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Swirls in paint under PPF and ceramic coating

random being

Apr 22, 2021
I had ceramic coating and PPF applied to my M3. It was delivered directly from the dealership to the garage. During delivery I discovered 19 different issues ranging from a golf ball sized chunk of paint missing to an issue with the side window where it looks like something is stuck in the glass.

Tesla was supposed to fix the swirls on the hood and trunk. It was overcast when I picked it up a week later after everything was ”fixed”. It looked good, I loaded it on the flatbed. They didn’t fix the issues like they said. That was a week after delivery. It took a week for them to start the PPF/ceramic and a week to do it.

I email my service advisor and he tells me unfortunately it’s been 3 weeks so they can’t do anything with the paint. It took them a week to fix it and he knew I was getting PPF/ceramic coating which was the extra 2 weeks. The garage didnt call me and tell me there was an issue and it might need to be paint corrected.

Does the responsibility fall on Tesla or the garage that did the PPF? Can the swirls be removed without paying for PPF and ceramic coating again?


Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
Riverside Co. CA
I am certainly no expert, far from it, but how exactly do you picture "fixing" paint after it has a plastic coating on top of it, and then a slick coating on top of that?
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Reactions: Durzel


Active Member
Dec 23, 2018
Encino, CA
IMO, the shop that installed the PPF and ceramic coating should have inspected the paint prior to installing the PPF and coating. However, if the swirls looked "fixed" when it was cloudy and only appear when in direct sun, then the shop could argue that the paint, although not 100% swirl-free, was in "good enough" condition. Unless you specifically requested that the shop polish the paint and remove all the swirls prior to installation and they failed to do so, I don't think you really have any recourse.

The only way to fix the swirls is to remove the coating and the PPF, correct and polish the paint, then reapply the PPF and coating. You would end up spending a lot of money just to remove some swirls that are probably not that noticeable unless in direct sunlight. Personally, I would just let it go and enjoy your car.
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Reactions: TBrownTX
Aug 7, 2020
Going on a ledge and saying it was your responsibility to make sure Tesla and your PPF installer met your expectations before you took it home. All you needed was bright flashlight to look over the paint.

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