Prius death ray or energy efficient windows?

A woman living in Studio City, California noticed one fine day that the mirrors on her fuel-sipping Prius had started to melt.

Naturally, Heather Patron had the mirrors replaced, but then observed melting mirrors on other cars parked near her Prius. The culprit?

Patron alleges that intense beams of light reflected from a neighbor’s energy efficient windows are melting the mirrors on vehicles in the nearby carport.

Presumably, the reflected beam is causing damage in a fashion similar to the way one might set fire to leaves with a magnifying glass. 

During a TV spot by CBS2 in Los Angeles, the reporter put a thermometer into the concentrated beam of light, which jumped to 120-degrees in less than five minutes.

“I’m positive that this window is what is causing the damage to my car,” said Patron.

As strange as it sounds, CBS confirmed vehicle owners across the country have made claims that energy efficient windows are reflecting concentrated sunlight – causing various degrees of damage. 

In drier parts of the country where burn bans are in effect much of the year, this could potentially be a major fire hazard.

“I just don’t feel like it’s fair. I feel like it needs to be known that this is happening… And a lot of people probably have damage out there, that they aren’t aware that it’s the windows that are causing this,” Patron added.

Unfortunately for Patron, there are no code violations involved, at least according to the LA City Department of Building and Safety. However, the claims are currently being investigated by the National Association of Home Builders.