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Rippled off
Yesterday I took delivery of a new BMW 320i convertible. However I am quite upset with the noticeable 'orange peel' (literally in this case, as the car is a shade of orange/red). Although I looked the car over I was concentrating on obvious blemishes and other problems, and only on looking at it today in the sun did I realise how bad this was (worse on one side than the other - the bad side was close to a wall at the dealers and in shadow). My intention was that this car might last me the rest of my motoring years (I am 67) but I don't want to live with this poor paintwork for the rest of my life. Connected to this, but a separate matter, is that just before leaving the dealer, having completed the purchase, I found at least three marks in the paint on the bootlid, caused, from the look of them, by bird lime while the car was in the compound. They were only apparent because of the angle of reflections. I called the salesman over and he said to take it in on Monday and they would have a look at them. Having inspected them carefully I don't think that they can be polished out and I don't really want to go down the route of having respraying on a new car. What is my position regarding these two matters? If I took delivery of a fridge and found the paint damaged I would ask for it to be replaced. But it seems more complicated with a car. Can I reject it? After all, if I was not bothered about the appearance I could have bought a cheaper used model.

Asked on 14 August 2010 by JJ, via email

Answered by Honest John
It's possible that using a clay bar a bodyshop or a valeter/detailer can
clean the paint surface and lose some of the orange peel effect in the lacquer coat. You would then be advised to have the paint coated with a treatment to prevent attack from birdlime and other corrosives the climate may throw at it. The best treatment seems to be from www.glareuk.com . It lasts 5 years. Costs around £500. You could take the view that the paint of the car is "not of satisfactory quality" and reject the car for that reason. However, if the dealer refuses to accept your rejection you could be in for an expensive legal battle with no guarantee of a favourable result. See: www.honestjohn.co.uk/faq/consumer-rights
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