By on October 20, 2016

2016 Hyundai Sonata, Image: Hyundai Motor America

The only thing missing is an ejection seat.

Panoramic sunroofs are a great way to add upmarket flair to a solidly mid-range vehicle, bringing occupants closer to the outside world and making joyriding antics a breeze. However, drivers would normally prefer some say over when those large glass panels open. They’d also like to keep them attached to the car.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Hyundai has recalled certain 2015 and 2016 Sonata models equipped with a panoramic sunroof. The issue is simple: that glass panel might not stay in union with the vehicle.

Due to a bonding issue, the large forward glass panel could detach while the car is in motion, leading to a dangerous situation. We’ve all seen that scene from The Omen.

Hyundai produced the models from May 28, 2014 through March 18, 2016, with 62,811 vehicles listed as “potentially affected.” The automaker describes how the Sonata could flip its lid:

The sunroof assembly incorporates a wind deflector at the front of the sunroof to reduce wind noise in the passenger compartment when the sunroof is open. Certain vehicles may have insufficient bonding of the wind deflector anchor plate. If the wind deflector becomes partially detached from its mounting points after the sunroof is opened, it can interfere with the moveable sunroof panel while the sunroof is being closed. The tempered glass sunroof panel can detach from the sunroof assembly due to interference with the wind deflector, or if the customer tries to force the sunroof panel closed

Warning signs include increased wind noise due to a loose wind deflector and difficulty in closing the sunroof. Luckily, no injuries or accidents have been associated with the issue, despite numerous field reports of detached suunroofs.

The automaker plans to remedy the situation by rebonding the wind deflector anchor plate.

[Image: Hyundai Motor America]

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21 Comments on “Instant Al Fresco: Hyundai Recalls Sonata That Could Blow Its Top...”

  • avatar

    Better in an Sonata than a Southwest 737.

  • avatar

    Hyundai Sonata: James Bond’s choice when the DB5 is in the shop.

  • avatar
    Click REPLY to reload page

    The automaker plans to remedy the situation by rebonding the wind deflector anchor plate.

    A little JB Weld and it’s good for another few years. Someone else will probably be driving it the next time something comes loose.

  • avatar

    There was a recall on the Veloster’s panoramic roof for something similar. I can’t remember the details, but mine was part of the recall.

    The only way to test for the problem was to break the glass. I don’t know why they bothered, since either way they are replacing the roof. I was finding little pieces of glass for weeks after the “fix”.

    • 0 avatar

      Yep – first the Veloster, now the Sonata. I thought that in the case of the Veloster, the glass was prone to shatter.

      By the way, I get a kick out of the announcer in radio ads for Allen Samuels Hyundai in Fort Worth; he always insists on the calling the Veloster “the Hyundai Velocitor”.

  • avatar

    The ultimate convertible top.

  • avatar

    Hyundai is just trying to build a little more drama into their customers’ lives.

  • avatar

    I’m sure someone’s going to slam Hyundai, so let me remind you this minor annoyance from Hyundai compares favorably with Honda and Toyota’s hand grenade airbags and Toyota’s vehicles that really, really didn’t want to stop.

    • 0 avatar

      So, every automaker has issues? Wow. What a revelation.

      This isn’t the only recall Hyundai has ever had, and some have been over stuff that was more safety-related than detaching sunroofs. Although, as others have pointed out, this isn’t the first time a recent Hyundai has been recalled over sunroof issues.

      The cause in this case was not related to an outside supplier like the Takata airbags are.

      Hey, you brought this crap up, don’t blame me for poking holes in your “see?? others are worse than sweet Hyundai!” sentiment.

      • 0 avatar

        “The cause in this case was not related to an outside supplier like the Takata airbags are.”


        Sunroof assemblies are supplied to the automotive manufacturers and then are installed as a complete unit. Carlex, Inalfa, and Webasto are 3 off the top of my head. The key words in the article are “The sunroof assembly”. Webasto Donghee out of South Korea was the supplier of the defective component.

  • avatar

    To hyundais credit the panoramic sunroof does look very smart on that car and very upscale

  • avatar

    Probably the phoniest car issues ever were the Audi sudden acceleration ( foot on the wrong pedal ) and the Toyota braking issue ( dislodged non factory mat) and the chevy truck gas tank fire. Was it Dan Rather that used an explosive charge in that video?

    • 0 avatar

      Funny how Toyota admitted issues with its pedal placement, and recalled millions of cars for just a “dislodged non-factory mat”.

      • 0 avatar

        In hindsight, I suppose it is kind of funny that they got raked over the coals just because incompetent drivers were mistaking the gas pedal for the brake and installing floormats improperly, all while lacking any concept of the terms “ignition” and “neutral”.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    With 2 Hyundais and 2 Kias in my care, I can tell you that H/K is on a recall roll lately.

    – 7 recalls (I think) on my son’s 11 Sonata, since it was built
    – 3 recalls lately on my 09 Sedona (2 for control arm rust, 1 for evap canister), plus a TSB on the throttle position sensor that I had to pay for out of warranty (at an independent shop)
    – 1 recall lately on my 13 Optima Hybrid (evap canister)
    – 07 Sonata – need to check if the recall work has been performed…

    Some of this stuff is trivial, but some of it is not. Sunroof ejection seems like a Big Deal.

    • 0 avatar

      Didn’t you hear? This is a non-issue because somewhere, some other car at sometime was recalled and that makes this okay. Move along, folks. Nothing to see here.

  • avatar

    Sometimes a recall to fix something that is not broken is the cheapest way out.

  • avatar

    I still have no recalls on my 1974 Toronado…

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