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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > BMW E90/E92/E93 3-series General Forums > General E90 Sedan / E91 Wagon / E92 Coupe / E93 Cabrio > ANOTHER exploding sunroof...



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      06-19-2007, 07:44 AM   #67
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gerbs - props for a great discussion and exchange of alternate opinions! I wish more people could debate without hostility (yours truly too sometimes). Yeah, it would be extreme to ditch the car, but I understand his frustration.
Yeah props to you too, I wasn't sure if I was going to get a nasty response in return. Awesome
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      06-19-2007, 07:57 AM   #68
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I know it may sound silly, but I really don't want to have to deal with that dealership for the next 4 years.
Casey BMW > Checkered Flag.


Besides, Casey bmw has 335i loaners.
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      06-20-2007, 05:40 AM   #69
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This could simply be because sunroofs tend to spend most of their lives in the closed position, especially at highways speeds (which seems to be the most common situation under which shattering has occurred).

-Dan
Exactly my point, which is why I think the glass is defective because it should be able to endure a small impact force (such as a small rock) and not shatter. If the glass were structurally defective, it should shatter regardless if it is open inside the roof, or closed. So, the dealer(s) who are rejecting warranty claims have in fact some legitimate reasoning that an external impact caused the failure; it doesn't mean they are correct however and that the issue is not part failure.

Maybe what we should do as a group is get all of the five OP's who have had the failure provide their car's VIN so we can approach BMW NA with some facts. If all the cars are close in manufacture date (and from the same factory) then maybe BMW will investigate to see whether the OEM sunroof manufacturer is indeed supplying faulty glass panels for production vehicles. BMW builds it’s cars like most other manufacturers using a “just-in-time” parts supply, which means the OEMs provide parts within hours of the need for the assembly line to use them. If the panels are bad then there should be reason to suspect that a nearly sequential string of cars received the faulty parts.

The VIN will tell if the cars all came from the same assembly plant and their sequence in production. BMW can then trace the manufacture date of the sunroof panels.

I volunteer to draft the letter.

Based on the
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      06-20-2007, 06:19 AM   #70
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My guess is that the sunroof was not hit by anything. Do you know the odds of trajectory that would allow something to hit the roof of a moving car with enough down force to break glass? Almost impossible, unless the object was dropped off a bridge or something.

More likely, there is a design flaw and/or quality problem that is causing the glass to shatter as the body of the car flexes. The fact that this is happening in mild temperatures leads me to believe it's not a thermal problem.
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      06-20-2007, 08:32 AM   #71
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Getting to root cause is difficult w/o assembling the data. I like Eninty's suggestion above of looking at correlation of various factors of all reported shatter failures (e.g., manufacture date, factory, sunroof position) to persuade BMW, etc., that this is a manufacturing defect. Until then, I wouldn't expect much attention, unfortunately.
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      06-20-2007, 12:07 PM   #72
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I will happily volunteer my VIN to get to the bottom of this.

By the time I get my car back, (possibly this Friday), I will have been without it for a month. And I hadn't even had it a month when the sunroof shattered.

So not only have I not been able to drive the car for half the time I've owned it, I'm going to be out some money, both from the insurance deductable and probably higher premiums down the road.

I'm drafting my own letter, which i will share as well. I'm trying to find out the name of the BMW rep who allegedly examined the car and denied the warranty, but by SA "doesn't know."

Richard
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      06-20-2007, 12:41 PM   #73
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rsjames,

are you saying you paid the full 3k the dealer was trying to rape you... i've been following this thread, perhaps i missed a msg ?

thanks

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      06-20-2007, 12:47 PM   #74
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BMW will drag their feet as long as possible to avoid admitting this as a design or materials flaw. Imagine driving down the freeway with children in the back and the shade open but sunroof closed... and it shatters, raining glass down on the little ones in back.

They will have to replace every sunroof on every E90, and still face a potential class action suit, and a guaranteed win for those who have had the problem already.

They will deny this is a problem with their last breath.
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      06-20-2007, 01:48 PM   #75
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BMW will drag their feet as long as possible to avoid admitting this as a design or materials flaw.
I don't know what the equivalent organization is in other countries, but it might help to contact the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration (NHTSA) as well as BMW. NHTSA is the U.S. govt. body that determines if and when recalls should be issued.

I disagree that all E90's would have to be recalled, by the way. The problem may be traceable to a very specific range of VINs, in which case only those cars would need to be recalled.

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      06-20-2007, 02:26 PM   #76
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I disagree that all E90's would have to be recalled, by the way. The problem may be traceable to a very specific range of VINs, in which case only those cars would need to be recalled.

