Drivers in America’s Sunbelt states are well familiar with the smell of melting car plastic on extremely hot summer days. As the sun’s rays beat down and temperatures rise inside sealed cars, dashboards and other bits can begin to cook.
Americans, however, aren’t as accustomed to the phenomenon of the sun melting a vehicle’s exterior. But that’s exactly what happened to one British man’s Jaguar in downtown London recently.
Last week, London resident Martin Lindsay parked his Jaguar XJ near the London skyscraper nicknamed “Walkie-Talkie” for its distinctive convex shape. When he returned to his car just two hours later. He found a photographer snapping pictures of his Jag.
“The photographer asked me ‘have you seen that car? The owner won’t be happy,’” Lindsay recalled in a BBC interview. “I am the owner,” Lindsay admitted to the photographer. “Crikey, that’s awful,” Lindsay exclaimed as he surveyed the damage.
Lindsay found that the reflection of sunlight off the near-by 37-story skyscraper had melted several parts of his black XJ, including the side view mirror and the badge. Under the windshield wiper Lindsay found a note from the construction company reading, “your car’s buckled, could you give us a call?”
According to the BBC, the developers of the Walkie-Talkie building and Canary Warf said in joint statement: “We are aware of concerns regarding the light reflecting from 20 Fenchurch Street and are looking into the matter.”
Since the melting occurred, the developers covered the 946-pound repair costs ($1470 U.S.) and apologized to Lindsay. The City of London subsequently suspended three parking spots in the area most exposed to the building’s damaging reflection.
[Secondary image: The BBC]