Ask the Expert: What can I do about my Skoda’s leaking sunroof?

Skoda Karoq
This is a problem that crops up in Skodas and Volkswagens - Å KODA AUTO

Dear Alex,

The panoramic sunroof of my Skoda Karoq became reluctant to demist and a local mechanic discovered four inches of water in the spare wheel well. My Skoda dealer traced the source of the leak to the roof – and said, to my horror, that the entire roof needs to be replaced, at a total cost of £2,457.88. I have taped up the roof to prevent further leaking. Might silicone sealant help? Any other suggestions?


Dear Al,

I’m sure it won’t make you feel any better, but you are not alone. This is a problem which seems to be cropping up more and more across multiple Volkswagen Group (of which Skoda is a part) models fitted with a panoramic roof.

What happens is that the glass roof sits in a plastic cassette, which is bonded with water-resistant glue. Unfortunately, it seems that, with time, the glue gives up the ghost, allowing the cassette to separate and water to leak into the car.

The only remedy offered by main dealers is to replace the entire cassette, which – as you’ve discovered – is a costly enterprise.

Some owners have reported offers of goodwill discounts. That might be an avenue to follow – you’d need to complain to Skoda Customer Services, in the hope they are willing to comply. That will likely happen only if the car has been serviced on time and on mileage at a main dealer.

Various DIY fixes have been tried by desperate owners, but none has yet been found to be entirely successful; most do the job for a while, but fail after a year or two. However, the various sunroof specialists dotted around the country (some are even mobile) are fast developing a way of repairing the cassette for longer – and for a fraction of the cost.

There’s no certainty yet about how long these repairs will last – indeed, you may need to budget for the cost of re-sealing the roof every few years, which is what I’d recommend to any buyer of a VW Group car equipped with a panoramic roof like yours.

But at least that cost will be significantly less than that of a full replacement – which, if the design hasn’t been altered, may also fail again a few years down the line.

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