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F10 / F11 (2011 - Current)
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  #1  
Old 08-19-2012, 03:22 PM
RBOZ RBOZ is offline
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Sunroof exploded

While driving down the highway on a weeknight after 6 pm in my 2011 535 xi, my sunroof decided to explode. In the rear view mirror I saw shards of glass flying behind me with the cars attempting to dodge the shrapnel. I had no idea what had happened. A very loud unfamiliar sound was coming from above my head. I pulled over from the fast lane which I had been travelling in (doing 70 mph) to the far right lane where more glass flew out from behind me. Lucky for me there was a town exit right away which I pulled into and stopped at the nearest hardware store. When I got out to find out what happened, I saw my sunroof had disappeared save for a 2" rim all the way around. It was still making a crinkling sound like frying bacon. Its a good thing that my interior sunroof cover was closed at the time or I would have experienced a glass shower. I went into the hardware store and purchased a 18" x 36" plexiglass sheet complete with 1 roll of sheating tape and 1 roll of duct tape. I spent an hour repairing the hole in my roof as I still had 2 1/2 hours of highway driving to get back home. My repair held up and I made arrangements to take it into the dealership the next day.
Naturally, I have been scouring the internet to find out any information I could about this type of event. I have found a lot of similar experiences from all over North America. The fight with the dealership is also a common theme. It seems as though most of the time the dealership does not cover anything with very few examples of people getting warranty coverage. I have already received my first phone call from the dealership saying that I should contact my insurance company, because they will charge different prices depending on who is paying for it (me or the insurance company). Obviously, warranty never came up. Right now I am waiting for the Service Manager to to return from vacation tomorrow. It;s too bad, I love my car but hate the way I have been treated. My car ahs also had the rear engine seal replace and transmission repaired, both covered under warranty. But I have not even had the car for a full year yet and it has had some major issues already. Di I just happen to get one of those cars that was finished on a Friday before a long weekend?
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  #2  
Old 08-19-2012, 03:32 PM
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markl53 markl53 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RBOZ View Post
My car has also had the rear engine seal replace and transmission repaired, both covered under warranty. But I have not even had the car for a full year yet and it has had some major issues already. Di I just happen to get one of those cars that was finished on a Friday before a long weekend?
Very sorry to hear of your experience. I don't think I've heard about a rear seal issue, this sounds more like the Porsche Boxster issue.
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  #3  
Old 08-19-2012, 03:38 PM
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The exploding sunroof has been reported in a lot of 3 series. A lot of different theories. At the end of the day this is not going to be covered by warranty.
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Old 08-19-2012, 03:49 PM
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Stealth.Pilot Stealth.Pilot is offline
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Interesting. I have my sunroof tinted which I would imagine would help hold it together in this type of situation. I've never heard of this before, but googling suggests it is not just a BMW problem - seems to happen on all brands.

http://townhall-talk.edmunds.com/direct/view/.f1291fc
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  #5  
Old 08-19-2012, 03:59 PM
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This was very common in E9x models a couple years ago. I remember vaguely that it had to do with chassis flex or something. BMW will probably not warranty it, and it will be up to your insurance to claim it.

That being said, I remember almost 10 years ago, a family friend bought a new E53 and was driving home. Same thing, except the Panoramic roof cover was open and him and his family had a glass shower.
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  #6  
Old 08-19-2012, 04:25 PM
ksqrd ksqrd is offline
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Exploding window

We had something similar happen several years ago in a Sienna minivan. The large left-side passenger window exploded, with my daughter in the adjacent seat. We could never find a projectile and the result was a shower of small fragments. Fortunately she nor our other three children in the van were injured and we also went straight to Lowe's and cut plexiglass to fit the van (as we were en route to Miami during a cross-country move). Our insurance covered it under comprehensive (not collision) coverage. We still have the plexiglass in the garage as a reminder of our adventurous move!
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  #7  
Old 08-19-2012, 04:29 PM
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Why wouldn't this be a warranty issue? It sounds like a defect to me. My dealer has addressed every issue that I have brought to them under the warranty.
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  #8  
Old 08-19-2012, 04:37 PM
The X Men The X Men is offline
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It took Audi 2 years to acknowledge the Q5's sunroof exploding problem and issue a recall, I wonder if BMW is using the same vendor.