-Dan
That's quite possible of course. Unless the design flaw never required the correct specs on the glass, etc. If they could find "batches" of defective parts then yeah. Assuming they track the parts that meticulously.
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      06-20-2007, 02:40 PM   #77
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I havea feeling that BMW may not have quality glasses around their cars!? I drove my 335i sedan from Vegas back to san diego and i got a slight noise on my passenger window and sure enough, it was a crack on the windshield (approx. 2 mm long). Now my previous car was an Acura legend...what a reliable car. Drove that baby for years, cross country trips and no doubt rocks flying up to the shield, but never a crack or anything like that. And now with this brand new 335i, I got a crack within a month. You guys think the glass quality on these new BMWs are lower than others car manufacturers? Frankly, I think this is very unsat for a quality car like BMW.

Your thoughts.
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      06-20-2007, 03:02 PM   #78
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Glass (windshield, windows) cracks happen frequently in all cars, and there usually is very little difference among OEM glass in this regard.

The sunroof is a different issue. There appear to be some residual stresses that can result in catastrophic failure. If I were Richard I would be hopping mad. IMO there are some bad dealers with less than competent SAs (I am fortunate to have an outstanding dealer and fantastic SA), but the real weak link is the mid-level regional managers that make a point of trying to deny warranty coverage on most any controversial claim. In my experience they are disasters. Guys with business degrees that don't know #$^ about engineering. BMW NA if you are listening, you have two big problems: #one is the regional managers, and #two is the service and sales evaluation system. If you don't have a good dealer, or good relations with your dealer (starts with having a trusting relationship with your CA and SA), you are in trouble. That said, a lot more good things come out of complaints to BMW NA than any other national level auto organization. But at the dealer level, Lexus seems to have a better system in general.

To the OP, would I trade my BMW in over a bad interaction with the dealership? Probably not. This is too good a car, and the dealer did, after all, replace the sunroof. There needs to be a service bulletin on this -- it's tough, because the most common reason for busted sunroofs is theft or vandalism, so until BMW AG does a proper failure analysis and puts out a service bulletin then the poor folks that this happens to are likely to be mistreated. .
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      06-20-2007, 03:10 PM   #79
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Glass (windshield, windows) cracks happen frequently in all cars, and there usually is very little difference among OEM glass in this regard.

The sunroof is a different issue. There appear to be some residual stresses that can result in catastrophic failure. If I were Richard I would be hopping mad. IMO there are some bad dealers with less than competent SAs (I am fortunate to have an outstanding dealer and fantastic SA), but the real weak link is the mid-level regional managers that make a point of trying to deny warranty coverage on most any controversial claim. In my experience they are disasters. Guys with business degrees that don't know #$^ about engineering. BMW NA if you are listening, you have two big problems: #one is the regional managers, and #two is the service and sales evaluation system. If you don't have a good dealer, or good relations with your dealer (starts with having a trusting relationship with your CA and SA), you are in trouble. That said, a lot more good things come out of complaints to BMW NA than any other national level auto organization. But at the dealer level, Lexus seems to have a better system in general.

To the OP, would I trade my BMW in over a bad interaction with the dealership? Probably not. This is too good a car, and the dealer did, after all, replace the sunroof. There needs to be a service bulletin on this -- it's tough, because the most common reason for busted sunroofs is theft or vandalism, so until BMW AG does a proper failure analysis and puts out a service bulletin then the poor folks that this happens to are likely to be mistreated. .

Good post doc!
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      06-20-2007, 08:51 PM   #80
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My guess is that the sunroof was not hit by anything. Do you know the odds of trajectory that would allow something to hit the roof of a moving car with enough down force to break glass? Almost impossible, unless the object was dropped off a bridge or something.

More likely, there is a design flaw and/or quality problem that is causing the glass to shatter as the body of the car flexes. The fact that this is happening in mild temperatures leads me to believe it's not a thermal problem.
I agree it's pretty rare, but not impossible. Stones thrown from a truck tire can leave the tread at pretty high velocity, get thrown high in the air, and land on the glass. Considering the thousands of miles all of the E90s (just on this board) travel every day there are lots of opportunity for impact. If the glass is indeed defective, and a stone hits from a reasonable height and the car is at highway speed, it may cause the glass to fracture when normally it wouldn't.

If a car traveling southbound on Rt. 95 just above the DC beltway can loose a tire, and that tire travel across 3 southbound lanes, across the median and 3 northbound lanes, and hit a two-door Honda civic just aft of the drivers door (I actually saw this happen), then a stone can come off a truck tire and hit a sun roof.

If the glass is defective and just breaks on its own accord, then why hasn't one yet shattered in the open position? Regarding chassis flex, I would think the track system and gaskets would absorb most of the flex. Maybe it is a installation defect at the factory and not a glass defect.
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      06-20-2007, 09:43 PM   #81
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My guess is that the sunroof was not hit by anything. Do you know the odds of trajectory that would allow something to hit the roof of a moving car with enough down force to break glass? Almost impossible, unless the object was dropped off a bridge or something.

