Shattering Rear Windows Leave SUV Owners Ducking For Cover

Ford Exploding Glass Problems
Ford and Mercury SUV Owners Looking for Answers

Imagine you're going on vacation. The tank is full, the kids are actually behaving in the back seat and you're putting the last packed bag in the back. You go to close your rear gate when suddenly the window explodes, sending little shards of glass all over you, your kids and your luggage.

Sound unbelievable? Those are real stories from Ford and Mercury owners who have had their rear window explode with no explanation. It doesn't matter if the temperature is hot or cold, or even if the car is moving or parked, the rear windows of some Ford Explorer, Escape, Edge and Mercury Mountaineers SUVs are just exploding at random.


A Bit of History on Exploding Windows

The Ford Explorer and Mercury Mountaineer both have a history of shattering rear windows dating back to the late 90's, but it wasn't until 2002 that the problem got so bad Ford couldn't ignore it any longer.

About 955,000 2002-03 Ford Explorer and Mercury Mountaineer SUVs were recalled in 2004 for faulty strut brackets and hinges that could loosen. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) documented 165 reports of injuries from the breaking glass resulting from loose components, and almost 5,000 complaints. The recall states:

“The brackets connecting the left cylinders to each side of the liftgate could rotate out of position if either the urethane bond or torque are not sufficient.”

Here, let us rewrite that for you Ford: "The brackets will definitely rotate out of place because the bond we used isn't even close to being sufficient!" That's more like it.

But does this recall really even address the complete problem? What about those all those drivers who say the window shatters when they're just driving down the road? Or those who say they had it "fixed" only to have the glass still explode on them:

“Several years ago we took our Explorer to the dealer for the rear glass strut attachment recall. We had this fix immediately upon getting the recall card. The dealer applied some sort of glue between the glass and the strut attachment bracket. Last night I opened the tailgate window (not the whole tailgate), upon closing the glass when the window was about 1/3 of the way down, it exploded. I was applying mo more pressure than normal and was pushing from the center. The wiper panel hit the ground just missing me, I received several minor cuts on the back of my hand. It could have been much worst.”

mbramona on CarComplaints.com
Ramona, CA, USA
Ford Exploding Rear Liftgate Glass Ford Exploding Rear Liftgate Glass Ford Exploding Rear Liftgate Glass Ford Exploding Rear Liftgate Glass Ford Exploding Rear Liftgate Glass

2011 NHTSA Investigation

For owners of the Escape and Mountaineer, good news came in February 2011 when the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced an investigation into this shattering glass problem. The government agency received 18 complaints, which is a far cry from the hundreds we've seen on CarComplaints.com.

No recall has been issued yet, but a Ford spokesman told the Detroit News that they were "aware of the investigation." Aware is great, fixing the problem is better.

Ford's Response

No recall has been issued yet, but a Ford spokesman told the Detroit News that they were "aware of the investigation." Aware is great, fixing the problem is better.

Ford did issue a technical service bulletin on the matter last November, where they stated that "some 2010-2011 Escape and Mariner vehicles built on or before Oct. 15, 2010 may experience the lift gate window glass breaking, typically when colder ambient temperatures are present." Explain that one to the people reporting this problem from Hawaii.


Actions You Can Take

This step is crucial, don't just complain on forums! The sites below will actively manage your complaints and turn them into useful statistics. Both CarComplaints.com and the CAS will report dangerous trends to the authorities and are often called upon by law firms for help with Class Action lawsuits. Make sure to file your complaint on all three sites, we can't stress that enough.

  1. Step 1: File Your Complaint at CarComplaints.com

    CarComplaints.com is a free site dedicated to uncovering problem trends and informing owners about potential issues with their cars. Major class action law firms use this data when researching cases. Add a Complaint

  2. Step 2: Notify the Center for Auto Safety

    The Center for Auto Safety (CAS) is a pro-consumer organization that researches auto safety issues & often compels the US government to do the right thing through lobbying & lawsuits. Notify the CAS

  3. Step 3: Report a Safety Concern to NHTSA

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is the US agency with the authority to conduct vehicle defect investigations & force recalls. Their focus is on safety-related issues. Report to NHTSA

What Other Owners Are Saying

“Just yesterday my family and I were getting ready to go out and spend some quality time with each other. I had asked my oldest son who is 13 years old to help me carry some small bags and load them at the back end of my wife's explorer. The second I pushed the button to unlatch the back glass window the whole glass just shattered into a million pieces. Tiny little pieces of glass were all over me and my son. I had a few minor cuts and scratches. My son thankfully did not. He only had pieces of glass all over his hair. If there are so many complaints about these back glasses shattering, shouldn't there be a recall?”

alfredotx
Humble, TX, USA

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