Attempts to Clarify Misconceptions about Auto Glass Regulations
and Reflective Glass That Could Be Required
October 30, 2009
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is attempting to clarify
misconceptions about its new auto glass regulations and, as part
of the new report, notes that for the first tier of the regulations,
reflective glass likely will need to be used. The regulations, which
have not yet been finalized, aim to reduce the load on a vehicle's
air conditioner by lessening the effects of the sun entering the
glass (or other through other methods yet to be determined). (CLICK
HERE for related story.)
"The remaining windows will be subject to less stringent requirements,
which will allow the use of non-reflecting glass," writes CARB
in a recently released Q&A on the regulations.
In 2016, the regulations will become more stringent-and at this
CARB point notes it is unclear whether reflective glass will need
to be used throughout the vehicle.
"A performance standard will be in place, whereby a manufacturer
may choose a variety of technologies (including the type of glass),
so long as a performance standard is met," writes CARB. "[CARB]
envisions that the use of reflecting glass for the windshield will
continue to be used [sic], but it is uncertain whether reflective
glass will need to be used all-around."
Though many from the electronics industry have expressed concerns
that this will interfere with cell phones and other electronics,
CARB says this is not the case. The group conducted a test on three
cars in Southern Californiaone with all-around reflective
glass, one with reflective glass only in the windshield, and one
with no reflective glass, according to the latest report.
"The study showed that cell phone performance was equivalent,
regardless of how much reflective glass was used," writes CARB.
CARB notes that they also conducted testing on GPS ankle bracelets,
and found no interference, and that electronic toll tags also should
remain unaffected, as long as they're placed appropriately in the
windshield's deletion window.
Despite some concern from consumers over what this might do to
vehicles such as the Jeep Wrangler, which has flexible glazing,
the group points out that the Cool Cars regulation only applies
to rigid windowsthough plastic windows in general are not
"If the plastic windows are rigid, they must comply with the
same standards as glass windows, beginning with the 2012 model year,"
And what about used cars? The regulations only apply to new cars
sold in the state, beginning with the 2012 model year. However,
the regulations still apply to replacement glass-for any vehicle
with the model year 2012 or after.
Dr. Marijke Bekken, the CARB representative overseeing the process,
explained recently to glassBYTEs.com/AGRR magazine
that this part of the regulation has to do with the way the vehicle
"If you replace your [solar management] windshield with one
that doesn't have solar management, your air conditioner is sized
for that solar management glazing, and [without it] you might end
up running it more than you would have before," she explained.
This would defeat the ultimate goal of the regulations, which is
to comply with AB 32a California initiative designed to decrease
the state's greenhouse gas initiatives.
The regulation could also lead to more laminated sidelites in the
future, CARB notes, as, if reflective glass is used to comply with
the 2016 regulations, "tempered side[lites] and the [backlite]
may need to become laminated in order to comply with the regulation,"
However, CARB advises that if manufacturers choose to utilize an
alternative technology to meet the same performance requirement,
this could be moot.
Some in the repair industry have expressed concerns that the use
of reflective glass in the windshield (as CARB says likely will
be needed), particularly if the coating required to create this
is applied to Surface 2 of the glass, could create difficulty for
"When resin hits [this], its reaction [is] to turn pure white,"
says Dave Casey of SuperGlass Windshield Repair in Orlando, Fla.
"Even moisture tends to cause it to discolor."
His concern is that this could lead to more of a need for replacementsand
would have a greater impact on the environment than the greenhouse
gas emissions CARB is hoping to save.
"If they save emissions on cars but create extra windshield
is it even a benefit?" he asks.
Be sure to check out the November-December issue of AGRR magazine
for an in-depth look at this issue.
HERE to view a recently published Frequently Asked Questions
sheet from CARB.
HERE to view a new video about what the CARB regulations entail.
Need more info and analysis about the issues?
HERE to subscribe to AGRR magazine.