CHICAGO (CBS) — It was a typical drive home for a northwest Indiana woman and her children, until her sunroof spontaneously shattered.
Laura Lesniewski said the incident was terrifying; and, as CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov tells us in this Original Report, it’s the latest example of an issue at the focus of an ongoing government investigation.READ MORE: Mayor Lightfoot Delays General Iron Permit To Move To South Side Over EPA Concerns
“We heard a really loud explosion sound,” she said
That sound splintered an otherwise peaceful drive home to Munster, Indiana, last week. The sunroof of Lesniewski’s Chrysler Town & Country minivan shattered on the expressway, with three of her children riding with her.
“It sounded like there was bomb inside my car that had gone off. It was so loud,” she said.
Her 6-year-old Amya said she was so scared, she started crying.
Lesniewski said, when she pulled the partition back, she saw a gaping hole, along with shards of glass.READ MORE: Chicago Night Clubs Gear Up For Looser COVID-19 Restrictions As State Prepares To Enter Bridge Phase
“I shut the partition right away, and that was what stopped the glass from coming into the car, onto me and my children.”
Lesniewski said her Chrysler dealership refused to cover repairs, blaming it on a pebble; but CBS 2 has learned so-called exploding sunroofs are the focus of an ongoing probe by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Just last week, former Cook County Judge Doug Simpson described a similar incident with his Toyota sunroof. Glass expert Mark Meshulam said preexisting flaws in glass can be the culprit.
As for manufacturer liability, he said, “if they have a lot of these types of problems, then that strengthens the argument for it being a manufacturer problem.”
Like Simpson, Lesniewski filed a complaint with the NHTSA. The agency has received hundreds of complaints about shattering sunroofs, including ones in Chryslers.MORE NEWS: Saint Joseph Catholic School Principal On Administrative Duty After Former Teacher Charged With Child Sex Crimes
Currently, the NHTSA is investigating Kia sunroofs, but officially seeking more information from four other manufacturers.