Tinted Windows – a cautionary tale

One of our clients sold a vehicle that contained glass that was too dark to be used on the road. In essence, the windows were tinted.  
The driver was pulled by the police who imposed a fixed penalty fine and 3 points on his licence. 

The driver then wished for our client to write a letter admitting liability to selling a car that was illegal so that he could notify his insurers. Also, he demanded financial compensation.

We advised that under no circumstances should he admit liability. For 2 very good reasons:

a.    The driver inspected the car before purchase and so he knew it had tinted windows. If he did not know it was illegal to use them, that was his issue and not our client’s (who also didn’t know at the time). Moreover...

b.    Some 11 months had passed between sale and his being caught. This is sufficient a time for him to have acquired the knowledge that the glass was too dark to be safely driving. Also, I suspect that in that time someone would have mentioned it but that he chose to ignore their advice.

HOWEVER, sellers do need to appreciate that it is a potential offence to fit, to sell or to offer to sell or supply a vehicle with window glass that is too dark. The vehicle must allow 75% of light through its windscreen and 70% through its front side windows. It is NOT part of an MOT test but testing stations may well have a light measuring appliance to check on tinted windows.

It is alleged that the car in question in this case had a light filtration of just 16%. How the driver thought that was safe I do not know!

 

Authors: Jason Williams

Published: 27 Apr 2016

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