Energy Efficient Window Damages Car with Sunlight

A woman in Studio City, California, bought a Toyota Prius, but noticed within days that the plastic on her mirrors was melting. 

“The side view mirrors were melting.  Anything that was plastic on the car was melting.”

Toyota confirmed that nothing was wrong with the plastic, and after she replaced the mirrors, she noticed the same type of damage on the car parked in an adjacent space.

Apparently an energy efficient window in a neighboring building was concentrating reflected sunlight onto the parking spaces of both cars.  Energy efficient windows allow visible light to pass through them, but reflect infrared light — CBS, Los Angeles, put a thermometer in the beam of reflected light and the temperature quickly rose to 120° (F), on an overcast day.

But, for me, the most troubling part of the story is that CBS says that they checked with the Los Angeles City Department of Building and Safety, “Even if the window is the culprit, there are no code violations here because it’s not against the law to own a window that reflects the sun” and insinuates that there is nothing that can be done about it.

I find this difficult to believe.  Regardless of the legality of owning such a window, it is still against the law to cause damage to other people’s property.  It might end up being a civil matter against the owners of the window, or perhaps a small claims issue, but I would think there are options available.

Link: CBS LOS ANGELES – Woman Claims Neighbor’s Energy Efficient Windows Are Melting Her Toyota Prius (w/video)

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