Sunroofs shattering on Mercedes-Benz cars, cause still unknown

Mercedes panoramic roof
Over the last several months, a surprising number of Mercedes-Benz owners have come forward to shed light on the same startling issue: shattering panoramic roofs and sunroofs. One of the first to report the news was user G55K of MBWorld.org, a popular forum for Mercedes enthusiasts and buyers.

This particular owner was driving a GL550 SUV with no other vehicles around when the roof suddenly failed, cracking the glass and causing a large hole to appear in the material. According to G55K, the dealership refused to cover it under warranty, instead charging a whopping $1800 for repairs and labor.

In the same thread, the driver of a 2014 GLK350 reported the exact same problem with no impacts found. Further down, you’ll see that a 2015 GL and a 2013 GL350 experienced similar failures.

A quick Google search will net many more instances like this, from several major automakers not tied to Daimler.

There are several reasons why this could be happening, including weak assemblies and foreign objects, but the evidence points to other causes.

Most of the failures occurred when the vehicle was driving on the freeway, often in extreme heat. The stark temperature discrepancy between the exterior and interior of the glass could be a culprit here, as this type of stress can weaken materials over time.

Another suspect is interior air pressure. Carmakers — especially luxury carmakers  — pride themselves on quiet, air-tight cabins. Sunroof glass is often quite thin, so it is often the weakest point for pressure to escape from. This is substantiated by owner claims that the sunroofs actually exploded outward instead of falling inward.

Mercedes-Benz USA told us it was unable to comment on the issue, because “we don’t have full purview on the topic.” The automaker suggested consumers with affected vehicles contact customer service immediately to open an investigation, at 800-822-8987.

If anybody has experienced a similar issue with their vehicle, regardless of manufacturer, please let us know in the comments section below.

Cars

Robomart’s self-driving grocery store is like Amazon Go on wheels

Robomart's driverless vehicle is like an Amazon Go store on wheels, with sensors tracking what you grab from the shelves. If you don't want to shop online or visit the grocery store yourself, Robomart will bring the store to you.
Mobile

Here’s how to download podcasts and listen to them on Android or iOS

Podcasts have become a cultural staple. Here's how to download podcasts and listen to them on your Android or iOS device, and which apps to use if you're looking to get the most out of the format.
Home Theater

Here are some common AirPods problems, and how to fix them

Apple’s AirPods are among the best fully wireless earbuds we’ve seen, but they’re not perfect. If you’re having trouble, take a look at our guide to the most common problems and what you can do to fix them.
Smart Home

Speed up cooking with one of the best pressure cookers on the market

Not all pressure cookers are created equally. You have to choose between stovetop cookers, multicookers, canners, and even microwave cookers. Our pressure cooking buyer's guide includes our picks for the best in each category.
Gaming

You're never too broke to enjoy the best free-to-play games

Believe it or not, free-to-play games have evolved into engaging, enjoyable experiences. Here are a few of our favorites that you can play right now, including Warframe and the perennially-popular League of Legends.
News

Ford has a plan to future-proof the hot-selling F-150 pickup truck

Worried about the threat of rising gas prices, Ford will add the F-150 to its growing portfolio of electrified vehicles. It is currently developing a hybrid F-150, and it will release an electric version of the next-generation truck.
Cars

Driving Daimler’s 40-ton eCascadia big rig isn’t just fun, it’s electrifying

Daimler Trucks brought its all-electric eCascadia semi-truck to the 2019 CES, and invited us to take the wheel. What does it feel like to drive one? Simply electrifying, of course.
Cars

Ford’s Mustang-inspired electric crossover will spawn a Lincoln luxury version

Lincoln will get its own version of parent Ford's first mass-market, long-range electric vehicle. While Ford's version will have styling inspired by the Mustang, Lincoln will take a more traditional approach.
Home Theater

Spotify adds simplified Car View mode for Android users

What was once just a test is now a reality: Spotify is rolling out a new, simplified in-car user interface for all Android users called Car View, which automatically engages when the app detects a car Bluetooth connection.
Cars

Boutique carmaker Karma Automotive, legendary design firm Pininfarina team up

Karma Automotive is partnering with legendary Italian design firm Pininfarina on future luxury cars. The first product of that partnership will appear later this year, Karma said, without offering other details.
Cars

Sibling rivalry: 2019 BMW Z4 takes on the 2020 Toyota Supra

BMW and Toyota forged an unlikely partnership when they set out to build a sports car platform together. Here, we examine the similarities and differences between the 2019 Z4 and the 2020 Supra.
Cars

Tesla cuts workforce by 7 percent, ends referral program to trim costs

Tesla has announced plans to trim its workforce by seven percent, and it will end the referral program that rewards customers who help it sell cars. These measures are ways to cut costs and boost profits.
Cars

Worried about commuting in winter weather? Nissan has the answer

The Nissan Altima midsize sedan is now available with all-wheel drive. To advertise that fact, Nissan's Canadian division slapped some tank-like tracks on an Altima to create a one-off show car.
Emerging Tech

Too buzzed to drive? Don’t worry — this autonomous car-bar will drive to you

It might just be the best or worst idea that we've ever heard: A self-driving robot bartender you can summon with an app, which promises to mix you the perfect drink wherever you happen to be.