Friday, August 7, 2009

What's the ruling on privacy glass?

Recently several members of the AOC was given an inspection notice (Arah Periksa Kenderaan) in several road blocks set up by JPJ (our Road Transport Department) on the privacy glass in their giant (Toyota Alphard). It seems JPJ now deems that the privacy glass in our giant doesn't meet the specification for tinting.

But what is the guideline on the specification on privacy glass for imported car like the Toyota Alphard? The JPJ website doesn't has specific guideline on this and the only way to read the above ruling is listed in theis page. Unfortunately it is written in Bahasa Malaysia which translate to "all the glass at front must have vehicle light transmission (VLT) >70% while side and rear glass must have VLT > 50%". If this is the ruling apply by JPJ then I guess all Toyota Alphard imported into this country would not pass the specification. Also, without a clear guideline, they are only issuing the inspection notice rather then issuing a summon to the owner for violation.

Then the question would be if JPJ doesn't allow imported car to have privacy glass that doesn't meet the specification, why would the dealers are allow to import these vehicles into the country.

The logic goes that our Ministry of Trade International (MITI) issues permits for vehicles to be imported. Its permits specify brand, model, etc but does not go into details regarding specification for privacy glass. Then our Customs Department is only interested in whether the cars have a legal Approved Permit and determine any payable tax. With these two conditions met, the cars get into the country legally and cannot actually be stopped since they meet importation laws.

The issue starts when the cars are sent to JPJ for registration. JPJ will evaluate the cars on technical specifications which must comply with our Vehicle Construction Rules, which include permissible levels of tinting. This is where the problem starts. JPJ will find that the tinting is beyond permissible levels but because it is not a film and actually the glass itself, it cannot be changed just like that. But the importer has already sold it to the dealer and the dealer has a customer who has paid a deposit for it.

To get around this ruling, the dealers will change these dark glasses (temporarily) to clear glasses before sending the car to Puspakom for inspection. After getting the report back from Puspakom verifying that the glass has passed inspection, the dealer changed the glasses back to the original dark one before delivering to the customer. From the customer perspective, since there is an approval by Puspakom, then there shouldn't be any problem with JPJ. The recent operation by JPJ seems to indicate that they are strictly enforcing their ruling on privacy glass.

There has been many attempt by JPJ to enforce the ruling on tinting before and their efforts was stopped by the Government several times. I am wondering if this is an indication that they are going all out to target all Toyota Alphard owners.

The privacy glass on the pre-facelift model is actually darker than those on the new-facelift model. Therefore if this new "ruling" by JPJ is strictly enforced, then all pre-facelift model owners will have to change the privacy glass to clear glass. I don't know if the new-facelift model privacy glass will pass the specification but very unlikely.

Another AOC member who recently bought a 2nd generation Toyota Alphard was also "caught" in a recent operation and was also asked to change the privacy glass. I don't know how long all Alphard owners can hold out before they see the next JPJ Operation and get a notice in their hand. I am not looking forward to that day myself. In the AOC forum, many members have started a discussion on putting up community voice to the media to highlight this concern.

I heard that our Transport Minister also drive a Toyota Alphard. I wonder if he has to change his privacy glass!


  1. you're are correct,
    our PG is tempered glass, (build in material) so, this in not tinted.

  2. Thanks Jack,

    This is something that bother a lot of Alphard owner and until JPJ come up with a clear ruling, this will continue to haunt the owners.

    I heard there is a campaign by a collective group of owners of Alphard, Estima, Wish, and Caldina working on submitting a memorandum to JPJ but not sure if this is ongoing or still being planned.