Paint Problems Have Drivers Seeing Yellow

July 23, 2008
By: LemonLaw

As the comments continue to pour in regarding our entry on paint defects with 2000-2005 Ford vehicles (54 so far, but who’s counting?), we thought now would be a good time to discuss when a paint problem can turn into a Lemon Law or Breach of Warranty claim. 

We frequently receive calls from distressed drivers who are quite peeved over their paint. If the dealer is making any effort to fix the problem, either by buffing, or compounding, or painting certain components, you may have grounds to file a claim. Make sure that you ask for a repair invoice after each visit. These invoices should outline your complaint and what was done to fix the vehicle.

Depending on the invoices, we may be able to argue that the paint problem has diminished the value of the vehicle and therefore, the consumer is entitled to remedy under State Lemon Law or Federal Warranty Law.

Unfortunately, many folks call to complain of paint chips on their hood. These chips are often caused by road debris and while it’s extremely frustrating, these repairs are not covered under warranty. However, repairs that may be covered include paint peeling, rust, and blotches or scratches in the finish.

It’s important to ask questions. If you feel that your paint defect may be affecting the value of the vehicle (and you are still covered under a manufacturers warranty), bring the issue to your service manager. And, if they can’t fix the problem after a couple attempts, you should certainly consult a Lemon Law Attorney. You can always ask us a question. Remember, never be afraid to fight for your rights!

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25 Responses to “Paint Problems Have Drivers Seeing Yellow”

  1. #1 dirk reykowski says:

    purchsed a used car just over a year ago. it looked nice and shiny at the dealership and for the first two weeks until i went to get it washed. something was placed on the car to cover up major sun damage!!! i reported this to the dealer, and was told that they would never sell a car under that condition and that the damage must have been caused by me. 6 years worth of summer dmage in two weeks, and how its been a year, they still wont do anything to fix this. do i have any recourse?

    • #2 LemonLaw says:

      Dirk: I would reach out to your State attorney general.

      • #3 thomas says:

        i brought a used car two days ago and after i washed it i notice about 5 tiny marks that almost look like rust. Also my door had water in it (seemed like a half gallon) I was reading the warranty and it says it doesnt cover paint, rust, water leaks, or corrosion. Do they have to fix this since i just brought the car? I havent spoken with them yet

        • #4 LemonLaw says:

          @Thomas: It would depend on your warranty.

          • #5 Ed says:

            I bought a 2013 VW CC and after a week I noticed several clear coat chips in size of approx. 1/16″ – 1/8″ (I still could see the paint underneath) on top of the car. I looked and there were none on the bumper, hood and trunk. I took it to the dealer and they said they will paint the top of the car with no charge. The car has 900 miles. Should I consider to contact a lemon law attorney?

            • #6 LemonLaw says:

              @Ed: I think so. Visit to find a firm in your state.

              • #7 Darla says:

                Had scratches on vehicle when purchased and dealership made several attempts to fix and where they have buffed it it has swirl marks bad on it(driver side fender and door)very noticeable. Also asked them to fix the bumper where it was peeling and we were told it was going to a body shop to be fixed(both the scratches and the bumper) & after I picked it up and got it home the dealership had done touch up on the bumper. When I called and talked to the service manager he said that the bumper had big acid on it so they couldn’t send it to the body shop & that we could file a claim with perma paint to fix it. Dealership will not return my calls, I have tried 3 different people(general manager, sales manager & service manager), left umpteen voicemails over the last 2-3 weeks

                • #8 stephanie says:

                  We bought a vehicle with an “as is” warranty. The dealership showed us the carfax, the inspection sheet etc. All was “good”. We took the car home and noticed “pop-up” rust spots. We had them repaired and the entire underneath of the car was rusted. We fixed it because we didn’t think we could do anything about it. More and more rust is popping up and all the places we talk too say they have been “covered up”. Not to mention, when we got it serviced recently, they said our suspension is bad and the steering was bad. We fixed the steering, but not the suspension because that’s so expensive! We are in awe of what to do!! Any suggestions??? We asked to have it traded back in, but the dealership’s price doesn’t compare to our loan… we have only had it for 3 months!!!

