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Check That Tint That Nixes Squint

Cops who can’t see through car windows could have drivers seeing red. Oregon law requires at least 35 percent of light to pass through vehicle windows, and dealerships are legally required to sell cars that meet that standard, even used cars that come from somewhere else. But sometimes vehicles slip through the cracks.

Exna Cox bought a 2007 Cadillac from Kendall Chevrolet Cadillac and then got a ticket for windows that only let 26 percent of light through, a $360 citation. He attended traffic court, where the judge directed him to talk to the Kendall Auto Group about recouping the cost of the ticket and having the window tint fixed. “She did write me a check for the tinted windows to be done and for the citation, so I did finally get all my money back,” Cox says. “But I live in Blue River, so this took several trips.”

Cox says that he thought something might have been wrong at the dealership. “We did comment on the darkness of the window,” he says. He advises anyone caught in a similar situation to be persistent. Oregon law requires window tint installers to give auto owners a certificate, sometimes applied to the car as a sticker, so buyers can ask to see it.

An EPD spokesperson says that the police department doesn’t keep statistics on window tinting violations, but approximately 30 percent of drivers pulled over for the violation say that they purchased their vehicles with windows already tinted. Dealerships aren’t on the hook forever, though — after six months, the statute of limitations on the dealer runs out, and then it’s a civil matter.

Kendall Auto Group did not return a request for comment by press time.