Welcome to Bimmerfest -- The #1 Online Community for BMW related information! Please enjoy the discussion forums below and share your experiences with the 200,000 current, new and past BMW owners. The forums are broken out by car model and into other special interest sections such as BMW European Delivery and a special forum to voice your questions to the many BMW dealers on the site to assist our members!

Please follow the links below to help get you started!

Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 03-31-2003, 01:55 PM
surs73 surs73 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Atlanta
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5
Mein Auto: 528
Sunroof disaster

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?
Reply With Quote
Ads by Google
  #2  
Old 03-31-2003, 01:58 PM
Nick325xiT 5spd's Avatar
Nick325xiT 5spd Nick325xiT 5spd is offline
Registered User
Location: Bethesda, MD
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 10,861
Send a message via ICQ to Nick325xiT 5spd Send a message via AIM to Nick325xiT 5spd Send a message via Yahoo to Nick325xiT 5spd
Mein Auto: M3 & 323i/999 KP


Man... And I thought good reasons not to order the sunroof ended at headroom, weight, creaks and rattles.
__________________
2006 GMC Sierra 2500HD 4WD Duramax LBZ/Allison 6-speed
2002 BMW M3 Alpinwei▀/Black
1999 323i KP/GTS2 Alpinwei▀
1990 325is Brilliantrot/Tan
1989 325is S50B30US Alpinwei▀/Black
1989 M3 Alpinwei▀/Black S50B32 (321hp, ITBs)


Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 03-31-2003, 01:59 PM
Jon Shafer's Avatar
Jon Shafer Jon Shafer is offline
Admin Ľ Owner Ľ Enthusiast
Bimmerfest Founder
Location: Santa Barbara
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 14,216
Mein Auto: E92 M3 Cp
Re: Sunroof disaster

Quote:
Originally posted by surs73

Has anyone heard of a similar incident happening to them?

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?
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 03-31-2003, 01:59 PM
jzdinan540i jzdinan540i is offline
Location: Chicago
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 447
Send a message via AIM to jzdinan540i
Mein Auto: 2000 Dinan Stage 5 540/6
I have heard of it, but never saw it. Did you happen to have one of the roadfly guys sitting ***** LOL, you know what pressurized hot air can do hehehehe.

It goes up there with the cheese a mechanic I know found under the dash of a 5er late last year.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 03-31-2003, 02:06 PM
surs73 surs73 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Atlanta
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5
Mein Auto: 528
I was the only person in the car and I was not injured. The glass shattered mostly into thousands of tiny cubes with the exception of a 4inch by 4 inch section that landed near the shift lever.

The car is a MY2000. Prior to this incident, the glass had no visible stress cracks, nicks etc. The sunroof never squeeked or rattled and never gave any indication that it would fail in the manner it did.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 03-31-2003, 02:59 PM
┼gent99's Avatar
┼gent99 ┼gent99 is offline
Moderator, 5-Series
Location: Bay Area, CA
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 5,931
Mein Auto: Trek 6500 MTB
Wow...did you soil yourself?

I am sure I would have. Definate new one on me. At least now you know why they mandate tempered glass in cars!

I wonder if it was an air pressure thing or just a manufacturing flaw in the tempered glass and it couldn't handle the normal pressures.

Last edited by ┼gent99; 08-24-2006 at 07:40 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 03-26-2005, 01:16 AM
BimmerJustin BimmerJustin is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Scottsdale, A.Z.
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 22
Mein Auto: 02 325ci...03 Mini
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon
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?
HERE YOU GO...2003 MINI COOPER......







Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 03-26-2005, 03:23 AM
chivas's Avatar
chivas chivas is offline
You Lick It, You Own It
Location: Under The Bridge
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 14,424
Send a message via ICQ to chivas Send a message via AIM to chivas
Mein Auto: 98 540i/6
hearing this i think i'm going to have the tint shop put a clear film over the sunroof (on the inside) so if it does shatter the film would hold it in place.

never knew this could happen. odd.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 03-27-2005, 08:13 PM
tsbrown tsbrown is offline
Go Tigers!
Location: Derby City
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 241
Mein Auto: '11 M3 sedan
Quote:
Originally Posted by surs73
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.

...

Has anyone heard of a similar incident happening to them?
Not with a sunroof, but with the driver's side rear door window in my wife's X5 with my 2YO daughter next to the window.

Happened two summers ago when we were on the way to the beach in SC. Just leaving a small town about an hour from the beach, the window exploded behind me as we got up to ~55mph. Scared the crap outta me, but scared my daughter more. Fortunately, the manual side sunshade had been up so she didn't get any glass hitting her. There were little BB-sized bits of glass everywhere. Never figured out how it happened - no one around on an empty 2 lane road and no rocks or projectiles to be found amongst the broken glass. Needless to say, from now on we always travel with the rear sunshades up.
__________________

Bluegrass Bimmers
2011 E90 M3 Space Gray/Fox Red/6MT/PP/CWP/EDC/PDC/Sirius/Rear Sunshade

2005 330i ZHP (sold)
2001 X5 3.0 PP/auto (sold)
2000 528i Sport/PP/5MT (sold)
1998 528iA Premium (sold)
1997 740i (sold)
1993 318is (sold)
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 03-28-2005, 08:28 AM
MatWiz's Avatar
MatWiz MatWiz is offline
Psychology Reversalist
Location: NYC
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 15,808
Mein Auto: 528
Wow this is scary sh!t!

