, 11:15 PM
GreenTiger GreenTiger is offline
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Jeez, I always keep my roof tilted or a window open. Just a habit.
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  #72  
Old 06-13-2013, 12:10 AM
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You guys should report this stuff....it could bring about a recall, if there is a trend with specific models or years: https://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/ivoq/

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