http://forums.audiworld.com/showthread.php?t=2831299
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  #9  
Old 08-19-2012, 04:47 PM
ksqrd ksqrd is offline
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Originally Posted by dunderhi View Post
Why wouldn't this be a warranty issue? It sounds like a defect to me. My dealer has addressed every issue that I have brought to them under the warranty.
Certainly worth a shot but obviously hard to prove that something didn't hit it. We ended up going the insurance route because of a low deductible and rapid resolution.
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  #10  
Old 08-19-2012, 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by dunderhi View Post
Why wouldn't this be a warranty issue? It sounds like a defect to me. My dealer has addressed every issue that I have brought to them under the warranty.
Can't prove that it was a defect. They could say that something on the road hit it, causing it to shatter
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  #11  
Old 08-19-2012, 05:52 PM
jjsC6 jjsC6 is offline
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Originally Posted by TJPark01 View Post
The exploding sunroof has been reported in a lot of 3 series. A lot of different theories. At the end of the day this is not going to be covered by warranty.
I'm not arguing with you, but unless something flew up and hit it it has to be a warranty item. It's likely caused by some problem with too much tension on it from the frame. I would at least report it to the NHTSA as it is a safety hazard to anyone traveling behind you (just think if it were a motorcycle behind you). Corvette had a problem with the outer skin of the removable top of early C6's (the current generation) coming delaminated and flying off. The finally owned up to the problem and covered the fix.
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  #12  
Old 08-19-2012, 06:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjsC6 View Post
I'm not arguing with you, but unless something flew up and hit it it has to be a warranty item. It's likely caused by some problem with too much tension on it from the frame. I would at least report it to the NHTSA as it is a safety hazard to anyone traveling behind you (just think if it were a motorcycle behind you). Corvette had a problem with the outer skin of the removable top of early C6's (the current generation) coming delaminated and flying off. The finally owned up to the problem and covered the fix.
Or dropped from, such as an overpass... maybe even an aircraft.
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  #13  
Old 08-19-2012, 06:41 PM
bimy550 bimy550 is offline
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It's also happened to me.

3 months ago, my wife 2011 550i sunroof exploded when she was driving on freeway.
So I think this defective. BMW should look into this problem, I'll call BMW customer services tomorrow.

Last edited by bimy550; 08-19-2012 at 06:46 PM.
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  #14  
Old 08-19-2012, 07:24 PM
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Damn! That's pretty freaky and would be terrible! Fortunately you got out unscathed. Maybe it has to do with air pressure in cabin combined with chassis flex or something?
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  #15  
Old 08-19-2012, 07:49 PM
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markl53 markl53 is offline
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Think of the people driving behind you, the shattered glass causing plenty of paint and other glass damage -- lots of resultant insurance claims. Sometimes I think it might be better not to have a vanity plate, which might make it easier for someone to note your (my) license plate number to claim against.
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Last edited by markl53; 08-19-2012 at 07:51 PM.
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  #16  
Old 08-19-2012, 08:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RBOZ View Post
While driving down the highway on a weeknight after 6 pm in my 2011 535 xi, my sunroof decided to explode. In the rear view mirror I saw shards of glass flying behind me with the cars attempting to dodge the shrapnel. I had no idea what had happened. A very loud unfamiliar sound was coming from above my head. I pulled over from the fast lane which I had been travelling in (doing 70 mph) to the far right lane where more glass flew out from behind me. Lucky for me there was a town exit right away which I pulled into and stopped at the nearest hardware store. When I got out to find out what happened, I saw my sunroof had disappeared save for a 2" rim all the way around. It was still making a crinkling sound like frying bacon. Its a good thing that my interior sunroof cover was closed at the time or I would have experienced a glass shower. I went into the hardware store and purchased a 18" x 36" plexiglass sheet complete with 1 roll of sheating tape and 1 roll of duct tape. I spent an hour repairing the hole in my roof as I still had 2 1/2 hours of highway driving to get back home. My repair held up and I made arrangements to take it into the dealership the next day.
Naturally, I have been scouring the internet to find out any information I could about this type of event. I have found a lot of similar experiences from all over North America. The fight with the dealership is also a common theme. It seems as though most of the time the dealership does not cover anything with very few examples of people getting warranty coverage. I have already received my first phone call from the dealership saying that I should contact my insurance company, because they will charge different prices depending on who is paying for it (me or the insurance company). Obviously, warranty never came up. Right now I am waiting for the Service Manager to to return from vacation tomorrow. It;s too bad, I love my car but hate the way I have been treated. My car ahs also had the rear engine seal replace and transmission repaired, both covered under warranty. But I have not even had the car for a full year yet and it has had some major issues already. Di I just happen to get one of those cars that was finished on a Friday before a long weekend?

