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2008 Rx400h, Rust, Rail Dust, Solvent Pop, Bad Paint?


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We bought our 08 RX400h back in March of last year. It has been serviced at the dealership for it's 5,000 mile check up, 10,000 mile check up, and 15,000 mile check up. At each check up the car is completely washed on the outside and detailed. My husband and I waxed the vehicle once over the summer and once right before winter hit in the fall last year. On wednesday of last week my husband and I noticed that we had several little rust spots all over the car. When we looked at the hood we noticed that there were some Rock chips that were starting to form rust but also there were tiny small craters that had bubbling around the hole and there was rust everywhere. I was concerned about the rate of corrosion since we routinely washed our vehicle and it was in the garage through the winter and only exactly a year old. We have had several new cars in the last 10 years ( 99Audi a4, 03 Toyota Tacoma, 03 Honda s2000, 06 Acura RSX type S) Each of them survived through the harsh Michigan winters and had numerous stone chips but they never started to show any sign of rust if they did at all for that matter until about 4-5 years down the road. The Acura was a lease that we turned in back in january 09 and there wasn't an ounce of rust on the Acura but several stone chips along the hood. This car spent alot of time driving back and forth from Michigan to New York throughout the year and atleast 3 trips during the winter. I'm just trying to compare the experience I have had with a few differant vehicles and the elements that they are exposed to. Anyways... I am wondering if anyone has experienced an issue with their paint on their Lexus RX Model or any Lexus Model for that matter? I have taken the car to the dealership and got no where with them. They believe this is quality and was poor maintenence. I have proof that the car was properly cared for through documentation of services. Their diagnosis is Rail Dust and the explanation for that Rail Dust is more than likely due to transfering of the vehicle from the Manufacturer to the Dealership by Train. The dealership also asked if we had "ever washed the vehicle". Which was a stupid question to me because if they looked at their logs they would know that it was ATLEAST washed three times this past year. Thats the very minimum and that They washed it.

http://s255.photobucket.com/albums/hh147/l...e/Lexus%20Rust/

Here are the pictures of the marks all over my car. I'm curious what everyone thinks. Do you think that after only one year and being washed several times and waxed twice that this is an acceptable rate of corrosion if it is only due to stone chips? THe Dealership says that this is normal and that Lexus still has top of the line paint quality and is better than any other vehicle. I have to say that THIS particular vehicle I don't think that is the case and that I disagree that THIS particular vehicle is living up to that LExus Quality standard.

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Sorry for your troubles. Looks to me like something was splashed on your car that was acidic in nature. Battery acid? Not sure if it is a warranty item or not. I would take it to an independent body shop and ask them to help identify what the problem is. If they suggest that it has anything to do with the paint job from Lexus....there you have it. If anything else you will gain peace of mind.

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I'd recommend taking it to a good body shop as well to get their opinion, then I'd also take it to your insurance company's adjuster and get his opinion as well. With a trained eye, they'll be able to tell if the finish on the car is factory or if it was repaired at some point. I've had chips before, but in most cases it goes through the base coat (vehicle color) but not through the primer. This looks quite extreme. Unless things have changed, all RX400h's are made in Japan and come over on a ship. I don't know which port they arrive in when they get to the US or how they get from that port to Michigan... To me, the car looks like it was damaged and repaired before or after it got to the dealer... I know that car carriers can sometimes do minor damage to vehicles when they're loading or unloading them, and the local dealers fix these minor problems. However if a car has received extensive damage in transit, such as getting stuck in a hail storm while on a car carrier, in most states this damage has to be disclosed to the buyer and the price adjusted accordingly.

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It is important to cover up rock chips with touch-up paint immediately after you discover them. If the bare metal is left exposed, it will begin to corrode in a matter of weeks and eventually the corrosion will spread.

Obviously, the chips on your RX went through the primer down to the bare metal. Perhaps they didn't on your other cars.

Washing a vehicle only 3 times a year is not enough to keep its finish in good condition. Leaving it dirty for extended periods will make it much easier for dirt, road salts, etc to accumulate and start corrosion.

I wash my vehicle twice a week during the winter and once weekly otherwise. During the warmer months, I hand-wash it and use it as an opportunity to look for rock chips and touch them up while the car is clean. I wax the car twice per year. It is almost 17 years old, has over 150,000 miles, and has no rust anywhere.

Based on the information you have given, I think the damage to your vehicle's paint was just caused by improper care.

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If anything, I find our Lexus paint to be of very high quality. Of course, there is very little rain here in San Diego, so I wouldn't expect to see that kind of corrosion on any car.

However, we recently bought my daughter a 2002 Mazda Protege that spent a couple of years in New York State. It does have a couple of small rusty spots that are similar to those you photographed. But as others have suggested, take your vehicle to an auto body shop and show it to an experienced person.

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not to pile on but in the years ive been around this site i have never seen a complaint about lexus paint or corrosion. and in the pacific northwest we dont have alot of salt use on the highway, fortunately. still on average i do hand wash my vehicle twice a week. i will say the lexus does tend to collect more rock chips on the hood and bumper than other cars ive owned. as everyone has mentioned consult that body shop, and be forthcoming as you have been here about your infrequency of washing. would love to hear what they have to say. i know that the british invented rust and licensed it to the italians, and its no fun to have.

