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So, you think dark car tinting is better? Not really, says Miros

Fast car moving with motion blur

TheMole
Written by TheMole

May 8, 2019

By Shahrim Tamrin

A research by the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (Miros) has revealed that dark window tinting is not the answer to shield a vehicle from sunlight and reducing the heat in the car cabin.

The research paper also disclosed that cars fitted with excessive tinting could jeopardize the safety and security of enforcement officers on the road.

In a news report by this writer in the past, a Miros research report published in 2015 entitled, “A Study on Automotive Tint Glazing in Malaysia”,  concluded that dark tinting films only prevented the entry of light and won’t be translated into cooler cabin temperature.

“Sun energy comprises visible light, infrared radiation and ultraviolet radiation with a typical distribution of 43%, 54% and 3% respectively. These three elements of sun energy must be filtered out to make an efficient window tint,” the report stated.

The research pointed out infrared rejection plays a more significant role to reduce heat penetration into the vehicle than installing excessive windshield fitted with Visible Light Transmission (VLT) of 35% or lower.

The six researchers carried out several tests on four cars strategically faced east-west orientation to ensure maximum load of sun on car windscreen and windows. The four cars were Perodua Myvi fitted with tinted films – cost between RM200 to RM400 available in the market – of different VLT specifications.

Only minimal temperature difference was observed, said the report. Interestingly, for a car cabin temperature recorded between 38°C to 42°C, tinted windshield only managed to produce a reduction of 0.5°C to 1°C temperature when in motion.

In a typical car park setting, vehicles fitted with tinted window managed to reduce the temperature by 2°C to 3°C as compared to the non-tinted windshield.

You can download the research by Miros here.

A total of 1,000 respondents were interviewed by Miros researchers in Seremban, Kajang and Putrajaya.

The report stated most respondents perceived that by installing window tinting, “it can reduce heat penetration due to hot weather situation in Malaysia.”

Out of 1,000 people, 72.5% confirmed they applied window tinting to their vehicles, 67.8% admitted that the reason was hot weather, followed by security reasons at 25.3%, reducing glare (20.9%) and privacy purpose (6.8%).

The paper also highlighted that excessive tinting or lower than VLT of 35% could provide unnecessary security risks to the enforcement personnel.

The research report cited a study by Virginia State Police in the United States that, “reduced visual due to heavy tint may impede the officer’s ability to detect weapons, contraband, or threatening acts by the drivers or passengers.” It stated that 81% of the respondents were not able to recognize objects in heavily tinted cars.

As reported by The Mole yesterday, Transport Minister Anthony Loke announced that vehicle owners may have darker tint for their rear passenger windows starting today.

“There will be no limitations for the rear passenger window, meaning, the people can tint it as dark as they want as long as their vehicle comes with side mirrors,” Loke told a press conference at the Minister’s car park area at the Transport Ministry yesterday.

Previously, the regulations stipulate that the minimum visible light transmission (VLT) percentages were 70 per cent for the front windscreen, 50 per cent for the front side windows and 30 per cent for the rear side windows and the rear windscreen.

The new regulation, is largely the same except for the rear side windows and rear windscreen, where there will be no more limitations. It means car owner could apply 100% dark tinted at the rear windscreen and side windows of the rear passenger area only.S

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