The Office of Defects Investigation of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has commenced a preliminary investigation over consumer complaints that panoramic sunroofs installed on some 2012 Hyundai Veloster models have unexpectedly shattered or exploded. Federal safety regulators commenced the probe on October 2, 2012, after receiving 11 complaints from consumers. Seven of the complaints mentioned that sunroofs shattered while the 2012 Veloster is being driven typically at highway speeds, according to NHTSA. Some of the consumer-complainants said they sustained minor scratches from falling shards of glass. Jim Trainor, a spokesman for Hyundai Motor America, said the South Korean carmaker is cooperating with NHTSA, adding that the cause of the problem is unclear. Trainor remarked that the evaluation is in its early stages and there is no need for Veloster owners to have the sunroofs inspected.
The spokesman noted that NHTSA has received only 11 complaints out of the nearly 38,000 Velosters sold. The Veloster was rolled out in the US in 2011. Trainor said they are currently waiting for the results of the evaluation, adding that the carmaker would act on it if needed. The current NHTSA inquiry only covers 2012 Hyundai Velosters.
According to documents posted on the regulator’s Web site, it is estimated that 18,361 Velosters are potentially affected by the issue. According to the Automotive News Data Center, Hyundai sold 9,284 Velosters in 2011 and 28,338 more in the first nine months of 2012. Trainor said around two thirds of the Velosters sold to date were installed with panoramic sunroofs.