                  • #9 Lisa says:

                    I have a 2014 Jeep Patriot, still under warranty might I add. I noticed last week washing my car that there is a big rust chip out in the back. Looking further at my car there are rust specs coating my entire car. I took it to the dealer and then sent pics into jeep and my claim was denied. They quoted me for $1000 to acid wash and clay my car. I have yet to call jeep myself, but wanted thoughts on this. Obviously all of the rust flakes will soon turn into bit chunks out and eventuall my car will rust out. Thoughts?

                    • #10 Vishal Desai says:

                      I recently lease a 2016 challenger, they day I picked up the car I saw a blemish on the hood that looked like a stain and I brought it to the salespersons attention as soon as I saw it. The sales person told me when you give a good wash the stain would come out about 2 to 3 weeks later I washed the vehicle and went straight to the “stain” I saw on the hood and looks as if it is rusting now. I went to the dealer again to show them and they said to set up an appointment for their body shape to look at it. I brought the car in and found multiple other areas with the same issue especially on the roof. Body shop gave an estimate and was sent to chrysler, Chrysler denied the repairs to the vehicle. At this point I don’t want the car repaired I want a replacement, service manager calls me back and says they wanted to show it to a body shop and I told them it was already done and claim to chrysler was denied. So now a representative is involved and the rep. Says to have the car detailed (out of dealers pocket) to fix it. I know it is not going to fix it because it looks like they clear coat is peeling from inside out due to this “rail dust” as they claim. Any input on my situation.
                      Leased vehicle in july so it’s been about a month now.

                      • #11 Szsan says:

                        Car is 4 yrs old still making payments some paint peeled off on hood and top of car. Hyundai had class action suite regarding paint coming off car and the suite was dropped. They refuse to repaint the car. Does this fall under the lemon law?

                        • State: NJ
                      • #12 LemonLaw says:

                        @Susan–has the matter ever been addressed under warranty?

                        • #13 Chris says:

                          2013 Mercedes C250 coupe mars red paint defect. Paint is failing underneath the clear coat causing large blotches. Dealer offered to fully repaint vehicle as the only remedy is to strip it down to the bare metal and completely repaint. I am concerned this will depreciate the vehicle tremendously. I requested that they buy back the vehicle and was offered less than half of the purchase price… buyer beware

                          • State: Texas
                        • #14 Brett says:

                          Bought 2015 Acura RDX – When inspected on the lot and there were no scratches. now after 8 weeks and a couple washes tons of scratches showing up – must be near 50 of them all over the vehicle

                          • State: Connecticut
                        • #15 Michael says:

                          Buy a new Jeep came home drove it for 140mile wash my Jeep found dirt spot all over inside the clear, took it back to dealer complaints they offer to fix it. They wanted to color San and buff I said no it will loss the value, and if it go through they paint they will repainted, but it not a new car if they do that so I said no. I mean this is factory paint defects can I returned my Jeep? Any can help

                          • State: 92027
                        • #16 Steve Rosenzweig says:

                          My sister has 2011 Honda Civic. Defective paint TSB was put out by Honda to extend paint warranty to 7 years. Her problem started 6 months after warranty expired, but is definitely the issue. Honda not being sympathetic even after they just bought a Pilot. Does she have any recourse?

                          • State: PA
                        • #17 LemonLaw says:

                          @Steve: We are working with her now I believe to see what can be done.

                          • #18 Melvin says:

                            I purchased a new 2017 Ram 3500, paint is pealing all over front bumper. I went to two different body shops including the one the dealer uses—I was told pealing was caused by manufacturer defect, paint not sticking to primer. Dealership sent in a claim, I was told Chrysler denied the warrant, saying it was due to outside influences. Is there anything I can do to appeal? My bumper didn’t go anywhere my truck didn’t go and there is no issues with the rest of the truck. I’m getting the run around by Chrysler customer service telling me to take it to a different dealership. Dealership is saying nothing they can do, as it was denied by manufacture.

