Owners Are Suing Mercedes-Benz for $200 Million Over Exploding Sunroofs
Mercedes-Benz is usually best-known for making some high-quality and very expensive luxury cars, but these cars can have a few issues. Sometimes, these issues simply disappoint their owners, but other times, they can be so serious that owners end up suing over them. This is exactly what’s happened with Mercedes-Benz and its panoramic sunroofs.
The class-action lawsuit over Mercedes-Benz’s exploding sunroofs
According to Car Complaints, Mercedes-Benz was recently sued as part of a class-action lawsuit by a Mercedes-Benz owner whose sunroof exploded. The owner alleged that the sunroof on his 2015 Mercedes-Benz ML350 suddenly exploded while his sister was driving it earlier this year. The lawsuit said that his sister was driving his Mercedes on a relatively normal sunny day at 55 MPH on a highway when suddenly she heard “a shotgun blast.”
This loud sound spooked her and forced her to pull over. She checked the outside of the car to see if anything had gone wrong, but she found nothing wrong with its exterior. When she got back into the car however, the lawsuit alleged that the glass in the sunroof fell on her. Obviously, if true, this exploding sunroof issue shocked, distracted, and scared the owner’s sister, and this could become a safety issue in other situations.
That said, Car Complaints wrote that while this class-action lawsuit only details this one incident, that owner is suing Mercedes-Benz on behalf of everyone who’s bought a similar car with a similar sunroof. And to be fair, exploding sunroofs isn’t a new issue, as Nissan is also being sued over this problem.
Why this is dangerous
If this exploding sunroof issue turns out to be true, then there are some obvious safety issues there. However, the lawsuit also talked about several other ways that this issue can be dangerous besides the obvious ones.
For example, the lawsuit alleged that Mercedes-Benz knew about this issue, but refused to either recall or inform owners and potential customers about this issue. This deception, as the lawsuit alleged, can be dangerous as it gives owners a false sense of security with their car.
On top of that, the lawsuit said that it’s especially dangerous since Mercedes-Benz markets its cars as being very safe. Since Mercedes-Benz owners and customers expect a safe car, the lawsuit alleged that they’ll be extra shocked when their panoramic sunroof explodes. That said, since this lawsuit only talked about one incident, it’s not clear how common or prevalent this issue is.
Why panoramic sunroofs can explode and how much it costs to fix
While the science behind these sunroofs is complicated, the lawsuit said that it all comes down to the manufacturing and assembly process of the car. As Car Complaints reported, the lawsuit said that the panoramic sunroofs needed “precise strengthening and attachment of the glass,” and Mercedes-Benz, as well as the glass manufacturer that Mercedes-Benz used, failed to do that.
Due to their complexity, unsurprisingly, panoramic sunroofs cost a lot of money to fix when compared to regular roofs. The lawsuit alleged that it should cost up to $2,000 to replace a panoramic sunroof, but the owner was quoted for $9,000 for his replacement. Furthermore, the owner said that Mercedes-Benz allegedly offered him a $250-to-$500 payment as long as he agreed to not sue Mercedes-Benz.
As a result of this, the owner is demanding $200 million from Mercedes-Benz, plus any legal and court fees that he might have to pay. But of course, since this is such a new case, Mercedes-Benz hasn’t had the chance to tell its side of the story yet, and nothing has been settled in court either.