Hyundai recalls 2012 Veloster for shattering sunroofs, again

The Korean automaker expands its December recall to include 5,835 more cars equipped with panoramic glass sunroofs, according to filings with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The Veloster was recalled in December for the same problem. Hyundai said it was expanding that recall to include 5,835 additional cars after NHTSA challenged the company’s original range of affected models. The total is now 19,600.

Affected vehicles contain a panoramic sunroof assembly, which may have been weakened during installation. As a result, the panoramic glass panel may break while the vehicle in motion. Such an occurrence could lead to a vehicle crash and/or injury to the driver, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The Hyundai Veloster models in question were manufactured from July 4, 2011, through October 31, 2011. Wednesday’s recall covers 5,835 Velosters in the United States and 236 units in Puerto Rico.

Last October , NHTSA opened an investigation after receiving 11 owner complaints of shattering panoramic sunroofs — an extra-large glass section that extends the full length of the roof — on the 2012 Veloster, seven of which occurred at highway speeds. Hyundai said it had received 102 complaints related to cracked or shattering sunroofs last year, including five injuries when glass shards cut the vehicle’s occupants. The company said production-line robots may have “forced contact” and caused small fractures in certain parts of the sunroof glass during assembly.

The winter recall was the result a federal probe, which was launched after multiple Hyundai Veloster owners complained that their car’s sunroof spontaneously exploded. In each case, Veloster owners reported experiencing a downpouring of shattered glass after hearing a loud noise. Each of the 15 occurrences happened on vehicles with fewer than 3,000 miles.

“All of the sudden there was a loud bang like a gunshot, and I heard something raining down on my car,” wrote one Veloster owner to the NHTSA. “I looked in the mirror and saw glass flying everywhere…The glass was in my hair, down the back of my shirt and my pants.”

Although this particular owner experienced sunroof shattering while driving home, two other drivers reported episodes of sunroof explosion while their car was parked. One driver wrote that his Veloster’s roof shattered while he was washing his car in his driveway. The shattered glass flew as much as six feet away from the vehicle, wrote the driver to the NHTSA.

Aside from the shattering sunroof recall, Hyundai recalled the 2012 Hyundai Veloster due to a brake defect in December 2012. The recall, which affected 4,490 vehicles, was issued because certain Veloster models may suffer from parking brake “binding,” caused by excessive moisture and road grime. Such a condition may cause the parking brake to drag while driving, or may inhibit it from fully employing when parked. Consequently, affected Hyundai Veloster models may roll away after being parked, according to the NHTSA.

Hyundai will begin notifying customers of the recall in March. Authorized dealers will inspect Veloster vehicles to ensure the sunroof’s integrity and replace sunroof glass assembly, free of charge. In the meantime, owners can contact Hyundai at 1-800-633-5151. Hyundai Veloster owners can also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 or visit Hyundai’s recall campaign number is 108.