More likely, there is a design flaw and/or quality problem that is causing the glass to shatter as the body of the car flexes. The fact that this is happening in mild temperatures leads me to believe it's not a thermal problem.
Absolutely correct. I had the exact same thing happen at speed on the Meritt Parkway on a Jetta. It looked identical to this photo. The post that mentioned the 60lb/sq.in outward pressure at speed is on the money. The glass is lifted up rather than pushed in as it would be if something from above it hit it. Securit glass on german cars is crap, I have replaced many windshields from everything from washing the car in the sun to cracks just forrming for no reason. Don't let the dealer give you a run around.

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      06-20-2007, 10:06 PM   #82
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Absolutely correct. I had the exact same thing happen at speed on the Meritt Parkway on a Jetta. It looked identical to this photo. The post that mentioned the 60lb/sq.in outward pressure at speed is on the money. The glass is lifted up rather than pushed in as it would be if something from above it hit it. Securit glass on german cars is crap, I have replaced many windshields from everything from washing the car in the sun to cracks just forrming for no reason. Don't let the dealer give you a run around.
I don't recall someone quoting 60 psi, which is good, since that's high by a couple of orders of magnitude.
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      06-20-2007, 10:13 PM   #83
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      06-20-2007, 11:06 PM   #84
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If the glass is defective and just breaks on its own accord, then why hasn't one yet shattered in the open position? Regarding chassis flex, I would think the track system and gaskets would absorb most of the flex. Maybe it is a installation defect at the factory and not a glass defect.
Two potential reasons:

1) One theory of why the explosion occurs is that an air pressure difference developes at speed between the inside and outside of the car. That pressure gradient does not exist when the sunroof is open.

2) Another theory that I've seen is that BMW sunroofs tend to be rather tight fitting, which subjects them to more structural stress than the sunroofs of other cars. Again, if the sunroof is open, that stress is mitigated to some extent.
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      06-21-2007, 01:54 AM   #85
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I have two nicely sized rocks lodged in my windshield, both of which occurred a few months ago when it was still cold, and now it's hot everyday and they have yet to crack or anything.
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      06-21-2007, 02:17 AM   #86
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I agree with others who think that the stresses (thermal or mechanical) are probably no greater than the other windows in the car so if this is a real defect then something else is amok. I wonder if there is really an outward appearance of this is also simply result of intentionally curved or convex shaped glass.

BTW, how confident are the people with shattering sunroofs that it isn't mechanical damage from foreign object, such as a rock, etc. I don't know whether or not the rock has to land inside the car and do the damage if these occurred while driving.
Trust me, there was no effing rock. I was the first one with an e90 on this forum to have this happen I believe. When it happens it is always the same. You are crusing on the highway, windows and roof closed and with absolutely no warning it sounds like someone shoots a shotgun about 6 inches away from your ear. When you regain your composure after almost hitting the guardrail from being scared shitless you hear glass raining down on your car. You open your sunroof cover and you are looking straight up into the sky. It is nothing like when a big rock bounces off your windsheild and cracks it, it is a friggin loud explosion that nearly deafens you. It suck pretty bad, trust me
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      06-21-2007, 02:31 AM   #87
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Trust me, there was no effing rock. I was the first one with an e90 on this forum to have this happen I believe. When it happens it is always the same. You are crusing on the highway, windows and roof closed and with absolutely no warning it sounds like someone shoots a shotgun about 6 inches away from your ear. When you regain your composure after almost hitting the guardrail from being scared shitless you hear glass raining down on your car. You open your sunroof cover and you are looking straight up into the sky. It is nothing like when a big rock bounces off your windsheild and cracks it, it is a friggin loud explosion that nearly deafens you. It suck pretty bad, trust me
I believe you. I find it very hard to believe a rock will cause such damage. Like I said before the only type of rock that would cause this kind of damage is a meteorite. Unless E90 is a meteorite magnet, which is brilliant, the possibility of a meteorite hitting BMW with such frequency is zero.
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      06-21-2007, 09:05 AM   #88
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Trust me, there was no effing rock. I was the first one with an e90 on this forum to have this happen I believe. When it happens it is always the same. You are crusing on the highway, windows and roof closed and with absolutely no warning it sounds like someone shoots a shotgun about 6 inches away from your ear. When you regain your composure after almost hitting the guardrail from being scared shitless you hear glass raining down on your car. You open your sunroof cover and you are looking straight up into the sky. It is nothing like when a big rock bounces off your windsheild and cracks it, it is a friggin loud explosion that nearly deafens you. It suck pretty bad, trust me
I can imagine that a sunroof shattering above your head would be terrifying during the explosion and with the glass landing on your head. I am really sorry to hear that.

I was only implying that after the shot-gun blast goes off with little bits of glass everywhere, makes it more difficult to reconstruct what exactly happened. Even if a rock was a trigger point, it doesn't mean that the moonroof isn't defective -- in the same way that we don't expect our front windshields to shatter when rocks bombard it (who knows what are the safety standards for moonroof since this is such a rare occurrence).

That is why it is so helpful to assemble the data to make a persuasive case to BMW and I hope you succeed. No doubt, BMW will drag their heels until then.
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