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akimbo 11-04-2011 07:39 PM

2010 328ix - Sunroof Explosion
Greetings and sorry that my first post has to be about a negative experience.

I was driving home tonight on the Gardiner Expressway when there was a loud gunshot-like explosion. I thought I had blown a tire or something but the car was still driving fine. When I looked up, my sunroof had blown out (imploded?). I was driving around 90kph and there was no rock or projectile to be found, just glass all over the inside of the car. I pulled over on Lakeshore Blvd. and took some photos.

I talked to my insurance company and then called the service department at BMW Toronto. They seemed pretty casual about the whole thing and when I asked if I could bring it in on Saturday they said they were pretty full and I should come over on Monday so they could take some photos and check with BMW to see it it would be covered under warranty.

I love my car but I'm disappointed.

Has this happened to anyone else?


noodles101 11-04-2011 07:57 PM

holy fcuk?! noting flew at u? u wernet following a dumb truck? didnt hit any pot hole??

damn that sucks dude... i hope bmw covers it. and keep us posted on what caused it.

ive heard the new corvette's glass roof sometimes blows off the car while driving high speed under strong

akimbo 11-04-2011 08:18 PM

Hi Noodles,

Thanks for your concern. Nothing special before it happened, no dump truck or rock that I saw, that's why it was such a surprise. The boom was so loud that for some reason I though that someone had dropped a cinder block through the sunroof...but there was no overpass around and no building blocks in the car :)

If I find some evidence that the sunroof was hit I'll definitely post a photo but so far I've found nothing. I've had rocks ring off the windshield before so my first though was a rock but the sunroof has a very slim profile to be hit by a rock at speed on the highway. That's why I was curious if this had ever happened to anyone else...I'm trying to find a plausible explanation.

damameke 11-04-2011 08:26 PM

Glad you are alright.. it would have scared the shxt out of me
suddenly hearing the explosion.

You should go through th whole car(interior/exterior) and check that
paint and seats are alright;also notify MTO and BMW Canada.

BMW_7 11-04-2011 08:28 PM

What is that wire and pod coming out of the sunroof. Was it wired by you? You could have had a short which caused a minor spark which reacted with the tempered glass.

akimbo 11-04-2011 08:44 PM

That's an XM radio antenna that I ran up the A pillar and out through the front of the sunroof. I'll check the wire tomorrow morning to see if there is any damage to the shielding. Thanks for the suggestion.

Blackedout95 11-04-2011 09:08 PM

Wow, weird for sure.

SickFinga 11-04-2011 09:31 PM


Originally Posted by akimbo (Post 1532910)
That's an XM radio antenna that I ran up the A pillar and out through the front of the sunroof. I'll check the wire tomorrow morning to see if there is any damage to the shielding. Thanks for the suggestion.

If I were you, I'd remove it before bringing the car to BMW for inspection. Don't give them any excuses.

akimbo 11-04-2011 10:00 PM

Thanks for the suggestion but I'm going to leave it just the way it was when it happened.

My reason for posting is simply that it's a weird thing to happen to a new car (or even an old car) so I'm curious if it's happened to anyone else. If the service department can show that it was a result of the antenna wire or something else that I did, I'm OK with that, I'll learn from it and not do it again. If I find that it was impact damage, I'm OK with that too, everyone has bad luck every once in a while. It's just right now, I don't see any obvious external factor that caused the failure.

Anyway, if they find that the antenna wire caused the sunroof failure, I'll share the information.

Blackedout95 11-04-2011 10:04 PM

Many more reports, apparently it happens on rare occassion, who knew!

At least you can see now youre not alone. I just googled bmw glass sunroof exploded and got result.

akimbo 11-04-2011 10:24 PM

Informative link, thanks for posting it. It sound like it does happen but not that often (based on the length of time between reports).

Bimmer Heaven 11-05-2011 12:24 AM

Just wondering what those white lines are on the glass? On right side of picture, (so on driver side)...Is it just the pic or is it an actual mark of some sort!?

Hope it works out for you. If they dont cover it, i have a brand new roof in stock for much less! *wave*

PS, i have seen cases where the glass is cracked but stays together...almost unnoticable. This could have happened here, and once you started driving, the pressure finished the job and it all came down! (its a strong possibility!). Dont ask how i know...i broke one by accident! lol

RickN 11-05-2011 02:54 AM

I would remove the XM antenna before bringing in the car.

Knowing BMW, they will very likely blame the antenna as the culprit. They will say the wire put undue pressure on the glass when closed which led to it shattering.

richie_s999 11-05-2011 07:40 AM

All sorts or weird things happen to glass this time of year.

You could have had something hit the glass in the past, causing a unseen chip somewhere on the edge, and as the roof is a major part of the structure of the car one good bump and it could have shattered. Also cold to hot cycles could have caused it. shatter like that usually comes from a stress on the edge of the glass on tempered glass, defiantly loose all traces of that antenna before you go in to get it checked

I have had that unseen windshield chip violently crack and scared the shit out of me during defrosting a car!

Jim .E. 11-05-2011 01:48 PM

That is a very, very, very common thing that happens to E92's, but this is a first I'm hearing on a E90.

I'm guessing you either rolled down the window (even a slight crack) or had the moonroof in the tilt position then rolled down the window. Its cause by an imbalance in cabin pressure.

It WILL NOT be covered. It's a common problem but BMW neglects it. This is the very reason I keep my window's locked and dont let anyone open my cars window on the highway.

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