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Sunroof explodes, 'sounded like a gunshot'

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Posted at 6:36 PM, Sep 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-20 16:44:11-04

He says it sounded like an explosion.

Travis Hawthorne and his family were driving on a Valley highway when it happened.

Could it have come from a shotgun?

But when they pulled the car over, he says there was no bullet, no rock, just a lot of broken glass.

And fortunately, it did not hit his daughter in the back seat.

Travis says his sunroof spontaneously shattered.

The car is a 2011 Kia Sportage.

A check of complaints to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show a dozen owners of 2011-2014 Sportages had similar stories.

The complaints include "I heard a loud bang,"  "sunroof blew out almost causing an accident," "it just exploded for no reason," "It's a "design flaw that needs to be addressed."  

But Travis says Kia told him they are not going to cover it.

Kia didn't get back to us with a statement by air time.

While there's been no sunroof Sportage recall, Kia's sister company Hyundai has recalled cars for similar issues.

And NHTSA has been investigating 2013 Kia Sorento's for sunroof breakage.

Kia has said "the breakage incidents were occurring due to road object impacts."

With another baby on the way, Travis and Toni say the $2300 price tag for a new sunroof is too high.

They'd be happy with Kia paying their $500 insurance deductible.

There is a class action lawsuit now involving certain Kia models and shattering sunroofs.