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WranglerCalifornia's Cool Car Rules May Affect Wrangler Soft-Top Sales
Posted by mike on 2009/10/20 9:50:55 (1689) reads

Here's an interesting side-effect of something that was probably not entirely well thought-out...

In California's push to make anything and everything more energy-efficient (something we can all get behind), the California Air Resources Board recently instituted a new regulation that required advanced window-glazing to keep automotive interiors cooler. While this seems like a good idea, it appears that the best way for auto manufacturers to accomplish this is to use a window tint that includes a metallic substance that interferes with all sorts of radio waves. The Detroit News did a great job covering this story.

At first glance, this seems like a good idea every time I see a young whipper-snapper yapping or texting instead of paying attention to the road. But, looking a bit deeper, there are numerous issues that can't be ignored:

They noted that "ankle bracelets for parolees," along with cell phone calls and laptops, "may be adversely affected by the metallic reflective standard" because the signals "must be able to penetrate the glazing in vehicles."

Garmin's initial testing said the signals from GPS devices were degraded.

So, what does all this have to do with the Jeep Wrangler? As you may have already guessed, the soft-tops windows can't be treated with the new super-efficient coating:
"The very popular Jeep Wrangler fitted with a soft convertible top uses flexible roll-up side windows which are not capable of meeting the side window standard," Ross Good, Chrysler's senior manager of government relations told the board. "Outlawing the soft top would require us to use the hard-top vehicle with the hard windows, which would add significant weight to the vehicle."

This whole story reminds me of one of my favorite movie quotes:

Don't you think that idea is a little half-baked?

First one to identify the movie in the comments wins.

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Poster Thread
Posted: 2009/10/24 21:36  Updated: 2009/10/24 21:36
Just popping in
Joined: 2009/10/23
Posts: 2
 Re: California's Cool Car Rules May Affect Wrangler ...
No...I think that idea is comletely baked!

Poster Thread
Posted: 2009/10/20 12:48  Updated: 2009/10/20 12:48
Quite a regular
Joined: 2004/5/11
Posts: 57
 Re: California's Cool Car Rules May Affect Wrangler ...
Don't you think that idea is a little half-baked? - The Graduate

Poster Thread
Posted: 2009/10/20 10:20  Updated: 2009/10/20 10:21
Not too shy to talk
Joined: 2007/5/14
Posts: 21
 Re: California's Cool Car Rules May Affect Wrangler ...
I don't think the idea is all that half-baked, since the law allows for "coating free" zones and also since the Wrangler, along with all other "flexible plastic window" vehicles, was granted an exemption - that statement was made by CARB yesterday.

Also, CARB conducted their own tests and found that radio interference is not necessarily a problem. The objections seem mainly to be based on speculation. Perhaps they're right, perhaps they're wrong. I gotta say, on a hot sunny day, thermal protection sounds great. In winter, not so much.

PS> Allpar has the news on the Wrangler exemption from cool car rules.
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