• Oct 25, 2009
Remember California's "Cool Cars" regulation? Coming into force in 2012, the rule requires manufacturers to install windows that prevent 45 by 2016. It's the law that no one thinks is cool at all. In a minor victory against The Golden State's increasingly severe environmental regulations (and we live there and love it, but still...), the soft-top Jeep Wrangler has reportedly been given an exemption.

Specifically, any flexible plastic window is exempt. Said a CARB representative, "If the plastic windows are rigid, they must comply with the same standards as glass windows, beginning with the 2012 model year." If not for the flexible-window exemption, Chrysler wouldn't have been allowed to sell the Wrangler in California with the soft top because its plastic windows would have been non-compliant. Chrysler's Global Electric Motorcars (GEM) were also threatened, but are now safe from the regulation as well.

As for the other issue -- radio wave interference that degrades GPS and other signals -- CARB said it hasn't found any such problems in its testing. But who knows, now that the Jeep gets a pass, carmakers might just put flexible windows in every car sold in CA ... and how cool would that be?

[Source: The Detroit News]


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  • 51 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Just curious - if these regs go through, does that mean that all auto glass sold in California (including retrofits to older cars) must now have a CARB number?

      @ LS2
      And yes, if this glass can knock off 20*F in summer - won't it also do the same in winter (therefore heaters have to be run longer?) With remote-start becoming more of an option in the northern part of the country, I wonder how this will affect overall US gasoline consumption (e.g. reduction in California from A/C usage, vs. the 0 MPG of remote-started idling vehicles).
      • 5 Years Ago
      exemption? hrm. cue grumpy comments even though the wrangler is safe in 3... 2...
        • 5 Years Ago
        CARB's exemption for the Wrangler is a small flower poking its head above a vast sea of feces. What about the added nationwide costs for all other cars for this stupid proposal? Manufacturers aren't likely to install different glass just for California cars.

        The commerce clause was designed to prevent exactly this scenario: one State imposing its regulations on all others engaged in interstate commerce. Let's hope SCOTUS revisits this issue soon.

        • 5 Years Ago
        LS2LS7,

        "If you want to sell into a market, you have to meet the law there. You might as well say that charging sales tax on cars in California is a violation of other states' rights."

        sales tax is not something that forces a company to retool, and redisign in an effort to sell their cars. bad comparison...

        Generally, since cars are created and sold for a large area, the constant nipping from california has become somewhat annoying. EVERYONE knows that the auto companies will build for all states. And no one, not even cali thinks that they auto companies will change that. And even if they did, the cost for the company to R/D and retool for cali production, would end up being slapped on the price tag of cars sold everywhere.

        Cars should fall under a federal standard, along with gas. Cali has a never ending list of pointless crap they want to add to cars, when they should be spending more time figuring out how to end their bankrupt status.

        Just because Cali is a large market, does not give them any more right than any other state. However pointless or important their idea's may be, they should go through the feds to have it changed... They basically hold the country hostage with their sales volume.
        • 5 Years Ago
        De facto isn't the same as de jure. There's no legal stance for stopping de facto standards. There's no onus put on automakers for selling into other states that they couldn't shirk by not selling cars in California.

        California is not stopping any other state from doing anything.

        How come people such as yourself want to dump on California and then also rely on California to lower the cost of producing cars to sell into your own state? California doesn't owe you this. If states could owe favors to each other, what kind of favors would your state owe to California for what it has done for yours in the past vis-a-vis economies of scale and prices?

        State's rights applies equally when it works against you as when it works for you. Don't be a hypocrite.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Quote: """CARB is not imposing anything on other states. This is only for cars sold in California, not manufacturered in California for other markets."""

        Well again, CARB's regulations often become a defacto nationwide standard where it is too expensive for a car maker to build a CA specific model. And at least eight other states that I know of use the CA standards for cars sold in their markets.

        So again, we have individual states setting individual standards, something that the commerce clause was explicitly intended to prevent.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Grrrrr.. aarrrfrgggg nomonmooonnnn blahblahblahmmmmmmmm........ahahahahahahahahahha I hope that this is a good summary of what will occur.
        • 5 Years Ago
        They need to get over it and just BAN A/C....

        Then, in a few years, they can ban cars all together. Maybe they will ban cows along with that, cow farts cause global warming!
      Carlos
      • 5 Years Ago
      Why don't they ban the sale of fossil fueled vehicles by 2025 in California while they're at it?
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Carlos
        Thats in next month's proposal. I take it you got a sneak peek?
      • 5 Years Ago
      That the GEM vehicles were under the gun just goes to show how poorly-thought-out this proposal is.

      I mean, the point of it somewhat makes sense; you waste a lot of fuel running the A/C to cool down the interior on a hot day; but as the Detroit News points out the GEM cars don't have A/C (and are electric to boot) so it's ludicrous that they would be affected by this proposal.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I dont really see how this will make people not run air conditioning. There is no way that it keeps that much heat out in the summer. This is going to be quite a cost for manufactures. California makes me sad.
        • 5 Years Ago
        New cars (the only cars covered by the regs) tend to have automatic climate control. They will run the A/C less and use less gas if the car isn't as hot.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It can reach 140F in your car in the summer (on the dash), if this drops it to 120F, it'll make an enormous difference in the amount of A/C and time needed to get the car to a reasonable temp. You're talking about dropping the interior 40F instead of 60F.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I know there will be a difference in heat when the car is sitting but that wouldnt stop me from running the air. It will just stop me from running the cars air as hard, which does no difference in MPG for me.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Lets hope manufacturers only keep these updated window regulations in the state of CA. What about those of us that live in northern states? We welcome as much free head from the sun as possible during the winter months. I sure dont want to block out heat from entering my car, then i'll just have to crank up the heat more instead! Its a bogus regulation.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I live in Arizona (we're hotter than CA) and this sounds absolutely stupid. This is why they invented car tint. I don't need the government to force car companies to install expensive windows that will cost me more to have replaced. Let me choose whether I want to keep the heat out of my car.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Now the idiots will have to find something *else* that's going to spell the end of a national icon.

