Window Explosion

Discussion in 'Prius c Main Forum' started by MountainMan611, May 10, 2020.

  1. MountainMan611

    MountainMan611 New Member

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    Hi everyone and happy Mother's Day.

    I have a 2016 Prius C Two with around 72,000 miles on it. My wife and I were driving on the highway today at a speed of 65MPH. There were no other cars by us and we were in the open - no tunnels and no overpasses. There were no previous cracks, nicks, or dents on the window. Out of nowhere, the front passenger window EXPLODED for no reason. We were not hit by a rock nor anything else (I'm 100% positive), it just EXPLODED all over my wife who was in the front passenger seat. She was covered from head to toe in pieces of glass and has a cut on her foot. I'm reading there is a class action lawsuit against Toyota for 2016-2017 Prius's for exploding windshields. This one was the front passenger side, but I'm sure it's the same material. By the grace of God my wife is okay. Toyota needs to be held accountable for this design flaw. It is a SERIOUS safety issue and someone could die.

    See the video at:
     
  2. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    Tempered glass is supposed to break into a zillion mostly blunt cubes like that, so that part is completely normal- it's actually a safety feature. I've had two of them go off on me like that so far. Both of those had very good reasons for breaking, no mysteries involved.

    As to why yours broke? Wish I could help. It's not unheard of to have them go off with just the right thermal stress, but that's more common in a moonroof than a side window.
     
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  3. MountainMan611

    MountainMan611 New Member

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    Thanks for the reply Leadfoot. The mystery of why it broke is baffling to me. I'll have to read up on thermal stress, that is interesting.
     
  4. Lukey51

    Lukey51 Member

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    Someone may have shot the window from a gun.
    I wouldn't be so fast to point your finger at Toyota.
    Good luck trying to place the blame on Toyota.
     
  5. MountainMan611

    MountainMan611 New Member

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    I hear you. I know Toyota is unlikely to do anything, but this was not a gunshot.

    Usually not; a passenger window is usually tempered, as Leadfoot mentioned, disintegrating into a bazillion little cubes.

    A windshield is usually laminated, with a tough sheet of plastic inside; if broken it goes all crackly and hangs there like a limp sheet.

    Good to know, thanks for the info.
     
    #5 MountainMan611, May 10, 2020
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  6. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    I would say tempered glass is designed to break as yours did, but obviously the window isn't designed or shouldn't have a design flaw, that causes it to do so.
    I really don't know as to "cause". I would SPECULATE that in mass production, you probably have a statistical reality of X numbers of windshields produced that may have unknown or undiscovered manufacturing defects. Production even with as much quality checking procedures is not a perfect science. Defects sometime escape detection.

    The experience must of been frightening. But I think the question would become what can be done and what do you want to do? I would be interested in what information you might be able to gain about a class action suit or number of suits for cases like yours, side window failures.
    If the class action suit is for front windshields, I would guess you wouldn't qualify, because as pointed out, totally different types of glass, in totally different places-installment, with different demands.
    I haven't read a lot of posts with people saying they have had similar failures, but that doesn't mean they haven't happened, just I haven't seen a trend of a lot of these posts.

    What do you want as far as resolution? The glass replaced? Damages?
    Both might be difficult to obtain.
    As you admit, your wife is OK. Hard to argue for personal damages. Stress? Fear? Tough battle.
    Then proving it's a design flaw, also difficult. Again, knowing or trying to find out how many other people have had PASSENGER windows explode would be helpful.
    Otherwise difficult to prove Toyota is responsible. You can say you saw no flaws, chips, before failure, but it's just your word.

    I don't mean to be discouraging, just trying to frame what you would want in terms of resolution, and what you hope is possible. Along with the depressing opinion that getting that resolution might be pretty difficult.

    I would also offer that the "flaw" could be in the door itself, or the rollers that actually hold the glass. Perhaps the rollers were either too tight, or too loose, allowing for vibration that could at the exact speed and over time result in failure.

    Good Luck, and I would be interested in what you find with further investigation.
    I hope this doesn't poison your trust in the vehicle.

    Oh, and I meant to ask, did you buy this vehicle new? Or used?
    If used does it have any accident history?
     
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  7. MountainMan611

    MountainMan611 New Member

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    The Electric Me - good stuff in your post. Now that I've been able to relax a bit, I'm seeing that filing a lawsuit might not be worth the headache. I've gotten some online quotes, and the window replacement looks to be more reasonable than I thought, cheap enough that I probably won't even go through insurance.

    My biggest concern right now is the other windows might blow out and it's always going to be in the back of my head. My two choices seem to be: live with it or get rid of it. I just hope this doesn't happen to other people because it could be catastrophic resulting in loss of life.

    I bought this car brand new and it's never been in an accident before. It's been flawless up to this point with no issues. Just the regular oil changes, tire rotations, and oil/air filter replacements.
     
  8. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    And you likely are 100% wrong......because you actually have NO way to know that for certain.
    Note the difference in the kinds of glass mentioned in another post.

    BUT, by all means, search out that class action suit and see what it is about.
    Don't be surprised if you can't really find one though.
     
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  9. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    When you have the glass replaced, I would ask the opinion of the place/person doing the replacement. They likely know or have experience with these types of happenings.
    They could probably tell you if the internal workings of the door/rollers look OK. They could probably tell you or at least have an opinion on how common this type of incident is, and maybe how worried you might want to be about this happening again going forward.
    They might even be willing to check the other 3 windows for any potential signs of approaching problems.

    Maybe sadly, my first year of ownership of my Honda Fit I had the typical winter rock hit the front windshield and cause a crack. What I found out when I had it replaced was that according to Safelite, they were experts at replacing Honda Fit front windshields because damage was so common.
    Not exactly what I wanted to hear, not a design flaw, but just the cost of driving a low profile vehicle with a huge front windshield.
    Any way, my point being, people that replace and repair these types of glass, might have a good feeling as to how common this type of incident is, and/or what you might want to check.
     
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  10. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    It's happened. For what it's worth I think it's much more likely that you were hit by a rock or pellet.

    I've had 4 side windows break on me before-

    1. I was the passenger in a buick sedan that flipped over, the door frame was distorted enough to blow out the window right next to my head
    2. I was a backseat passenger in a NYC taxicab that was hit on the side
    3. somebody shot a pellet into the rear quarterlight window of my old Eagle- the broken glass didn't fall so it was easy to ID as a pellet strike
    4. somebody bashed the side window of my old Subaru to make certain I only had $0.07 in the ashtray, implement unknown.

    (#1 and 2 were the ones mentioned in my earlier post)

    I think your best course of action is to get some cool Animal Crossing band-aids for your wife, file a comprehensive claim to get the window replaced, and move on.
     
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  11. MountainMan611

    MountainMan611 New Member

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    The Electric Me - good idea, I'll ask the glass repair guy his thoughts.

    Leadfoot - that's what I'm going to do. Replace the window and just forget about it. I bought a shop vac a few weeks ago and boy did it come in handy getting all that broken glass out of the car. I think you might have been onto something with the thermal stress idea as well. I'm seeing hundreds of reports on the internet of mysterious car glass shatters. I didn't research it too much, but I guess the temperature of the car/window can have some sort of reaction that causes the tempered glass to shatter. This problem has been seen in all different make and model of vehicles, not just Toyota.



     
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