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There is a common misconception in Malaysia that darker vehicle tints mean better heat rejection, 3M Malaysia senior manager of communication markets and renewable energy divisions Thomas Choo has said in an official statement.

Amidst recent reports pertaining to legal vehicle tint levels and the possible enforcement of Ops Cermin Gelap, Choo said that there exist high-performance window tints that are within the legal Visible Light Transmission (VLT) rates.

With the evolution and advancement of automotive window film technology, 3M is continuously developing tints that offer both solar protection and security, without blacking out car windows, Choo said.

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He cited the 3M Crystalline AutoFilm series, whose Multi-layer Optical Film (MOF) proprietary technology combines over 200 layers to create a film thinner than a Post-it Note, resulting in a “clear film” that “can reject more heat than darker films.”

The series is claimed to reject up to 97% of infrared light, up to 60% of heat and up to 99.9% of harmful ultraviolet rays, while having a sun protection factor (SPF) of over 1,000 to help guard against skin damage.

“Without providing Malaysians with the right solutions to debunk their perception that darker shades of window films provide better heat rejection and safety, it will not be as easy to move them towards adhering to the standard VLT rates,” Choo said in the statement.

3M Honda CR-Z-7

The current legal minimum VLT rates are 70% for the front windscreen and 50% for all other windows. JPJ has recently proposed 25% for the two rear side windows and the rear window; remaining windows, status quo.

The Auto Audio, Accessories and Air-Condition Traders Association of Malaysia (AAA) has asked for 60% for the front windscreen and over 40% for all other windows. The Transport ministry has yet to announce its decision on the matter.

“It is important that all car owners are aware of the availability of alternative window films which are designed with lightly tinted films that can perform much better to allow clear, cool, visible light into the car for a safer driving experience.”

If and when enforced accurately, 3M Malaysia believes Ops Cermin Gelap will be an important aspect towards ensuring better road safety for the nation, the statement added.