      Bunch of fannies.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "But who knows, now that the Jeep gets a pass, carmakers might just put flexible windows in every car sold in CA... "

      Really determined to keep this molehill looking like a mountain, aren't we, Autoblog?
        • 5 Years Ago
        I'm not so sure; it's widely reported that plastic windows are known by the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects... and so do Jeep Wranglers, coincidentally!
      • 5 Years Ago
      It's a good first step in the right direction.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Gee...

      I have tinted windows. (all but the windshield, was performed in a state where it is legal, I bought the car, and brought it across state lines...)

      They keep my car more comfortable after sitting in the sun, and my AC doesn't run as hard when I get in...

      AND I GET TICKETS FOR THE TINT.

      So which the hell is it? Are we free to do with our cars as we wish? Naw....

      Are we regulated to keep our cars cooler? Or are we prohibited from our car's having tint?

      Criminal if you do, criminal if you don't. Either way NOT FREE, in a monetary, nor a liberty sense.

      How about keeping the government's tentacles OUT of people's legitimate business, or use due-process to prosecute illegal activity. Tint on car windows is not an illegitimate act... and has some benefits.

      Gee. Freedom. What a concept.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @LS7,

        You miss the point.

        My visible window tint has most of the benefits that the state of California wants. I am already doing most of what they claim is a good thing, the only difference being whether someone can see into my car at a quick glance. I would argue that is a security issue. I don't want people casing my car to see if there is anything that they can steal, either.

        But despite the heat rejection, despite the preservation of the interior, despite the solar glare when driving back and forth to work in the morning and the evening...

        My state still gives me tickets, and extorts revenue from me for that, while California is wanting to MANDATE most of that. (and they probably still will make visible tint illegal...)

        I think it is a large load of BS BOTH ways. If it is such a good idea, then let me do it myself, and keep the law off my back about it. make it a tax incentive to get the tint, visible or invisible, when I register my cars or something... those fees keep going up, they doubled this last year for my older vehicles...

        And when will you, and all of your red-herring comrades figure out that FREEDOM IS NOT THE SAME THING AS LAWLESSNESS. FREEDOM IS THE RESPONSIBLE EXERCISE OF ONLY THE AMOUNT OF LAW THAT IS MOST BASICALLY NECESSARY, NOT MORE THAN THAT. More than that becomes onerous, and invasive into the lives of the populace. That is not what this country was founded on, nor supposed to be.

        Not blocking other people's driveways is a rule of a public street. It is a rule that helps everyone, and allows everyone access, it is not a rule that denies anything. It doesn't deny parking in a proper manner, it only spells out what is improper and irresponsible. It is a rule that stems from "Do unto others as you'd have done unto you by others." Gee, sounds like someone smart came up with that one...

        How exactly is having my windows tinted have any bearing on other people? Do they need to see my facial expression while I drive, or something? The police pull-over scenario is bull. A criminal is a criminal, a law abiding citizen is a law abiding citizen. Tinted windows do not make someone a criminal, and they are used as a money-maker, and as a bogus excuse to target people.

        If a criminal wants to bring violence on a police officer, tinted windows or NOT tinted windows isn't going to make that much difference. It is probably more meaningless than gun control. Criminals will just change their tactics, and still be criminals anyway, and should be prosecuted. Tinted windows should not make someone a target for prosecution. It isn't definitive probable cause. Not everyone with tinted windows is a criminal. What next, profiling by a car's paint color?

        BOTH times I have been pulled over, I was otherwise abiding by the letter of the law, with TINT being the only reason, and tint being a huge money maker in court cost fees for me to MAIL in a check. I am sure cashing my check cost them more than $50 in processing fees and court costs, when the tint fine was $15, ABOVE the taxes I pay that are supposed to be budgeted to run the frakking government, including the judicial branch. And of course, it would have cost me MORE than that in lost wages and expenses to go back to those locations, some distance from my home, and fight those stupid things in person, and probably LOSE anyway, and have it cost me even MORE.

        IT IS A RACKET, that just happens to be legal because the government is doing it. This california mandate is a RACKET, too.

        THAT is not freedom, and it has nothing to do with me impinging on ANYONE else, parking in front of their driveway or otherwise.
        • 5 Years Ago
        This isn't a visible tint, it reflects infrared light. You are inventing a dichotomy where there isn't one.

        As to freedom? Freedom also means I can park my car across the end of your driveway at night so you can't get out to work in the morning without driving across your yard. Clearly freedom isn't a be-all end-all.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I cant agree more,

        This is more stupid legislation that although well-intended - will be expensive and obtuse to implement. Enough with the laws that micro-manages micro management. Every single dollar in car technology needs to go towards electric cars and a revolutionary rail system.

        Putting band aids on the horse & carriage has gone on for over 150 years,
        ***ENOUGH ALREADY***
      • 5 Years Ago
      Just make everyone in California tint their own damn car windows (b4 you ask they do make clear tints) and keep the rest of the country out of it...I live in the North East coast and could use the sun's warmth when I get into the car during winter....
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