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Advice needed: Interior door trim damaged/melted after window tint job

Hexo09

Member
Mar 8, 2021
79
78
Bay Area, CA
Alright, I researched this forum but could not find a similar issue. I went to get my front windows tinted on Thursday afternoon at a shop recommended by a friend (Alameda Tint N Sound in Alameda, CA). The process was alright, although it took them much longer than they said it would (my problem might be why...). After they were done, I checked the windows from the outside, it looked good. Some bubbles, but I knew they would go away. I checked it out from the inside from the driver side and everything looked good. As advised, I didn't roll my windows for the next 3 days, and I didn't really need to, nor did my passenger. Today, as I was grabbing something from the passenger side, I noticed that the interior trim was damaged, very likely melted by a heat gun. I haven't been able to go over there to talk to them yet, but I wanted to get advice. What would you do?

- Go there first and see if they will "make it right" (whatever that means)? I feel the very minimum they should do would be refund me what I paid.
- Get a quote from the SC first to see how much it would cost, and then show the quote to the tinter?
- I really don't want to get the insurance involved with this, but should I?

I am pretty sure the tinter is going to say it's not their fault or some BS like that. Without the tint, it would be impossible not to notice the damage from the outside, so I know 1000% that it wasn't there before. I would say that I am definitely on the "chill" side on the "nit-picky" spectrum, but it bugs the hell out of me that this happened. I'm planning on keeping the car for years, so who knows if this will affect the trade-in value of the car when the time comes, but I'm really mad about it. Also really mad at myself that I didn't see it sooner, but I tried to stay away from messing with the windows for as long as I could, so that it would cure correctly.

Disclaimer: This is my first time ever getting windows tinted. In retrospect, I could have done a better job researching this place (although it doesn't have a bad rating on Yelp), but I trusted my friend, who has done at least 5 cars with them...
IMG_8559.jpeg
 

Rippin1Gear

Member
Feb 7, 2020
134
81
Seattle
Dangggggg those installers roached your door panel with a heat gun… too bad you didn’t see it before driving off… eBay might be your best bet for a replacement.
 

Automobilist

Member
Feb 18, 2021
59
53
Orange County, CA
The good news is that unlike something like external body damage (where it can be tricky and expensive to get a fix which would be truely be "like new") with this issue, you can just replace that entire door panel and it will be like it never happened.

There's no way to repair what I'm seeing in this photo, if they want to really "make it right" they will need to pay to replace your door panel with a new Tesla door panel. If it was my car, at this point, I wouldn't trust those guys to do that replacement themselves, so ideally they should reimburse you for the cost of having Tesla do it.

You may also want to check the rest of the car pretty carefully now, in case that was not the only place where something like this happened.
 

MP3Mike

Well-Known Member
Feb 1, 2016
15,589
34,217
Oregon
Getting a used door card is like $400. (I think they are like $600 from Tesla, but I could be remembering wrong.)
 

ETuesta

Member
Apr 17, 2021
31
34
Carmel, CA
Wow!!.. so sorry, I am getting mine tinted in a couple of weeks, already talked to the shop and they sounded super knowledgeable and friendly. They told me that they will remove the door panels and assured me of an outstanding result.
 

Hexo09

Member
Mar 8, 2021
79
78
Bay Area, CA
Thanks guys. Yes, of all the bad reviews and nightmares from window tints I've read here and other places, this was never even on my radar. I am going to go early this afternoon and see what they say. My hope is that at least they admit fault and work with me on fixing it, whatever that means. But I'm expecting the worst at this point.

For those wondering how I missed it, this is how it looks from the driver's side (completely hiden), and from the outside, now that the windows are tinted (really hard to see). I am mad I didn't see it sooner, but had I not had to grab something from that side yesterday, it could also have gone weeks unnoticed, considering my girlfriend (my only frequent flyer) doesn't pay attention to that stuff and never rolls down her window all the way...


IMG_8561.JPEG
IMG_8562.JPEG
 

MorrisonHiker

S 100D 2021.4.18.2
Mar 8, 2015
9,675
8,936
Colorado
When we had one of our cars wrapped, they melted one of the door seals with a heat gun. Fortunately, it was on the driver's side and we noticed it right away and they paid to have it replaced.

I didn't realize a heat gun was used for tint installation.
 

James K

Member
Sep 28, 2017
48
57
NYC
When we had one of our cars wrapped, they melted one of the door seals with a heat gun. Fortunately, it was on the driver's side and we noticed it right away and they paid to have it replaced.

I didn't realize a heat gun was used for tint installation.
I believe they use a heat gun for frameless windows that drop down when you open, so the portion that tucks into the door will cure faster.
 
  • Informative
Reactions: srlawren

Ejl80

Member
Dec 23, 2017
589
522
Nj
When we had one of our cars wrapped, they melted one of the door seals with a heat gun. Fortunately, it was on the driver's side and we noticed it right away and they paid to have it replaced.

I didn't realize a heat gun was used for tint installation.
Its usually used on the exterior to shape and shrink the tint to match the curve of the window.
 

dc5itr888

Member
Nov 13, 2020
102
22
Los Angeles
Not going to lie, after seeing your post, I got up from my office and went straight to the parking garage to see if that happened to my car too.

I had my car tinted a few days ago with Xpel XR Plus in 20% and saw them use a heat gun as well.

Just checked and mine didnt have any issues.

For sure talk to the shop as soon as you can.
 
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Reactions: srlawren

jeffbco

Member
Jun 7, 2020
643
348
Austin, TX
Tint shops have their own insurance to cover their install mistakes. They may not like filing a claim but that is surely heat gun damage. Let us know how it goes.
 

Hexo09

Member
Mar 8, 2021
79
78
Bay Area, CA
Welp, no surprise, but they completely denied it was their fault. They said they only use the heat gun on the outside and it couldn’t have been them... I asked the guy who worked on that side, he said he did, when I asked him if he noticed that it was damaged when he was working on that side, since according to him it was damaged from before, he said he didn’t notice it... I’m not sure what my options are at this point, except suck it up or spend a few hundred bucks that would have been better spent elsewhere to fix it myself...
 

dc5itr888

Member
Nov 13, 2020
102
22
Los Angeles
Welp, no surprise, but they completely denied it was their fault. They said they only use the heat gun on the outside and it couldn’t have been them... I asked the guy who worked on that side, he said he did, when I asked him if he noticed that it was damaged when he was working on that side, since according to him it was damaged from before, he said he didn’t notice it... I’m not sure what my options are at this point, except suck it up or spend a few hundred bucks that would have been better spent elsewhere to fix it myself..
I'm afraid you dont have too many promising routes after this.

Leaving them honest negative reviews on yelp/ google is a start but not sure if thats even enough to get them to consider but at least get prospective clients looking for tint shops to be aware of the negative taste it left you.

Time to source yourself that piece and replace it.
 
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Reactions: zpaul and Hexo09

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