May I ask you, what was the outside temperature?

I just got a recall notice from Audi saying that they need to replace the sunroof of our Q5 since it could do exactly what happened to yours if the temp drops below -2C. Luckily, in Houston we are in the upper 90's (F)

I don't know if they are made by the same company, but very well could be the case...
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Old 08-19-2012, 08:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjsC6 View Post
I'm not arguing with you, but unless something flew up and hit it it has to be a warranty item. It's likely caused by some problem with too much tension on it from the frame. I would at least report it to the NHTSA as it is a safety hazard to anyone traveling behind you (just think if it were a motorcycle behind you). Corvette had a problem with the outer skin of the removable top of early C6's (the current generation) coming delaminated and flying off. The finally owned up to the problem and covered the fix.
Too hard to prove. There are too many variables to cause the sunroof to explode. Think about how long it took them to admit the HPFP debacle. It's their culture to deny culpability. "Our cars are perfect, it must be the users fault."
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Old 08-19-2012, 10:04 PM
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It's their culture to deny culpability. "Our cars are perfect, it must be the users fault."
+1: it's always the customer's fault, never BMW's "/sarcasm"

Last edited by Calgary Agent; 08-19-2012 at 10:05 PM.
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  #19  
Old 08-19-2012, 10:12 PM
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dunderhi dunderhi is offline
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I'm going to blame the RFTs for creating additional chassis flex.
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  #20  
Old 08-20-2012, 08:46 AM
The X Men The X Men is offline
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I'm going to blame the RFTs for creating additional chassis flex.
Nah, its the double pull door locks, it created too much stress on the sunroof.
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  #21  
Old 08-20-2012, 09:15 AM
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Nah, its the double pull door locks, it created too much stress on the sunroof.
no. it's the iDrive dot to blame
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  #22  
Old 08-20-2012, 09:40 AM
wildcardz wildcardz is offline
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Sorry to hear. To show that this is a manufacturing defect, the issue has to be more widespread.
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  #23  
Old 08-20-2012, 11:36 AM
bimy550 bimy550 is offline
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Shoul file a complaint to NHTSA.
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  #24  
Old 08-20-2012, 12:09 PM
Alan L. Alan L. is offline
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I never heard of this happening on the E90 forums and never had this issue with mine.

It is possible that a rock struck it at a precise angle to actually shatter the glass. A buddy of mine who also has a E90 got a huge ding on his roof just slightly infront of his sunroof while driving on the highway so i can see another few inches back could have resulted in this.

Alan
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  #25  
Old 08-21-2012, 01:40 PM
RBOZ RBOZ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alex_c View Post
May I ask you, what was the outside temperature?

I just got a recall notice from Audi saying that they need to replace the sunroof of our Q5 since it could do exactly what happened to yours if the temp drops below -2C. Luckily, in Houston we are in the upper 90's (F)

I don't know if they are made by the same company, but very well could be the case...
The outside temperature was approx between 70-75F.
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