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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My husband and I purchased a new 2012 ruby red pearl outback 2.5i limited on Tuesday. We left the dealership around 4 and went to go show it off to our friends and family (This is the first new car I have ever bought!). I was showing the car to my father-in-law when we noticed marks all over the hood – most were pretty small but one about the size of a pencil eraser. I immediately brought it back to the dealership and they said it was tree sap and that they would take care of it and would get me a new hood if necessary- but I would have to come back tomorrow because they were just about to close. The next day I brought it to a body shop just so I could get a second opinion before I brought it back to the dealership. They took a look at it and said it was most likely not sap and that there was at least one big mark where it is was definitely through the clear coat. The Subaru dealership has the car now and they are stripping the hood and repainting it.
Here are some questions- any help would be much appreciated…
1) My husband and I looked over the car thoroughly before we went inside to sign the paperwork – but I lost sleep for the past two nights trying to figure out how we could have missed the marks?? At first I was worried that maybe it was our fault- but the body shop guy said it couldn't have happened in the short time we had the car. Is there any way that the heat of the engine (and the outside heat it was over 90 degrees) made the marks more pronounced?
2) Should we be worried about the hood in the future? I am concerned about other problems down the road with the paint.
3) The dealership has been accommodating- but I am very frustrated because we spent a lot money and this is my first new car ever… is there anything the dealership can do for us?
 

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2013 Outback 3.6R. BBP w/ SAP
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192 Posts
That reallllly sucks. I am sure the problem was already there. I cannot think of anything that would do that much damage in 3 hours.

My only concern at this point would be that they pull the hood off the car before painting. Overspray is a bitch and it will be everywhere.
 

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09 Outback PZEV
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Dont many states have a mandatory return policy for new cars? When I bought my 09 Outback in NC I believe it was 7 days and 1000 miles. Perhaps it was a dealer perk, but maybe you have the same ability there too. Sorry about your bad experience, especially for your first new car...If it were me I would try to turn it in as I don't have high confidence in the long term re-paint compared to the factory original.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Its not hail damage and not dented. Its onlly located on the hood. The front bumper and side quarter panels are spotless.
 

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2011 OB 2.5 CVT Limited
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103 Posts
It could still be hail damage. Bumper and side quarters are not perpendicular to hail hitting your car so less chance of leaving a mark. I would take a look at the roof of the car to see if there are any dents there. If it looks like the paint was "pulled" off the roof, instead of dents, it could be from when they were pulling off the protective plastic that was on the roof during delivery.

Doesn't help this time, but for your next purchase, only take delivery during daylight or bring a highpowered flashlight light to reflect off the car. It's the easiest way of seeing imperfections in the metal.

I would double check also if the body shop had to blend the panels around to color match of if they were able to color match the hood. Just something for you to be aware of if they had to redo some of the other panels. I good shop should be able to color match and not touch the other adjacent panels.

Aftermarket paint is never as nice but if you can't see the difference, I wouldn't lose sleep over it. Ask them how long they warranty the work though, and have them put that in writing. If in 2 years the hood fades a lot faster then the other panels around it, you need them to warranty that.
 

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2005 xt limited gone but not forgotten
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343 Posts
I bought a car with similar problems years ago. It turned out to be the tie-down straps from the car above it on the car hauler. They pulled the straps loose and they fell on the hood of my new car. Didn't dent it, just scratched it so the paint had to be repaired. No damage to fenders or top, just hood where the straps landed and slid across it.
 

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2013 3.6R SAP BBP Outback
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717 Posts
See if you can get some sort of compensation for your trouble, like an extended warranty. The re-paint at the dealer will likely show up on the Carfax or Autocheck for that car someday and reduce its value. Re-paint/repair of body panels is always something dealers look for when evaluating a trade. The dealer can't do as good a job as the factory paint work and even if it doesn't show on Carfax, any dealer will know from the service records.
 

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Most cars today have the paint baked on in at the factory in an extremely high temperature process before parts that would be damaged (plastic, etc) are attached. This cannot be done on a re-paint job for obvious reasons. This is why you can wax new cars without any problems but you will have to wait till a re-paint job "cures" fully. Does this mean a re-paint job is not as good as factory paint? Probably to some degree, but not in a meaningful way for most cars over ten or so years.
If you are not satisfied with the car when you get it back, and it is obviously inferior, you do have the option of demanding they fix it to your satisfaction as it substantially affects the value of the car, thus potentially making it fall under NJ lemon law. Be nice, but firm, and accept nothing but a car that looks brand new.
 

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Good luck with getting the paint to match. The car never should have passed the PDI from the dealer before you took possession of it. Sounds like a shady dealer hoping you wouldn't notice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks!

Thanks everyone for all your advice! I am picking up the car tomorrow and will let you know how it goes. Thanks again!
 

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2018 328d Wagon / 2018 3.6R Touring
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Re-reading these posts seems like people have had some unpleasant paint matching experiences. I've had only one, in my life, and that was back in 1980. It was Ford's copper metallic paint. The body shop wanted me to sign on the dotted line and said we could "negotiate" what it would cost to make the car all one color later.

When I went down to see them I brought them the registration and payment book and said I didn't care if I ever saw it again. Credit score be damned. They called threatening me with storage fees, etc for a week. I checked with the insurance company and they told me once I accepted it I was on my own. Took another week but the shop called and said the car was ready to pick-up. They applied an outstanding paint job, cost to me zero. Owner said I was his biggest pita, but he admired my determination.

I digressed. When I went to pick up my 2003 Forester XS the hood had environmental damage on it. The dealership asked what they could do to "make it right". I said - "See the nice red XS I parked next to, the one with the perfect hood....." An hour later I left with that hood on my car.

There's always options if you're willing to be a bit creative.
 
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