Remember California's "Cool Cars" regulation? Coming into force in 2012, the rule requires manufacturers to install windows that prevent 45% of the sun's energy from entering a vehicle by 2014, and 60% 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]