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My Advice: Paint Defects During Delivery (Needs to be Repainted) -> Reject

Undisclosed

Member
Jan 30, 2020
351
301
USA
Hey all,

Just some advise that if your car has paint issues during which require a repaint of a body panel and you care about the car's paint, I would highly highly highly suggest you reject it, it's not worth the hassle or time to have it repainted just for it to come out potentially worse.

I think I made the mistake of taking my car to a newer service center that didn't have any certified body shops around because they literally took my car to some sketchy body shop to get it painted/fixed.

Also I would recommend having them to bring the car to the body shop to have it painted instead of having them paint a panel and install it in the service center as the paint will not be matched correctly.

My car definitely came out worse with the repainted panel, there were holograms, sanding marks, deep swirls all over the panel (I mean like all over like a 20 year old car) when I picked it up and the color was a shade darker than the original paint. A new paint job shouldn't look like that, they didn't even try to fix it and stated that is how it is.. There was adhesive on the panel and the ornaments was all scratched up like it was sanded. There were also dust nibs and small indentations on the paint and the paint job wasn't that good as the edges/sides are missing paint and not clear coated (which they were on the previous panel and other panel), only the outside is clear coated.

When I asked for the old hood back they had already disposed it so too bad for me, I think the original paint defect isn't as bad anymore.

I am trying to fix the panel by paint correction and am making slight progress, thinking some of the scratches are too deep but have no clue how much clear coat is left since it appears to have been sanded several times.

I was unable to escalate the situation further during the pickup as they insisted that was the best they could do and could not assist any further, rushing me out as take it or leave it. I was definitely disappointed and considered selling the car with less than 300 miles out of frustration. So far no responses to messages, kind of ghosted me after I picked up. Seemed like they just wanted to get me out of there..

In the end, I have made peace with the issue and will enjoy driving the car with mismatched body panel, I hope it is fine mechanically as I fear taking it back will make it worse. Overall I need to maintain a perspective is that it is just a car that I am going to drive so as long as it functions then it is fine. Not going to spend any more time, stress and anxiety dealing with trying to fix the paint issue as it might come out worse than it is... I am grateful for Tesla to attempt to fix the paint issues after taking delivery but unfortunately it came out worse like many others mentioned while reading online. Just that the next Tesla I buy, if it has paint issues I will reject it after this experience.

I would keep escalating it until they fix it but it isn't worth the time not anxiety of it coming out worse or something else happens to it.. I rather just hope my TSLA stock goes up $2000 so I can repaint and blend the area myself at a better body shop..

Thanks.

TLDR: If your car has a paint issue that requires a repaint during delivery, reject it, not worth the potentially hassle of repainting it and having it come out worse. My repainted panel is darker than the original panel, and during pickup there were holograms, sanding marks, deep swirls all over the new panel and the paint job was poor, missing paint and clear in areas.
 
Last edited:

rainforest

Active Member
Aug 21, 2016
1,216
637
Canada
Hi there. I am not a painter, but I know a lot about the subject because I have gone through your ordeal, and because my best friend is a car painter (though his shop does not paint Tesla's specifically).

When I picked up my early build Model 3 in 2018, the white bumper was scratched in 3 spots and required a repaint. The first body shop painted it once, but the colour was off, so they painted it a second time. It was still off, and I wasn't happy. Tesla then brought it to a second body shop, and they repainted it. It was ever so slightly off, and I just accepted it because I was tired of the ordeal. But being the OCD person that I am, I kept staring at the bumper over the next two weeks and it drove me nuts, and I emailed Tesla again telling them how unhappy I was. At that point, they agreed and they had to order an entire new bumper because you can't paint a panel too many times. The fourth body shop got the colour exactly right and the car is perfect now.

