Petrol stripping paint - hispecgolfs
My mother has a Mercedes A class. Yesterday morning she filled it with petrol and returned home and parked it on the drive.

In the afternoon she smelt petrol around the car and noticed the petrol was running out of the filler cap and down the side of the car. The paint has stripped off in places and the rest is badly crazed.

I am guessing the petrol expanded and forced its way out.

Do we have any comeback with Mercedes UK?



Petrol stripping paint - Aprilia
This sounds like a paint fault. I have a C-class and regularly dribble petrol down the paintwork below the filler cap - never noticed any ill-effect. Are you sure it was the petrol that has done the damage - sounds very odd.
Petrol stripping paint - Cheeky
Whether you have any comeback with MB UK depends on how full your Mum filled the tank. Did she stop when the pump indicated a full tank or brim it too full? Very hot weather certainly won't have helped.

In either event I bet MB would be extremely reluctant to assist you financially.

If you do feel a paint job of some kind is in order, I can recommend any company who specialise in the SMART small area repair technique. Much cheaper than a body shop with very good results.
Petrol stripping paint - Aprilia
Well, Cheeky, I think 'fitness for purpose' comes into this. I would argue that car paint should be resistant to petrol splashing - it is one of the most common substances (other than water) that the paint is likely to come into contact with.
Petrol stripping paint - Cheeky
Completely agree with you Aprilia. However the issue is not whether the paint is resitant to petrol or not, rather how to remedy this rather unfortunate and probably 'one off' situation, as the vast majority of cars would probably be OK.

If the volume of petrol which spilled out was large, I still imagine MB UK would be reluctant to cough up any compensation or warranty claim.
Petrol stripping paint - hispecgolfs

It was just a normal fill until the pump clicked, then a little bit more to round up the cost. Nothing over the top.


Petrol stripping paint - AlanGowdy
Unfortunately modern, ecologically-friendly water-based paint seems less durable than the old solvent-applied stuff.

Thanks Greenpeace.
Petrol stripping paint - none
Is it the first time mum has filled her car, or has she done it before with no ill effects? Is it the first time you've checked the affected paintwork area? Is it the original paint?
I smell a rat!
Petrol stripping paint - Marcos{P}
I have to agree with Carrick, the blokes at work are forever spilling diesel and petrol all over the vans and cars and it never affects the paintwork. Ive done it myself accidentally and there was no mishap with the paint. I know modern paints are not as tough as they used to be but that just sounds daft.
The only thing other than maybe a respray or damage prior to the petrol bieng spilt that I can think of is that maybe when the petrol overspilled because of the heat it ran down the very hot bodywork and was roasted by the sun causing some sort of molecular problem with the paint.
I dunno I'm just trying to help but it sounds dodgy.
Petrol stripping paint - Dizzy {P}
I think Marcos may be right about the heat playing a part. I washed and leathered my BMW (metallic paint with lacquer) early yesterday morning and left it parked in the sun all day (with a For Sale notice on it!). When I fetched it in last night there was a big pigeon 'splodge' on it which I soaked with water and then carefully washed off. Despite this prompt action, the splodge had eaten into the paint, the first time I've had this happen despite being inundated with pesky pigeons and their deposits! I've almost managed to polish it out but it can still be seen -- even the splash marks!
Petrol stripping paint - Cliff Pope
The new kind of paint is pathetically vulnerable to things like bird poo and petrol.
I recently resprayed a rear wing, which included around the filler cap. A month later I accidentally sploshed petrol on it and it has eaten deep grooves into all the new paint. Back to the spray can.

I think nowadays you have to reckon that car finishes are not intended to be anything other than cosmetic. Anything splashed on them is likely to leave a permanent mark, or worse, if not immediately cleaned off.
Petrol stripping paint - hispecgolfs

MBUK have told my mother to take it to the local dealer to ascertain the cause of the damage. Lets hope they repair it, the panel around the fuel flap extends the whole length of the car!

Petrol stripping paint - Simon
Unfortunately your mother has made a classic mistake by filling her car up to the top of the tank in the hot weather. This is fine if the weather is fairly mild or you are about to drive a distance but I would bet she lives only a few miles from the petrol station where she filled up. In the current heat and especially if the car is left in the sun the petrol will expand in the tank and if there is no room left for expansion then it will leak out of the weakest point. On the Merc that was obviously the filler cap, on some cars the tanks will burst.

Thus the petrol that has been running down the side of the car has eaten into the paint. It doesn't matter what people say about how the paint should be able to withstand the petrol, the fact is it won't if subjected to enough of it. Petrol is after all only a stage or two away from being a solvent and you wouldn't pour a can on pure thinners down the side of your car would you.

I know this is not what you want to hear but I think if you get any compensation or good will from Mercedes then you will have done well, because it was not really any fault of theirs. But if you want to minimise the cost of repairs, use an independant bodyshop to fix the damage rather than pay Mercedes sky high prices.
Petrol stripping paint - MikeyM
Im my opinion there is absolutely no question that the fault lies with MB. All cars are designed to cope with expansion of fuel and it sounds like there is either a fault in the system or MB got it wrong. Cars are either fitted with a separate expansion tank to allow fuel to expand & be stored elsewhere or should be designed in such a way that the tank can cope with expansion once the filled 'backs up' and turns the pump off. It sounds like the tank certainly wasnt 'brimmed'. What would happen in very hot climates like Arizona, Africa or Australia? Would you never be able to fill the tank in case it leaks?
On the subject of the paint. All paints, even the latest 'eco green' stuff must be able to cope with petroleum distlllates.
How would the under bonnet area cope, subjected to a prolonged, hot vaporous environment.
Fit for the purpose certainly applies. Some resistance to petrol around a filler cap is a basic requirement of the paint finish. Is it a metallic finish? If its clear lacquer over base, then maybe there was a problem with the lacquer coating. The base coat would craze, without question. A sound paint finish definitely should not, when subjected to petrol. Stick to your rights!
Petrol stripping paint - Sooty Tailpipes
All fuel tanks should be vented otherwise not only would they bust with expansion, they would shrivel up into a little ball as the fuel is used, most don't vent from the cap, older ones have a vent pipe which is higher than the top of the tank. Newer cars after the mid-90's have a hydrocarbon emmissions reduction system, like a charcoal cannister and vapour purger. MB are to blame if the spillage is designed to go onto paintwork which is not fuel-proof, If they use delicate paint, they should direct the fuel on the floor behind the body work.

Value my car