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Holy crap... PSA about exploding toxic rearview mirrors. Check your car!

j

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I was searching about swapping out a rearview mirror for one with map lights and other functions and stumbled across this. Apparently many OEM self-dimming mirrors contain mercury and other toxic chemicals and can explode/leak, and corrosive fluids leak out and damage the interior and potentially cause health problems. Check to see if your car has one of these and consider having it replaced. I don't know if there is a recall or whatever but if you contact the mirror OEM or car manufacturer you should be able to find out. Alternatively just buy a different mirror and put it in there yourself. FYI.

http://tl.acurazine.com/forums/showthread.php?t=549093

Exploding Mirror - Chronic Sore Throat

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FOLLOWING THE EXPLOSION OF YOUR MIRRORS, HAS ANYONE EXPERIENCED A CHRONIC SORE THROAT, MIGRAINES and INTESTINAL PROBLEMS? At first, I thought it purely coincidental, however, since this incident I've had a chronic sore throat, migraines and intestinal problems. I've visited numerous doctors and one has finally diagnosed me with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. Multiple Chemical Sensitivity - also referred to as MCS - is known as a Chemical Injury. In broad terms, it means an unusually severe sensitivity or allergy-like reaction to a chemical or pollutant. THE CHEMICALS INSIDE OF MAGNA'S MIRRORS ARE HIGHLY TOXIC WHEN INHALED -- particularly inside of a hot car with the windows up.

My rearview mirror exploded last November, spraying a black liquid substance all over the interior of my Acura TL (the tan leather seats, carpet and center console). It even eroded/burnt a hole through my center console.

Magna replaced my mirror free of charge, no questions asked. An auto repairman at my Acura dealership stated in my service repair report that these mirrors contain mercury. Although, they attempted to clean car thoroughly, he advised me to trade it in as soon as possible. He said that the chemical most likely leaked between my center console onto the floor board and could not be removed.

Upon receiving this information from my dealership, I requested the list of chemicals used inside of these mirrors from Magna Donnelly (the manufacturer of these mirrors). Magna would not share this information with me, stating it's proprietary information and the chemicals (there are 7-8 of them) are patented.

A week later, I received a call on my cell phone from the Magna's Vice President, Neall Lynam, assuring me that the chemicals used in Magna's mirrors are not toxic. (I later discovered that he had lied to me.) I also asked him why a recall hadn't been issued on these mirrors, and he stated that he felt it was not necessary. Not necessary?

I continued to remain ill for no apparent reason. I no longer believe that my illness and the exposure to theses chemicals was purely coincidental.

I hired an attorney to subpoena the list of chemicals from Magna. To my (and my attorney's) surprise, all of the chemicals used in their mirrors are highly toxic. One of the main symptoms, upon being exposed to these chemicals, is a chronic sore throat and interstinal problems.

I signed a disclaimer with Magna, therefore, I'm unable to disclose this information. However, I can assure you that if you've been exposed to them (particularly, for a long period of time), then there's a probability that you (or any of your passengers) may also become ill.

My attorney is filing suit against Magna Donnelly for personal damages to my car and injuries suffered as a result of their carelessness to issue a recall on their rearview mirrors. If you (or anyone you know) has experienced any type of illness as a result of being exposed to these chemicals, please respond to this posting. Perhaps, a class action law suit should be in order.
 

j

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BTW, reading through a couple of these threads makes me truly appreciate how much more intelligent and reasonable the people here are on average than on car forums. Sticking mostly with here and a couple of other sites makes me forget how idiotic most of the internet populace is. One of the moderators on one of the threads is basically (illiterately) calling the whole thing ridiculous and discouraging people from worrying about it. It seems pretty straightforward to me that if you have a black plastic product behind a clear windshield that can get up to temperatures of over 100 degrees easily, and it has corrosive fluids inside it which will burn holes in plastic, leather, carpet etc., it would be wise to replace it with the later version which is supposedly less likely to cause such damage.

BTW, the cars effected seem to be model years 1999-2003 or so, and this company is the OEM for apparently pretty much every manufacturer. So if you have a car from near that era with a self dimming mirror, you may want to look into it.
 

robin

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Interesting, are those liquid mirrors or is the mercury and other chemicals used for something else?
 

j

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They're self dimming and the electrochromic fluid inside is what can heat up, become unstable, and leak/spray/explode out of the casing. I assume it's similar to LCD fluid but must be some other formulation for whatever reason.
 

Nouveau Pauvre

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Unrelated, but J's avatar is full of win.
 

j

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Thanks mang. I bought a Forester on Monday and guess what, it had this mirror in it, and was in the process of getting defective! Luckily looks like it hasn't leaked yet, so I had it removed from the car. Fun stuff!
 

grimslade

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I like that avatar too.
 

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