Did you happen to have the sound system volume cranked up to the max, with the bass all the way up too???
__________________
MatWiz
"Seeing is not believing. Believing is seeing." -Judy the Elf
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 03-28-2005, 05:39 PM
tsbrown tsbrown is offline
Go Tigers!
Location: Derby City
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 241
Mein Auto: '11 M3 sedan
Quote:
Originally Posted by MatWiz
Wow this is scary sh!t!

Did you happen to have the sound system volume cranked up to the max, with the bass all the way up too???
Yeah, cranked all the way up on the bass and I heard a very faint rumble typical of the stock non-DSP system
__________________

Bluegrass Bimmers
2011 E90 M3 Space Gray/Fox Red/6MT/PP/CWP/EDC/PDC/Sirius/Rear Sunshade

2005 330i ZHP (sold)
2001 X5 3.0 PP/auto (sold)
2000 528i Sport/PP/5MT (sold)
1998 528iA Premium (sold)
1997 740i (sold)
1993 318is (sold)
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 03-29-2005, 05:48 AM
BMW528i_Bilal BMW528i_Bilal is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Mississauga, Ontario
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 405
Mein Auto: 2000 BMW 528 i, BMW 318i
Wow, any motive as to what had caused the sunroof to crack? This is actually very scary, lets say if the sunroof cracked and shattered all over you while driving, and you wouln't be able to control the car and got into a collsion. I would ask BMW to do extended investigation as other BMW models could be affected. I have the same car as you and now i am worried, and will tell my BMW dealer about this story. THIS IS SOME SCARY SH!T ! Im glad you wern't injured, this could have been could have been a very tragic story.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 04-03-2005, 07:16 PM
c1540 c1540 is offline
Registered User
Location: rochester
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 23
Mein Auto: 540i
here is something from the trial about escorts having exploding glass to shed some light on this phenomenon:

"When tempered safety glass fractures it disintegrates into hundreds of small
granular fragments which have rounded or blunt edges. Such small bluntly-edged pieces
generally cause less injury than regular glass fragments. The tempering process creates
a tough "skin" on the surface of the glass which is referred to as the "compressive
surface." If the compressive surface of the glass is penetrated for any reason the window
will spontaneously fracture and disintegrate into hundreds of small pieces. All failures of tempered safety glass originate from penetration of one of the compressive surfaces on the glass.
Ford has received reports of spontaneous breakage of side windows of
vehicles parked in driveways, vehicles traveling on the road, vehicles passing each other,vehicles hitting potholes, vehicle doors slamming, vehicle windows breaking in car
washes, and other situations.
Ford's expert testified that the typical scenario for such spontaneous glass
breakages is that a small scratch or chip is inflicted on one of the window surfaces from
rock chips on the road, grit or sand lodged between the window and window seal, or
sharp objects coming in contact with the glass surface. Typically such scratches or chips
are not visible to the naked eye and, over time, the scratch or chip enlarges to the point
that it penetrates the compressive surface, although it is still too small to be noticeable.

Spontaneous glass breakage of tempered glass occurs on all models of vehicles regardless of manufacture and vehicle line. Ford's expert testified that even today there is no technology available to avoid occasional breakages of this type.
Both Ford's expert and Wise's expert testified that Ford experienced higher than
expected breakages of side windows on Ford Escorts produced between 1981 and 1987.
In mid-1985, Ford engineers investigated the problem and concluded that on some Ford
Escorts, the glass surface of the window could come into contact with the edge of a metal
bracket in the door frame when the window was rolled up tightly (highly torqued)
creating a scratch on the compressive surface of the window."

