Maybe this isn’t the right forum for this, but does anyone here have enough car expertise to know whether or not damaged clear coat requires an entire panel to be repainted? Or can a spot simply be ‘touched-up’ (and still protect the base coat, and look presentable)?
I nearly took delivery the other day of a BZ4X I’d put my deposit down on nearly 7 months ago, but several factors gave me pause. First, the car is now a solid 15% more expensive than it was when I ordered it (i.e., loss of 1/2 of the tax rebate, increase in APR), and though I hashed things out with the sales and finance managers at the dealership for over two hours, no amount of playing with the numbers—short of them selling below MSRP—could get things anywhere close to where they had been (as far as price) when I’d placed the order.
Another factor was the paint. Though my dealer had clearly washed the vehicle (it was still wet when I arrived), and assured me that it had still had the white plastic protective film on it when they received it, it appears that its 5 month stint at the port did not do the vehicle any favors. Overall, the car looked okay—it just didn't look factory new. Exterior plastic components had a whitewashed appearance, which might be expected of a used car, but not a new one. But more concerning was that there were multiple, half-dollar sized, irregularly shaped splotches in the paint (perhaps in areas where the plastic film was not applied?), and on multiple different panels.
In general, I am not a particular picky person, but my understanding is that damage to a vehicle’s clear coat can spread, and eventually lead to peeling. That said, without attacking these spots with some rubbing compound, it’s hard to say for certain that they wouldn’t eventually buff out, but in feeling them with my thumbnail, the spots were significant enough to give me concern; they didn’t appear to be residue.
I completely understand that new cars sometimes sit on dealer’s lots for months on end, but they’re typically attended to—bird droppings (which is what I believe caused the damage) would not simply weather and bake onto a car’s exterior for months. In the case of this BZ4X, however, my gut feeling is that the vehicle was simply not attended to while at the port (I think I'd naively been assuming that the vehicles were being stored inside their shipping containers...).
In any case, I didn’t take delivery of the vehicle, and told my dealer I needed a few days to think about it. If the paint issue is going to add significant cost (as opposed to it just being a simple touch-up job, which perhaps I could talk the dealer into covering), then I think it would seal my decision to back out of the deal—which hopefully I can still do despite my [significant] deposit.
Have others here who've recently taken delivery run into similar issues? How did you resolve them?