                            • State: Mt
                          • #19 Robert says:

                            2017 black Honda Accord touring , 28 months old. 11,200 miles. Getting very small white spots on the hood roof and trunk . Brought it to a detailer he said bad paint job it’s under the paint , the day I went to pick the car up the car did not look like it was new , also bird dropping etch into the hood left the car there for them to detail it . Looked good for a month then it appeared again .
                            As far as the white spots been back and forth to the dealer 3 or 4 times . On the phone many many times with American Honda .The other day met with district manager , he told me it on the surface that he could feel it with his finger , I feel nothing,
                            Then he says if we repaint that Hood then we have take care of all the chips from the road duh. Thin paint job and it’s not about the paint chips from the road ,and why is it on the roof and trunk. I told him . He said there is nothing Honda can do about it
                            What recourse do I have
                            Robert M

                            • State: Ny
                          • #20 Zachary says:

                            Hello, I purchased a used 2015 Ford Transit last week. The dealer told me the Carfax was clean and it has no accidents reported. The Carfax is clean but now after owning the van for a week I noticed a few paint blemishes. I took it to my local auto body shop to see what they think and they told me almost half the vehicle was repainted and it seems like it was in an accident and was not reported. Is there anything I can do? These paint issues are going to cause rust issues underneath the paint and they have to be addressed. They estimated $1500-2000 in repairs. This is diminishing the value of the vehicle that I just bought last week from a used car dealership. The only warrantee that they gave me is the state mandatory warrantee for 60days.

                            • State: Massachusetts
                          • #21 Manil says:

                            I bought a brand new Mazda from Florida. Unfortunately the car was covered in damages to the clear coat when I moved to Vermont the paint on the hood of the car started to bubble up and chip. I took it to the dealer and they filed a warranty claim which was denied. The car has around 3000 miles a lot of clear coat damage and a area on the hood with the paint chipped off on multiple spots. Further more I think the issue is spreading too. Mazda is not willing to fix it and neither is the dealership I bought it from.

                            • State: Vermont
                          • #22 Ken Decoster says:

                            Bought a brand new Silverado 1500 all black series and after two months I started noticing buff marks on on it and they said that they buff out every vehicle that comes into their dealership that’s new which was not the case they tried buffering 2 times and they failed to fix the problem and I bring it to another third-party to try to solve the problem cuz they said they were using water solvents and they told me not to wash my truck is much because of the muriatic acid the car washes use use tell me I couldn’t wash my truck as much so I told him you must you be kidding so I
                            Went down to where I got a third party to do it and I can still see buff marks on it and they claim that it wasn’t done by them it wasn’t like that when it left and I said the hell it wasn’t and they’re not coming to their senses a little bit but they don’t want to do much more than what the third party had done and they said this matter is over but I can still see the buff marks do I have any recourse on this I see the buff marks with roughly 1200 miles on it but I’m sure it was there when I left the dealership obviously

                            • State: Wisconsin
                          • #23 LemonLaw says:

                            @Ken: You need to establish that the manufacturer is taking responsibility. If that is the case, you may have a claim. Please call us at 800 536 6652 to discuss.

                            • #24 Marylin Hernandez says:

                              Purched a 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT Sport new with 84 miles back on July 3, 2019. First I noticed the hatchback handle was cracked, then a bad place on the ridge of the hood. I also noticed when I washed the car the cloth would hang on something I could not see. There is also lite rust in the doorways and black specks in various places. So I filed a claim with Hyundai Corp. and took my car in to service today at a different dealership. Where I purched is about 150miles away. Anyway the service manager looked it over then advised me the paint was bad. After putting some kind of liquid on the hood, he told me to feel. That that’s the way my car should feel. Stated they didn’t detail it right. Said it was from setting on the lot and stuff settling on it. He had a name for it I just can’t remember it.That it needed to be clay barred. The damage on the hood has already been painted by the dealer (bad job). He said the whole hood would have to be painted. Of course the hb handle has to be replaced. I’m glad I researched about the handle bc it is a factory defect. When I told my case manager from Corp. all the info and she spoke with the service manager, she asked me what I wanted to do. I told her if I can get out of it that’s what I want. I dont want this car any more. So I was transferred to another case manager who negotiates the deals. I feel I should get a full refund. We paied a lot down and have made one payment. I have to wait till next week to talk with the new case manager bc of the holiday. If you could give any advice I would be very grateful.

                              • State: Georgia
                            • #25 edward cervantes says:

                              my girlfriend bought a 2013 cadillac escalade in 2017 the black paint went bad a month later,what can we do

                              • State: CA

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