Details for Click & Clack.

Click & Clack
Talk Cars
“The Tappet Brothers’’

By Ray Magliozzi

A blizzArd of complAints for
toyotA’s blizzArd peArl pAint

Dear Car Talk:

Toyota. Or you can put signs on
your car that say “Another quality
Toyota paint job that they refuse
to fix,” and park it outside the
dealership on Saturdays.

I purchased a new, 2012 Toyota
RAV4 with the V6 engine and the
premium Blizzard Pearl white
paint. It now has 53,000 miles on it
and runs well. The problem is that
Most people give up in the
the paint is literally blowing off.
face of corporate stonewalling.
About a month ago, I looked We can’t really blame them. It’s
out the window of my house and exhausting and frustrating to fight
noticed something fluttering on the with a company that has more than
roof of the vehicle. It was a sheet enough resources to wear you down
of the paint, which by the end of and outlast you. So if they don’t help
the day had blown off completely. you, and you’re not up for a fight,
A week later I noticed a small paint then you have only two choices:
bubble on the driver’s rear quarter Leave the car as is, or repaint it.

panel. Apparently, wind and water
You can’t “touch it up.” The
worked their way under it, and last paint job itself has failed, and the
week a sheet of paint about 12 car has to be stripped all the way
inches square blew off, too.
down, primed, and completely
I think they call this “paint repainted and clear-coated.

delamination.” I call it a major
defect. Looking around on
the internet, it seems this is a
frequent problem, and contacting
Toyota has been fruitless. Is this
something I can spot-fix or must
the entire car be stripped and
repainted? It is difficult to justify
a $2,000 paint job on a car worth
$10,000. Any advice would be
appreciated. -- Gordon

There’s been a veritable
blizzard of complaints about this
Blizzard Pearl white paint, Gordon.
In my opinion, this is, without
question, a manufacturing defect.
For some technical reason, the
paint didn’t adhere properly to the
primer or the base metal.
And we’ve heard the same
stories you have; that Toyota
is giving lots of Blizzard Pearl
the “mechanic’s
shrug.” That’s disappointing.
I suggest you contact Toyota
anyway, and give them a chance
to do the right thing and fix your
car, even though it’s no longer
under warranty. The paint on a
seven-year-old car shouldn’t be
blowing off in the breeze.

If you plan to keep the car for
another three to five years (and
with only 53,000 miles on it, it
should go a lot longer than that),
I’d say it’s worth a couple of
thousand bucks to repaint the car,
and stop hating it every time you
look at it. It’ll also make it easier to
sell when the time comes.
But before you do that, give
Toyota a try. Don’t be belligerent
-- at least not a first -- but be
firm. Tell them you’re really
disappointed, you’ve taken good
care of the car, and you’re aware
that this is a defect. Let them
know that they haven’t lost you as
a customer ... yet.
Maybe they’ll meet you
halfway, and agree to pay for half
your paint job. And then double the
price. Good luck, Gordon.
Got a question about cars?
Write to Ray in care of King
Features, 628 Virginia Drive,
Orlando, FL 32803, or email by
visiting the Car Talk website at

(c) 2018 by Ray Magliozzi and
If they stonewall you, then you
can do what most of the other Doug Berman
Blizzard Pearl owners are doing:
Distributed by King Features
Swear you’ll never buy another Syndicate, Inc.


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