January 11, 2017 8:39 pm

Cold Calgary weather may be causing car rear windows to break

WATCH ABOVE: The cold Calgary weather may be causing some glass problems on vehicles. Here’s Tony Tighe with how rear windows can also be victims of the weather.


All the snow on Calgary roads this winter means more sand and salt, which can lead to more cracked windshields. But the many temperature changes your car is exposed to may cause other window damage.

On Dec. 28, Rob Laird was in his house when he said he heard a loud noise in his garage.

“I went out to discover that the rear window on my 2014 Equinox had actually blown out. It looked like an explosion.”

A Calgary man thought his rear window was defective when it cracked open.

Global News

Laird said the car had been parked in the garage for about three hours, so he thought it was a defect and took it to his General Motors dealer.

He said he was told it wasn’t covered under warranty and he had to pay for the repair.

“I’m simply the consumer and through no fault of my own, this vehicle I bought in good faith–for no reason whatsoever–the window exploded outward,” Laird said.

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READ MORE: Tips to keep your vehicle running smooth in the cold weather

Fred Denomme at King’s Auto Glass said they have been seeing broken rear windows and side window glass regularly in the last month.

He said tempered glass is more susceptible to breakage in hot and cold temperatures.

“When subjected to extreme cold, the glass will contract, as well as body parts, but as your car heats up–driving or taking into a warmer environment–the metal parts and the glass parts may expand at different rates,” Denomme said.

He said new cars may be more susceptible because they haven’t experienced climate change.

He said it can also be caused by improper glass installation.

Laird said because the car is only two years old, he wants to know exactly what happened, so he’s filed a complaint with Transport Canada.

“It’s a safety concern to me that this could happen to somebody else and who’s to say it won’t happen again?”

Transport Canada said they haven’t had any complaints about his GM vehicle model but issued this statement:

“Any incidents of vehicle windows shattering for unknown reasons are of concern to the department. Transport Canada documents all public complaints involving vehicle glass failure, and encourages anyone who has experienced such an issue to fill out a defect complaint form at: www.tc.gc.ca/recalls.”

A Global News request to General Motors was not answered by publication time.

The experts said it’s always good to heat the glass gradually with your defroster as soon as you start your car and avoid exposing it to heat all at once.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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