That London building-under-construction in the news of Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2013 may sound unprecedented. But is it really? A gentleman (Martin Lindsay) parked his Jaguar (the vehicle) withing "radiation distance" of the 'Walkie Talkie' building. He returned to find a photographer taking images of it. To his consternation Mr. Lindsay found that some plastic parts of the Jaguar had been melted/destroyed.
The BBC News reported that the melted parts were "the wing mirror, the panels and the Jaguar badge" (according to Mr. Lindsay). In what may be the most hilarious note left on the windshield ever the construction company is said to have left this: "Your car's buckled, could you give us a call?" But if you check the video in the above BBC News link you may surmise that the building's architecture is a little dangerous. More than car parts have been damaged by its 'heat ray'. The Newsy link (top paragraph) suggested that the rays may be ten times brighter than typical daylight.
According to the BBC report Land Securities (the largest UK commercial property company according to the Wikipedia) and Canary Wharf said they are 'looking into the matter'. To answer the question of this "unprecedented" effect, one may recall Archimedes' so-called 'heat ray'. The capacity for such a heat ray has only been shown twice - MythBusters declared it as false. The funny/unfunny construction design of the 'Walkie Talkie' building may have created one giant death ray gadget.
The suggested mechanism that produced the Jaguar part melting may have been the possibility that the building is a parabolic reflector turned into a 'solar furnace'. The size and design of the skyscraper might be sufficient for it to operate in that fashion - but only at certain times of the day. The sun's position in relation to the building would appear to be very important to its potentially 'lethal operation'. One hopes that either Land Securities and Canary Wharf - or the MythBusters - will prove whether or not the building is a death ray to car parts and more.