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Body shop said paints shouldn’t match??

Hey everyone,
I recently took my white Y to a “Tesla approved” body shop who had to replace my front bumper (someone hit it while I was parked). After they finished the job they told me the front bumper paint doesn’t match the fender paint BUT this is normal because the bumper is plastic and the fender is metal. This the paint sits differently. This is very hard for me to believe. I was wondering if anyone could approve/deny these claims. Also if someone else has a Y and can send a picture of there fender to bumper transition. I have pictures of day time and nighttime. Even during the night I can see a difference. My car is just over a year old now as well.

I really appreciate the help!


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Active Member
Jun 21, 2021
They didn't paint match. Paint matching is fundamental. Even dentist color match fillings lol.

*Elaborating on the above, paint matching is essentially blending the adjacent panels so that as a whole the paint matches. This shop is giving you a BS reason. They should have included paint matching in the process otherwise it ends up looking like what you have.
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Kinda looks like the WRONG PAINT, the original is pearl metallic and I dont see metallic on the bumpercover (looks like an alpine white they used to have) must be horrible in person as pictures do not normally show mild mismatch! and its complete BS that they cant match the color due to materials, they just didnt spend the time (if its even the right color)
When I picked up my 08/21 build MY in 09/21, I noticed that my pearl while bumpers didn’t match the metal parts of the car. I looked at every single white Tesla (not just MY) I could spot, and every one of them had different shades of white on bumper vs. metal body parts. I thought it was Tesla doing a crappy paint match job, but then I checked other SUVs from BMW, Porsche, Lexus, and a few others, and they all had a slight difference in color from plastic to metal parts (and not just on white cars). I asked my body shop why that was, and they said the same thing your Tesla affiliated shop told you. Here’s my color difference:


Active Member
Jun 21, 2021
I can’t speak to whether this is true, but I’ve heard this before from various body shops. Some even have sign in their lobby saying this.
It's a CYA statement and its fundamentally true.

A couple things are at play, first it is real hard to just paint a replacement panel or bumper etc and have it match and that is with using correct color codes. Paint on a car will age, then there variations in the actual paint, heat, humidity during painting so you can end up with color that is not a dead match. This is why you can have color variations at the factory, especially with white and silver. The surface doesn't matter as the paint goes on top of primer. In the OP's case his shop should have estimated in blending the adjacent panels. I've no idea why they wouldn't automatically do that. That's a shop that's done a *sugar* job and passing the buck imo.
From the factory, the paint matching for white is getting better. I've been looking at white 3's and Y's in our parking lot at work (at any given time there are no less that 5 Teslas there) for the past couple of years. White is what I have on order. At first, Tesla couldn't even get doors to match fenders correctly. I haven't seen any recent models with mis-matched painted metal parts lately. But plastic bumper covers front and rear are another matter. Painting plastic parts vs. metal panels is most likely a different process. I don't expect my bumper covers to match the metal panels. The light plays tricks too at various angles.

Now if your front and rear bumpers look wildly different, then there might be a case to raise a complaint.


Well-Known Member
Aug 27, 2018
I don't know but my September Pearl White 2021 MY and my 2019 Glacier White Audi Q3 have/had perfect color match body to plastic. My body shop replaced the bumper on the Audi with a perfect color match. It's not rocket science, Tesla figured out their original problem.
You mean Tesla figured out their problem, again !! Because it was a big problem on Model 3’s in 2018 too.
Pretty normal for a long time, like everyone said. I saw a Y the other day that was wrapped, and the bumper was different than the fender. I think the seam happens to be on a transition that often happens to be a natural color break: if it was all one piece, there would be a color change there.

Our white Y has a color difference like that between bumper and fender, but If I look at the joint at a low angle, the color is a perfect match.
I see everyone's concern on a pearl white car. I also need to repair and repaint my bumper, but have not got to it yet. I own and run a body shop and I am taking my sweet time to re-paint it. Pearl white metallic paint is the hardest to match on all cars. The shops telling you the variance of metal vs plastic is also true. All cars will have a different shade on the plastic parts vs the metal parts. Another, thing is as the car sits in the sun the color starts to change over the years, so that also makes it a hard color match. The best thing to do is to blend into the adjacent panels for a perfect color match that the naked eye cannot tell. Basically, it is an illusion to have the correct shade feathered into the old paint, so you cant tell a color difference. The cost would be more and the adjacent panels will be re-cleared, which for some may not want to do. For a perfect match is to paint the whole car. lol
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if yall don't think what the shop says is true, just take a paint can, paint it on some metal, then paint it on the sidewalk lol. the surface you paint it on makes a huge difference. if you take the same paint on 2 difference surfaces, YES, its very likely the SAME paint won't match, due to the surface its on

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