‘It sounded like a shotgun’: Sunroof in Toronto woman’s vehicle explodes

Aimee Roy thought she was under attack.

The Toronto woman was driving past the Yorkdale Shopping Mall along Highway 401 on Boxing Day with her husband and two dogs when it happened.

“It sounded like a shotgun,” Roy recounted. “I thought somebody hit our car or shot at our car.”

But Roy wasn’t facing a gunfire volley. Instead, the sunroof in her 2016 Jeep Cherokee exploded.

“It was terrifying. When you experience the sunroof exploding it’s so loud, I can’t even describe it,” Roy said

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Roy said she was fortunate not to be injured or to cause an accident.

Ten minutes before the incident happened, Roy said she closed the windscreen below the sunroof in order to keep more heat inside the car. As a consequence, broken glass didn’t enter the vehicle.

Roy’s is the latest case of exploding sunroof glass and it’s an event that has happened in Canada hundreds of times in recent years, according to government statistics. Transport Canada has recorded 351 complaints about shattering sunroofs since the year 2000. The number of such complaints rose to 110 in 2017 from zero in 2007. The tally as of Oct. 16 stood at 103 incidents.

READ MORE: Proposed class-action suit started against Hyundai Canada over exploding sunroofs

“This shouldn’t be happening,” Roy said.

She took the car to a Jeep dealership in Pickering, Ont., which she said sympathized with her predicament. But ultimately she was told Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), which manufacturers the Jeep, would not pay for repairs.

“They told us the repair is going to cost at least $3,000 to $4,000,” Roy told Global News.

EXPLODING SUNROOFS: Complaints are soaring – here are the car brands and models involved

She can file an insurance claim, if she wishes, but she will still have to pay a $1,000 deductible. Global News contacted FCA, which responded with a written statement.

“Glass Breakage is not covered under warranty unless there is positive physical evidence of improper factory installation or a glass defect. Chips, nicks or stars, and second replacements caused by improper installation, are not covered,” wrote Lou Ann Gosselin, the company’s head of communications.

“Although the customer is within basic warranty parameters, the vehicle has already been through two thermal cycles (heat and cold) and any defect would have likely been captured immediately after being manufactured – very rarely would a defect occur almost two years later.”

READ MORE: Another sunroof explosion in B.C. highlights safety concerns

However, Roy said she isn’t satisfied with that answer.

“I was lucky enough that none of us were harmed. But there should be an investigation into what’s going on. It’s clearly an issue with the glass.”

With files from Erica Alini

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