‘Walkie-Talkie’ Tower Melts Jaguar XJ

When you take out a Weekly Cover car insurance policy you’re looking to protect your vehicle against accidental damage, theft, and vandalism – but you probably don’t expect to return to your car to find that it has been melted by the sun.

This is what happened to car owner Martin Lindsay who found his Jaguar XJ with a distorted wing mirror and buckled bodywork after parking near the £200 million Walkie-Talkie skyscraper in central London’s Eastcheap.

The building’s unique concave design is believed to be causing this bizarre phenomenon, focusing the sun’s rays into a concentrated area which has also affected shops, blistering paintwork and smashing tiles.

The discovery has led other car owners to come forward who have also found their vehicle’s bodywork warped, with Vauxhall Vivaro owner Eddie Cannon suffering a similar fate.

“The van looks a total mess – every bit of plastic on the left hand side and everything on the dashboard has melted, including a bottle of Lucozade that looks like it has been baked,” he said.

It has led the building developers to erect a black sun screen measuring 10ft high and 13ft long to help shield people and property from the scorching glare, while the City of London has suspended parking in three bays that may be affected.

Developers Land Securities and Canary Wharf said: “This solution should minimise the impact on the local area over the next two-to-three weeks, after which time the phenomenon is expected to have disappeared.

“We are also continuing to evaluate longer-term solutions to ensure this issue does not recur in future.”

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