With the number of recalls being initiated this year, it is expected that mechanical items such as tires, brakes and acceleration systems could be recalled for adjustments or replacements. It would not be expected that the glass that allows drivers to see could also lead to their undoing.
According to a recent ABC News.com report, there has been an increasing incidence of sunroofs shattering unexpectedly. Some sunroofs have failed while a driver is heading down the freeway. Others have broken while the driver is at a stop sign. Because the reasons for failure have been so varied, and not necessarily because of an object hitting the glass, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has launched an investigation.
The NHTSA has indicated that it would be reviewing incidents involving Kia Sorrentos. The Administration indicates that it has received nearly 400 complaints of sunroofs spontaneously cracking and breaking. As of this report, neither the car company nor federal regulators have learned of the specific reasons behind this problem. A recall has not yet been issued, and no major injuries or deaths have been reported.
Nevertheless, if a recall is initiated, an automaker has a continuing duty to inform consumers of a defect that could lead to a significant injury. An automaker also is required to take reasonable steps to abate the problem. If an automaker fails to do so, and a consumer is injured by the defect, the automaker could be held liable.
If you have questions about defective product lawsuits, an experienced attorney can advise you.