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Energy Efficient Windows ‘Melting’ Car Parts in CA?

toyota prius
(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Here’s one we don’t hear everyday.  A woman in Studio City CA claims light reflecting from nearby apartment windows are causing the plastic car parts on her Prius… melt!

Before you think Heather Patron of Studio City is nuts, consider the research she put into her claim.  She owns a Prius, and it and other vehicles parked next to a condominium outfitted with new energy efficient windows are seeing plastic parts melt.   She noticed a beam of reflective light coming off one of the windows that was hitting her rear view mirror, causing a dimple and wrinkles in the plastic.  Toyota repaired them for her, and said nothing was wrong with the materials.  She then noticed similar effects on other cars near hers that were subjected to the reflective light.  A CBS reporter placed a thermometer in the light beam hitting the other car; within five minutes the temp. registered in excess of 120 degrees and climbing.  She claims the newer energy efficient condo window are magnifying the reflective heat onto nearby objects, causing the melting or distortion.  The National Association of Home Builders are now conducting a study into the matter.  The City Of Los Angeles says even if that is the cause of the melting, there is no code violation for reflective light causing damage from a window.

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