Lemberg Law is investigating consumer complaints that the back windshields of 2023 Honda HR-Vs shatter and sometimes explode spontaneously. Complaints state that this happens without impact when cars are parked or driving. There are also allegations that while Honda knows about the problem and is looking for explanations, dealerships refuse to install new glass.
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Is There a Problem with the Back Windows Shattering?
There is a major problem with the back windshields of 2023 Honda Hi-Rider Revolutionary Vehicle (HR-V). Numerous owners of the HR-V, that Honda calls “the modern SUV,” have complained to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) about the issue. They have listed complaints as being visibility, visibility/wiper, unknown or other, or electrical system problems.
American Honda Motor Co., Inc. (AHM) has acknowledged the problem in a message circulated to dealers. Since all communications between the manufacturer and dealerships must, by law, be shared with the NHTSA, the AHM message is on file and accessible to the public via the NHTSA website.
What Does Honda Say About the Back Window Issue?
Issued on May 1, 2023, the AHM message is from the company’s Technical Information & Support (TIS) Group. It states that “priority/action” is required by dealerships.
It explains that AHM is searching for “2023 HR-Vs with a customer complaint of rear windshield shattering. The message states that “to better understand the cause of this condition,” AHM aims to collect “specific parts” from these vehicles before dealerships attempt any kind of repairs. As a “gesture of appreciation,” they are offering dealer technicians who identify and report HR-Vs that qualify for their investigation “a Visa gift card.”
AHM is only interested in vehicles that meet these requirements:
- The lower right corner of the rear windshield must still be “installed in the vehicle.”
- The HR-V must not have been in a collision.
- There should not have been any attempt to repair the HR-V.
Ultimately, the bottom line is that once the issue has been reported to AHM, TIS “will provide additional information if this situation applies.” Presumably meaning if the vehicle meets the 3 qualifiers above.
What Issues are Owners Experiencing with Back Windows Shattering or Exploding?
Between March 5 and June 10, 2023, 13 2023 Honda HR-V owners complained to the NHTSA about back windows shattering and/or exploding with no warning or impact. This represents more than 68% of the total number of complaints lodged during this time.
Examples of complaints that mention the glass exploding, rather than just shattering, include:
- “There was an abnormal explosion” before the rear windshield “shattered without impact.”
- “The window simply exploded seemingly spontaneously.”
- The owner of an HR-V whose vehicle was parked on a “normal rainy day” states that “my back glass exploded.”
Many of the complaints state that they had the rear defogger/defroster on when the windshield shattered. Some mention cold or bad weather including rain. Additionally, at least one owner was told that the problem “is a flaw in the rear defrost.” However, there is a complaint that states a back window shattered on a calm, sunny day.
The complaint dated March 14, 2023, states that the HR-V was off and parked in a parking lot between 7.30 am and 3.30 pm “on a partly sunny, calm, 50 degree day.” The rear window was facing southeast and the SUV was “parked a safe distance from the front bumper of the vehicle behind it.” When the owner returned to the vehicle, “the rear window had shattered into smithereens with a softball sized hole in the top left quadrant. After opening and closing the front passenger door, the entire rear window collapsed. There was no evidence of a strike from a person or a thing among the rubble.”
Dealerships Unwilling or Unable to Assist
Incidents range from dealers simply not providing assistance to dealers refusing to install new windshield glass.
A complaint dated May 21, 2023, states that the “back window broke while I was parked outside my house sitting inside the vehicle with the A/C off.” Insurance wouldn’t cover the damage, so the owner was forced to pay for the windshield that he sourced from Honda. Then, to make matters worse, he was forced to find someone to install it because not even the Honda dealer he bought the SUV from would do the job. He was told they only installed front windshields.
Another complaint mentions that the dealership said, “this is a known issue,” but Honda chose “not make an public announcement regarding this.”
And yet another complaint states that after “the rear windshield had shattered without impact,” the vehicle was taken to the dealer, “but no assistance was provided.”
Of course, this all stands to reason since dealerships faced with shattered rear windshields have been told not to make any kind of repairs.
Owner Calls for Recall or Warranty Coverage
In a complaint lodged with the NHTSA on June 5, 2023, the owner of a 2023 Honda HRV EX-L describes how the rear windshield shattered and exploded while parked. “There was no impact or an object hitting it. It just exploded. I strongly believe it’s a manufacturing defect which needs a recall or warranty coverage. I believe an inferior glass was used.”
When he called the collision center, they “said they’ve had many incidents like that with that model. I’m really disappointed and (am) considering many options right now. When I called Honda America, they were trying to bail out. But it’s obvious that an inferior glass was used. Now, I don’t know when the next glass is going to explode. And, I don’t know when there’ll be another defect. This needs a recall and must be covered by warranty or a buy back option.”
Counting himself lucky that no-one was sitting in the back of the vehicle when the glass exploded, he states that, “There could’ve been physical injuries.” Furthermore, “Driving the car puts some fear in me psychologically because I don’t (know) when another glass (windshield) will explode.”
What Should You Do if Your Honda HR-V Back Window Exploded or Shattered?
Has your rear windshield spontaneously shattered or exploded? If so, you may qualify for our class action investigation. As we have noted in this post, Honda is searching for information about customers’ complaints of “rear windshield shattering.” Lemberg Law is investigating the same issue.
If you have experienced a shattered rear windshield and would like to join our class action investigation, call us at 844-928-4443 or complete our contact form. We will evaluate your case and see if you qualify.