Acura RDX Glass Shattering Lawsuit: From Complaints to Courtroom

Acura RDX Glass Shattering Lawsuit: From Complaints to Courtroom

Picture this, you’re comfortably seated in your Acura RDX when unexpectedly you hear “pop” of glass shattering. Your heart races as you swiftly turn to find your rear glass shattered. This is exactly what some 2019-2023 Acura RDX owners have experienced. As a result, a lawsuit has been filed against the automaker due to a defect with the rear windshield.

Owners allege that a flaw in the rear defroster design causes the windshield to shatter spontaneously, without a break or any impact to the glass. Owners further allege that Acura denies warranty coverage for the rear windshields, forcing owners to pay out-of-pocket for the glass repair.

As one can imagine, a shattered rear window isn’t just a minor inconvenience. The rear windshield is crucial for protecting passengers from outside elements and potential hazards during a drive.

The lawsuit, Franklin McIntryre, et al. v. American Honda Motor Co., Inc., has been filed that aims to bring relief for owners of the 2019-2023 Acura RDX with defective rear windows.

Let’s dive deeper into the details of the 2019-2023 Acura RDX glass shattering problems. Then we provide helpful insight into what drivers can do if they find themselves dealing with this defect.

Owners Allege Spontaneous Glass Shattering Problems Due to Defroster Grid

According to complaint, the spontaneous shattering of the vehicle’s rear windshield is caused by an incorrect specification for the rear defroster grid.

So, what does incorrect specification mean exactly? Simply put, it means either the defroster is the wrong size or shape for the rear glass. Or, it could also mean the defroster’s electrical needs don’t match the car’s.

For example, some defrosters might not heat the glass evenly. Or, might not stick well to certain window types. Also, there might be issues with how the defroster connects to the car’s electrical system.

However, despite numerous complaints and even reports from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration since 2020, Acura seems to have known about this issue for a while but has not addressed it openly.

Owners who took their RDX vehicles to Acura dealerships due to the defect were refused warranty replacements and had to bear the cost of new glass themselves.

Finally, after two years of receiving a slew of complaints from customers and Acura dealerships, Acura finally released a Service Bulletin to remedy the problem.

However the fix, as stated in the Service Bulletin directed Acura dealerships to replace the defective rear windshields with equally defective windshields (part number 73211-TJB-A02).

How Does The Defroster Grid Work?

The defroster grid is attached to the surface of the glass using an adhesive. When the defroster is turned on, electrical current is sent through the grid. The grid begins to heat up the glass surface, dissolving ice and fog. 

Can Auto Glass Spontaneously Shatter?

While it is extremely rare, auto glass can spontaneously shatter. Factors like manufacturing defects, rapid temperature changes, pressure differences, minor damages, and body flex can contribute to this unexpected breakage.

In general, automotive glass is designed to be tough. For example, windshields are made of laminated glass to prevent them from shattering into sharp pieces.

Side and rear windows are made of tempered glass that breaks into small, rounded pieces for safety.

What Is Spontaneous Glass Shattering?

Spontaneous glass shattering refers to the unexpected breaking of glass without any apparent external cause. One of the most common reasons for spontaneous glass breakage is the presence of thermal stress.

This is when one part of a glass pane gets heated more than another part, it can cause a temperature differential. This causes one part of the glass to expand more than another. When this happens, it leads to stress and, you guessed it – shattering.

Didn’t Acura Release a Service Bulletin to Remedy This Glass Defect?

Yes, on June 10, 2022, Acura issued Service Bulletin 22-014 addressing issues with the rear windshield of 2019-2020 RDX models.

However, the replacement windshield bore the same part number as the one being replaced. This has led to speculations that the same defective part might have been used for replacements.

Is There a Fix For The Acura RDX Glass Shattering Problems?

As of this writing, there is no known fix.

Should 2019-2023 Acura RDX Owners Be Concerned?

The rate of complaints for this defect appears to be increasing. However, there is no preemptive maintenance an RDX owner can undertake.

The MyCarVoice team suggests subscribing to this post. As soon as there’s news of a resolution, you’ll be notified promptly.

Owners Voices

I got in my vehicle, closed the driver door and heard a loud ‘pop’ followed by the sound of glass falling. Turned around and saw a giant hole in the middle of my rear windshield. Got out to investigate and noticed the rear window was completely shattered all the way to the edges of the glass. There are multiple reports of this happening and yet Acura USA refuses to acknowledge it. Instead, forcing us to file an insurance claim when in fact this is faulty glass, and should be covered by Acura. It’s
2022, a simple google search will show how common this issue has become. Acura
needs to be held accountable and something needs to be done about this immediately

NHTSA ID Number: 11451772

Opened my Acura RDX car door, sat down, closed the door – and then my rear windshield shattered and collapsed into my trunk. I knew of no damage to it – the car is a 2020, relatively new – This incident caught me my complete surprise. Searched on internet, and see similar complaints from other Acura owners about exploding rear windshields after closing driver side door.

NHTSA ID Number: 11450324

Rear glass shattered right after I got into my car and closed my door, 100% sure I’m not the only one having this issue. Acura RDX 2019.

NHTSA ID Number: 11456431

Back windshields have been spontaneously shattering. Sitting in my car parked for 20 minutes waiting for my son and the back window shattered…all the edges with a strange crack and the glass appeared shattered…ran my hand across it and cut my finger. People that came over to the car had me lift the hatch and the center of the window fell in. I joined an RDX owner Facebook page and it seems like this is happening to a lot of people.

NHTSA ID Number: 11447941

Acura RDX Models Affected

The following Acura vehicles are affected by this alleged defect:

Status of the Acura RDX Glass Shattering Class Action Litigation

Class Action Currently Active

This is an active class action lawsuit.

Franklin McIntryre, et al. v. American Honda Motor Co., Inc., case number 2:23-cv-7024, in United States District Court for the Central District of California, Western Division.

Filed by the law firm of Tycko & Zavareei LLP.

Questions About This Lawsuit? is not counsel or the settlement administrator in this class action lawsuit. Our goal is to inform owners of these vehicles of the recent lawsuit. This post will be updated when/if new suit information is released.

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Are you driving a Acura RDX and experienced the spontaneous rear windshield shattering defect? If so, add your voice to this post in the comments below 👇

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