Last edited by c1540; 04-03-2005 at 07:21 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 04-03-2005, 07:36 PM
Jalli's Avatar
Jalli Jalli is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Evans, GA/Cornell University
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 712
Mein Auto: 11 X5 35i
Interesting.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 06-05-2006, 11:51 AM
mkosma mkosma is offline
Registered User
Location: Virginia
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 18
Mein Auto: not sure yet...
Any advice on how to get warranty coverage for this sort of probelm? I had this happen - spontaneous outward glass explosion - to my E39 over the weekend, but the dealer is saying it's not going to be covered under the new car warranty.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 06-05-2006, 01:30 PM
┼gent99's Avatar
┼gent99 ┼gent99 is offline
Moderator, 5-Series
Location: Bay Area, CA
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 5,931
Mein Auto: Trek 6500 MTB
Take it to BMWNA and see if they'll help you. What car do you have?
__________________
2001 530i/5 (E39), Topaz Blue/Stone Green/Black (118k miles) *very rare interior/exterior color combo*
2005 545i/SMG (E60), ED Order, Titanium Grey/Grey (lease over)
2015 335i, ED Order Summer 2015
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 06-06-2006, 05:52 AM
mkosma mkosma is offline
Registered User
Location: Virginia
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 18
Mein Auto: not sure yet...
Mine is a 2002 530i, purchased CPO a couple months ago but still under factory warranty. I have called BMWNA customer service, and they said they'd get back to me...
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 06-06-2006, 07:00 AM
surs73 surs73 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Atlanta
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5
Mein Auto: 528
I drove the car straight to a dealer after the incident (BMW of New Orleans) and they fixed it on the spot. I explained what happened and they never questioned me on it.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 06-06-2006, 09:47 AM
cagoguy's Avatar
cagoguy cagoguy is offline
Hawks RULE!
Location: Chicago, IL
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,167
Mein Auto: '07 e60 530iA
Wow- old thread, but recurring problem. A friend of mine had this happen in his 2005 Nissan Titan pickup. Although he had an aftermarket sunroof. Thought I'd mention it because the root cause was that the sunroof was installed too "tight". So any flexure in the roof/car caused too much pressure on the pane of glass and eventually a bump, shift, turn, etc caused it to "explode".

I'd question whether MKOSMA or SURS73 had used the sunroof recently prior to the problem? You would think if there was a fit problem causing pressure on the glass that it wouldn't seat right when closing.

Just my $0.02.

-Cago
__________________


2007 e60 530iA - Jet Black / Black Dakota - Premium - STEP - Cold - Sirius - 24k mi - CPO

2003 e39 530iA - SOLD @ 93k miles.
1997 e39 528iA - SOLD @ 145k miles.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 06-06-2006, 10:37 AM
mkosma mkosma is offline
Registered User
Location: Virginia
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 18
Mein Auto: not sure yet...
interesting. Was yours an E39? My dealer is looking for any ammunitiion to use on my behalf with BMWNA. Any chance you'd be willing to email me your serial number and the approx date of service? Perhaps they can give it to BMWNA to demonstrate that this is not an isolated incident, as they have claimed. If so, you can send to mkosma at gmail dot com.

mk
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 06-06-2006, 10:38 AM
mkosma mkosma is offline
Registered User
Location: Virginia
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 18
Mein Auto: not sure yet...
Indeed - I had used the sunroof Saturday morning, closed it when I parked in the driveway, and noticed the damage Sunday morning.
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 06-06-2006, 10:49 AM
cn90 cn90 is online now
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Omaha NE
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 12,834
Mein Auto: 1998 528i 5-sp 140K+
My home window tint serviceman

Quote:
Originally Posted by mkosma
Indeed - I had used the sunroof Saturday morning, closed it when I parked in the driveway, and noticed the damage Sunday morning.
has seen people applying tinting film on large windows at home and if the tinting film value is high (above 80% heat reflection), sometimes, the heat is reflected and "stay" in the glass, causing shattering of glass.

In the BMW, I guess it may be lower quality glass used in the sunroof.

Last edited by cn90; 06-06-2006 at 10:51 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 06-06-2006, 01:29 PM
mgianetto's Avatar
mgianetto mgianetto is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: West of Chicago
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 2,314
Send a message via Skype™ to mgianetto
Mein Auto: 2003 540 Sport
I wonder if having my car out in the sun during the day while at work will cause my car to explode. I don't keep my roof cracked open because the road, land surrounding the road in under distruction. And they are building around a 5 mile radius. VERY DUSTY OH when it rains.... MUD BATH

I don't want to have this happen.. any other options??
__________________
Go Blackhawks

DABEARS



I have learned that you shouldn't compare yourself to others..
they are more screwed up than you think.

RIP: 2000 540 Sport
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 06-06-2006, 01:58 PM
motion motion is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Newport Beach
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 265
Mein Auto: CLS55 / Gallardo / E46 M3
I haven't had this happen to any of my vehicles, but after speaking with my bra / tint guy, this does happen from time to time and is a major safety issue with tempered glass. Right now, I have safety film applied to my windshield and the side windows of my Gallardo and will be getting it for my 6. You guys should check them out here - www.premiermobilegroup.com. I believe they'll be getting my black G up on their gallery with the windshield and other coverings onto their gallery soon!
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 06-23-2006, 06:57 PM
Lois822 Lois822 is offline
Registered User
Location: Pa.
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 75
Mein Auto: 528
Slow down-bet you guys must have been popping the top with your head when you catch some air....just kidding.

I do remember years ago my friend bought a brand new chevy something and tried to pop up the sun roof at about 50 miles an hour and it took off. No one got hit but it sounded like a explosion also.

Makes you wonder though if they get weak from having them open part way or tilted up.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks


Forum Navigation
Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)
Today's Posts Search
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On



Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:06 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
© 2001-2011 performanceIX, Inc. All Rights Reserved .: guidelines .:. privacy .:. terms