It sounds like the body shop that painted your car was just incompetent. Dust nibs and lack of clear coat are simply inexperience. The swirl marks are caused by improper polishing afterwards. The mismatch on my bumper is because I didn't want the shop blending and repainting the adjacent panels, which would have easily solved the problem. In your case, they would need to blend into the bumper because it is one continuous plane and mismatch would be noticeable. It is debatable whether they would need to blend into the front fenders because they quickly bend downwards (when the panel changes direction, any mismatch is less noticeable). BTW, nobody gives you a new hood to paint on unless your car was in an accident; they just repaint your existing hood. The ornaments are $40 - they can be replaced in 1 minute (my XPEL installer just did this for me yesterday).

SO, I would strongly suggest that you go back to your service centre and let them know how you feel. Escalate because it sounds like your car has an obvious crappy paint job that any Tesla employee would recognize. Ask this forum or your local FB group which Tesla approved paint shop is best, and ask that your car be sent there to avoid more agony.

It also depends what colour your car is. White and red are hard to match because they are a three layer paint with pearls in them (iridescent layer). Blue and midnight silver are much easier to match. Black is a breeze.

Please don't settle; you should be happy with your new car and not feel the need to be unhappy with your car. I've been there; done that. And to be honest, a repaint should technically be better than Tesla factory paint which is known to be thin and soft.
 

sunfarm

2021M3LR, Blue, 19", FSD
Jun 21, 2021
152
106
Canada
Hi there. I am not a painter, but I know a lot about the subject because I have gone through your ordeal, and because my best friend is a car painter (though his shop does not paint Tesla's specifically).

When I picked up my early build Model 3 in 2018, the white bumper was scratched in 3 spots and required a repaint. The first body shop painted it once, but the colour was off, so they painted it a second time. It was still off, and I wasn't happy. Tesla then brought it to a second body shop, and they repainted it. It was ever so slightly off, and I just accepted it because I was tired of the ordeal. But being the OCD person that I am, I kept staring at the bumper over the next two weeks and it drove me nuts, and I emailed Tesla again telling them how unhappy I was. At that point, they agreed and they had to order an entire new bumper because you can't paint a panel too many times. The fourth body shop got the colour exactly right and the car is perfect now.

It sounds like the body shop that painted your car was just incompetent. Dust nibs and lack of clear coat are simply inexperience. The swirl marks are caused by improper polishing afterwards. The mismatch on my bumper is because I didn't want the shop blending and repainting the adjacent panels, which would have easily solved the problem. In your case, they would need to blend into the bumper because it is one continuous plane and mismatch would be noticeable. It is debatable whether they would need to blend into the front fenders because they quickly bend downwards (when the panel changes direction, any mismatch is less noticeable). BTW, nobody gives you a new hood to paint on unless your car was in an accident; they just repaint your existing hood. The ornaments are $40 - they can be replaced in 1 minute (my XPEL installer just did this for me yesterday).

SO, I would strongly suggest that you go back to your service centre and let them know how you feel. Escalate because it sounds like your car has an obvious crappy paint job that any Tesla employee would recognize. Ask this forum or your local FB group which Tesla approved paint shop is best, and ask that your car be sent there to avoid more agony.

It also depends what colour your car is. White and red are hard to match because they are a three layer paint with pearls in them (iridescent layer). Blue and midnight silver are much easier to match. Black is a breeze.

Please don't settle; you should be happy with your new car and not feel the need to be unhappy with your car. I've been there; done that. And to be honest, a repaint should technically be better than Tesla factory paint which is known to be thin and soft.
What to do if you closest service center 400km away and communication with Service Center not exist? 🤣
 

Schulz1983

Model Y LR AWD: Matte PPF, Vossen HF-1
May 14, 2021
599
413
High Ridge MO
What to do if you closest service center 400km away and communication with Service Center not exist? 🤣
You can always call the service center. Contrary to popular belief, I call the sales side of the SC and ask them to transfer me to the service center. They have transferred me directly every time. In fairness, anytime I have been to the SC, they have been extremely busy. Sometimes I send them a message on the app and it takes a day for them to get back to me. Hope that helps.
 

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