Thinner Metal Frames in Cars Could be Dangerous Cracked Windshield Feature

When you’re driving down the highway at 70MPH, the last thing you’re thinking about is whether or not your auto glass could be about to shatter, but is that even a possibility?

The NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) has been investigating several major car manufacturers for the possibility of safety defects in multiple car models, in response to hundreds of complaints about sunroofs shattering, breaking, or even simply detaching from the car completely, all without warning.

Audi, Hyundai, and Volkswagen have already issued voluntary recalls for several of their vehicles in response to these complaints, but others may be forced to follow. Hundreds of people have reported that the sunroof on their car has either shattered or fallen off while they were driving on the highway.

Thinner Metal Frames in Cars Could be Dangerous Sunroof

The most common response from manufacturers has been to blame projectiles: objects such as small rocks or other debris being thrown against the sunroof while the car was traveling at high speeds.

Auto Glass experts have a different explanation: the metal surrounding the glass, rather than the glass itself.


Could Thinner Metals in Your Car Cause Your Auto Glass to Shatter?

Older cars could almost be better compared to tanks than to newer models, no matter the manufacturer. Thicker, heavier metal frames have been traded in for thinner, more lightweight metals in order to increase fuel efficiency.

Unfortunately, lighter materials also means less stability. The thin metal frames surrounding auto glass is more likely to buckle and break under pressure, and even separate from the car while you’re driving.


Could my Windshield Shatter While I’m Driving?

Thankfully, it’s unlikely. Sunroofs and windshields are made of different types of glass. Sunroofs and side mirrors are made with tempered glass, which is designed to break into small pieces rather than shattering into pointy shards that could hurt you or your family.

Windshields are made with laminated glass, which is actually two layers of glass sandwiching a thin layer of vinyl. This is why when your windshield breaks, it usually doesn’t fall apart and can be removed as a complete “sheet” of broken glass. The possibility of your windshield breaking into a thousand pieces and flying against your face while you’re driving is very unlikely!


Prevent Windshield Damage

To prevent your auto glass from shattering and needing to be replaced, it’s important to always pay attention to any small cracks or chips in your windshield, and to get them repaired before they become a bigger problem.

Taylor Auto Glass provides top quality auto glass repair and replacement in Greensboro, Winston Salem, High Point, and Kernersville. Call us today at 336-851-1380 to schedule a free assessment.

Has your sunroof or windshield ever broken while you were driving? Let us know in the comments!

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