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Exploding back window glass

54512 Views 97 Replies 57 Participants Last post by  sanghill
I was driving and my back window exploded. See attached pictures.

It was a warm day (about 27c - 81f) and we had been driving around earlier with the windows open and about 10 minutes prior to the glass breaking I rolled up the windows, closed sunroof and turned on a/c. There were no bumps or anyone driving beside us. Also the Trailhawk is only 3 weeks old with 1800km on it. This happened on a Saturday after the dealer was closed so it will be going in first thing Monday morning and I have no idea what the wait time will be to replace. Also I think that some of the glass has scratched some of the paint above the taillights.

I'm thinking this could be thermal shock or a poorly manufactured piece of glass.

Has anyone else come across this issue? or any tips on what to mention to the dealer so it is covered under warranty?

Don't ask why the pictures are upside down - I have rotated and saved, then re uploaded, then rotated and save then re uploaded, repeated a few more times with the pictures in every direction and still look like this. No idea.

Thanks for looking.


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Multiple, symmetric, areas of damage; looks like around the mounting points for the glass. "Defective glass" does exist. I had my driver-side window spontaneously blow out on a Ram 2500 while sitting at a light. Had to fight the dealer to get it replaced under warranty.

That's defect or stress damage from improperly installed window.
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(and, obligatory, "Oh, old thread!")
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Chrysler won't cover it. They say it is an insurance issue. This stinks, I haven't finished cleaning it up yet, found 2 tiny glass shards had made their way into my foot. Glass all over my car and camping gear.
Depends on how much you fight it, and if it's worth the fight to you. I had my driver door window replaced under warranty when it imploded.

Basically, if you can show it wasn't impact (rock, accident, etc.) you have a *chance* of getting it covered under warranty.
Just want to share a similar experience from a few days ago. Returned from work, parked in the driveway, shortly after saw the shattered tailgate glass. No evidence of an object hitting the glass. Dealer and Customer Rep said that the glass is not covered by warranty, say so in the manual!
That looks very similar to the OP. I would still argue that it's not external damage, but design/defect with how the glass is mounted or imperfection in the glass.
Chrysler's response is that there is no defect, and that glasses get shattered for many other reasons that's why its stated in the manual that the glass is not covered.
It depends on how persuasive you are. :)

I had spontaneous failure of my driver door glass on a Ram 2500 replaced under warranty.
These windows are glued in with polyurethane, a flexible and permanent bond, there are no mounts, only alignment pins. There is no frame to get jammed up with.

Fitment of the glass in the hole cannot break it after the fact with tempered glass, it will break right away.

A defective piece of glass will usually break very shortly after installation and before you would even have purchased it.

Flex is not an issue as I can take your door glass lie it on the floor and stand on it with it flexing toward the ground without it breaking.
You usually cannot detect where the initial impact of a tempered piece of glass was as it violently fractures due to the potential energies stored inside of it being turned kinetic. You will not find anything inside the car as if it had enough inertia to go through the glass (a bullet) it would have kept going through something else.
You might be suprised how many things there are out there than can break a window, but thermal shock is not one of them unless you are using boiling water on a frozen window or liquid nitrogen on a window in Phoenix AZ in a Walmart parking lot on a 100 degree day...

The most common things for glass breakage are stones. The stones can be flicked from a lawn mower, weed whacker, passing car, or even dropped from a bird who thought it was a shell. They will always deflect after impact and you will never find them in the car.

Glass can get chipped and not break right away, even tempered glass, but when it does break, it is because of the chip.

All this to say, possibly a few windows have gone bad, as they do on any car from any brand, but most, if not all, of your glass breakage problems were caused by external forces (bb's, rocks, etc.), and are subject to coverage by your insurance company, not the warranty.

I do auto glass for a living and have yet to have had someone show me evidence that any of what I have said is wrong...

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Explain the, at least three, photographic examples of the "same" failure mode/location on the rear window glass in a static environment.
I hate to say it, but the glass was most likely chipped or broken already and you didn't notice it right away, or it got worse while sitting in the "static" environment... believe it or not, this occurs all the time. Sometimes we can even point out the impact point, which is usually in a different spot than any fallen glass...

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Thanks for the detailed response. It's hard to let go of "common sense" understanding of complex subjects. From the point of view of the consumer, however, "It was just sitting there and it broke! It wasn't my or anybody else's fault. Fix it!" :)
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Oh, @Xinarin13, the reason I jumped in earlier on the thread is that my Dodge dealer stated that "spontaneous failure" was rare, but not unknown, and that's why they repaired mine under warranty. Note that the vehicle was less than 24 hours off the lot and had ~3 miles on it when I got it.
I do completely understand that, and to be honest a lot of how Auto Glass works doesn't make sense with the Hollywood ideas on how it works. It's like trying to kick a windshield out, which is not possible on any vehicle build after 1990

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If all that is holding the rear KL window in is glue, maybe you CAN kick it out. ;) Just not by breaking through the glass.
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So I just thought I would let everyone know that the dealership have replaced my rear window out of courtesy :)
"We've seen this before and we don't feel like fighting it." :p
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