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Well, first post here, so hello fellow gas sippers! I just wanted to post about one of the strangest experiences (besides getting 60mpg on a regular basis) that I've ever experienced with a car. It was extremely cold here last night in Northwest Arkansas. My aftermarket temp gauge read 12 degrees this morning on my way to work. After my 25 mile drive to work, it showed about 14. I parked and didn't come out until afternoon where the temps were probably in the mid 40's. I was headed across the parking lot to our gym, and upon glancing into the rear-view mirror noticed something strange. It was shattered. There's not a piece of glass any bigger than a dime back there. I immediately turned around and headed back to the original parking spot, presuming a rock or something must have been thrown. However, upon returning the grass near the car was clearly dead and hadn't been mowed in months. I looked at the glass, and it was separated all along the perimeter. All I can imagine is that the aluminum expanded at a faster rate (direct sunlight, cold temperatures) than the tinted rear glass. The rate was so extreme the frame basically pulled away from the class causing it to shatter. To me this seems clearly defective and Honda should take care of it. However, I took it to have them look at it and the local District Manager said they wouldn't help me take care of this. I called a 1-800 line for Honda for resolution, and they're supposed to get back with me within 48hrs. I checked the price on this repair, and NO window shop carries the rear glass for these cars of course, and the dealer charges about $750 for the parts, and I don't have an estimate on labor, but I would imagine it's going to be at least a couple hundred dollars. I have insurance, but how do you explain that the glass in your car broke for no reason? I'm really disappointed in Honda, and I plan to let them know. :( Anyone have any advice, or ever heard of this before?
 

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It's not that uncommon in all sorts of cars. Your comprehensive insurance will cover it. Probably stress in the glass, not anthing to do with the frame around the glass.
 

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Same thing happened to me on a car up in Alaska. All I could figure was that a temp differential caused the glass to crystallize. Your best bet would be to check out the wrecking yards and see if you can find a used piece of glass. That's what I did for my car. Don't think it had anything to do with bad design with Honda, was just the right weather conditions. Did you happen to use the rear window defroster?
 

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Well, because the car was garaged there was no need to use the defroster. It's odd that my car was parked with about 150 others in the same lot and it's the only one that shattered. :( What luck!
 

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Just thought I'd show you all a picture. I went on the NHTSB to post a complaint. I found someone else had the same problem as I had, and actually others on Yahoo groups had the same problem. So apparently this is a defective part. I spoke with Honda Corporate USA today, and they didn't want to cover the cost of the repair. That's disappointing.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v310/ ... C-012S.jpg
[mod edit, see rules for pic posting guidelines. Link is still active]
 

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a friend of mine had that happen to him too, it was in the fall in RI, so i dont think it was below freezing even. he wasnt driving an insight or even a honda...so as far as i know this is a universal problem among all cars when the conditions are right
 

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KyleH said:
Well, because the car was garaged there was no need to use the defroster. It's odd that my car was parked with about 150 others in the same lot and it's the only one that shattered. :( What luck!
Not really luck. I don't know of any vehicle with a piece of glass as big as that back window. The bigger they are, the more prone they are to this sort of thing.
 

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fscott said:
Not really luck. I don't know of any vehicle with a piece of glass as big as that back window. The bigger they are, the more prone they are to this sort of thing.
Well, the expansion rate of aluminum is about twice that of mild steel, FWIW. I can't think of too many other aluminum cars out there. The world has seen a lot of cars with a hatch-back design, many larger than the rear window of the Insight.

If it wasn't luck, then it would be popping on everyone's car anytime they experience similar conditions, would it not?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well, I didn't imply that it didn't happen to other cars. But the failure rate on the Insight, given the very limited production, seems a little high.

I'd just like to say that I'm glad everyone loves their Insight (I do too) so much that they can see no reason, despite simple physics, that the design of the car could amplify this phenomenon. Hondas = perfect. People have problems with their Hondas = idiots. My fault.

If this does happen, that's fine. It doesn't bother me THAT much that this happened, rare as it may be. What does bug me is Honda doesn't acknowledge that this is the result of some defect, whether it be the glass, the frame, the glue, whatever. I expect the manufacturer to stand behind the product in some fashion. ESPECIALLY when they mark this glass so that no other aftermarket glass shop can produce it.

Comprehensive does cover it, but you're still paying the deductible. And just so you know, replacing the glass of most cars would be between $200 & $300. This one's going to be well over $1,000 should it happen to you. I know we can all justify it with the fuel savings, but just giving you a heads up.
 

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KyleH said:
I'd just like to say that I'm glad everyone loves their Insight (I do too) ...<snip>

What does bug me is Honda doesn't acknowledge that this is the result of some defect, whether it be the glass, the frame, the glue, whatever.
Don't fall in love with _any_ car. They don't love you back. They demand to be fed else won't move and require other expensive maintenance.

From what you've written Honda has nothing to "acknowledge" in this case. Do your homework, believe it or not.
 

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An act of god, or an act of the elements, is NOT a design defect. Thats like saying that if a boulder fell off a mountain and crushed you vehicle, the manufacturer should replace it because it got squished, and the frame was defective because it allowed the boulder to do this despicable act. Shure it's upsetting, when stuff breaks, but one either fixes it and gets over it, or we blame others for our woes.
 

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The hatch back window of my old CRX cracked into thousands of tiny bits while parked in the sun. It rudely collapsed into the hatch area when I got in and shut the door! A year later a dead tree branch fell on the front windscreen.* I did most of the work myself using a window from a scrap yard for the rear hatch. A glass specialty shop were kind enough to sell me the correct rubber sealant (urethane?) in a caulking tube for 20 dollars. :D

*As a result, I don't park under trees with the Insight! I also pack a bubble type pool cover, a poly tarp and nylon cord with me if I go on a long trip in the summer (in case of hail).
 
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