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not to pile on but in the years ive been around this site i have never seen a complaint about lexus paint or corrosion. and in the pacific northwest we dont have alot of salt use on the highway, fortunately. still on average i do hand wash my vehicle twice a week. i will say the lexus does tend to collect more rock chips on the hood and bumper than other cars ive owned. as everyone has mentioned consult that body shop, and be forthcoming as you have been here about your infrequency of washing. would love to hear what they have to say. i know that the british invented rust and licensed it to the italians, and its no fun to have.

Ok I need to make a correction..

I have washed the vehicle more than three times in one year. WAY MORE. The three times was in response to the Sales Managers Smarta** comment..." Well do you wash your vehicle?" I was implying that if they looked at their service record they would atleast know that it was washed 3 times by them... We are not dealing with a good dealership and they have been acting funny ever since I made the first phone call to schedule an appointment. Something smells fishy.

I have an appointment at a Body shop here that we had our Audi at when we still had it. And Another one in Ann Arbor that services Audi,BMW, and Porsche. So I'm hoping that I will get somewhere with this. We requested to know the thickness of the paint and primer that is on the vehicle but Lexus tells us that there is no way to determine this.

Also, The spots in the pictures may look very large but they are really not. I used Macro and got up close with the camera to try and get a good look at the spots. It's hard to even see the bubbling without a magnifying glass... but they were very hard to see. We didn't even notice the stone chips until after it got to the point of rusting. I also question why some look exactly like stone chips but then others have a bubbling factor around them that kind of reminds me of a pimple.

I saw a post on another forum yesterday were there were about 11 people or so complaining about Lexus Paint problems with their vehicles and that they were taking it to Lexus's attention. But the post is old. What I'm trying to figure out is if this is normal. The dealership says it's completely normal...In response I say that it's bad quality if they stand behind this and say that this is normal for a 1 yr old car and happens all the time. (stone chips going straight through 2 layers of paint and 2 layers of primer, ((which is what the dealerhips told me was on my car)) I was at Olive Garden yesterday and noticed an RX330 sitting in the parking lot. I went over and inspected the hood. It had so many stone chips it was unbelievable but there wasn't an ounce of rust on it. They didn't have any touch up paint on it either. I can't tell by looking but I don't think the stone chips had gone through to the bare metal. If I had to guess there had to be atleast 25-35 allover the hood by the grill.

We have never used touch up paint on our stone chips for any of our other cars. Honestly I don't know why... But, with that said... we've also never experienced this problem with a vehicle. Especially as new as this one is. We have lived in Michigan all our lives so we are used to Michigan weather and the elements that are vehicles are exposed too.

Sometimes I get sidetracked from what I'm really trying to accomplish... So what I am wondering and asking is... Do you think this is normal? And have you experienced this type of problem?

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Is this your first light colored car?

It looks like pretty classic rail dust contamination to me. Do you live near or routinely drive near a railway line?

What happens is tiny peices of iron are sloughed off when a train runs over the track, this dust bonds with the paint and when it starts to rust it creates spotting like that. Regular claying of the paint surface will remove those contaminants before they rust. Cars are also always covered in this stuff when they are transported by train. A good detailing MAY remove much of your problem.

The rock chips will rust, and in MI the vehicle would be covered by corrosive road salt much of the winter.

How often do you wash the vehicle and does the vehicle sit in the garage in the winter? Do you hand wash it or use an automatic carwash? What kind of soap do you use when you wash it if you wash it by hand?

Salt is actually not corrosive when its below freezing. The issue is however that the ambient air gets above freezing in a garage. I would be mystified that you would have corrosive rock chips like that unless the vehicle sat in higher than freezing temps covered in salt for extended periods...

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Is this your first light colored car?

It looks like pretty classic rail dust contamination to me. Do you live near or routinely drive near a railway line?

What happens is tiny peices of iron are sloughed off when a train runs over the track, this dust bonds with the paint and when it starts to rust it creates spotting like that. Regular claying of the paint surface will remove those contaminants before they rust. Cars are also always covered in this stuff when they are transported by train. A good detailing MAY remove much of your problem.

The rock chips will rust, and in MI the vehicle would be covered by corrosive road salt much of the winter.

How often do you wash the vehicle and does the vehicle sit in the garage in the winter? Do you hand wash it or use an automatic carwash? What kind of soap do you use when you wash it if you wash it by hand?

Salt is actually not corrosive when its below freezing. The issue is however that the ambient air gets above freezing in a garage. I would be mystified that you would have corrosive rock chips like that unless the vehicle sat in higher than freezing temps covered in salt for extended periods...

We usually never use a car wash.... I actually only used it once and that was last week when I first noticed the rust and I thought it was dirt and I was out of soap and in a hurry. Other than that we use Meguirers and Zymol products and we hand wash our vehicles. We do not live by a railroad and I rarely drive by one.

AND THE VERDICT IS IN:

I don't think we will be going to the next Body shop. The first one is the one we are used to and trust the most and this is what they have to say.

The sides and hatch are from metal shavings.. they can be easily removed. ( which we will let the dealership remove with clay bar and then put a protective coat on )

The front is mostly from stone chips. They don't believe it is a paint quality issue however... They believe that Lexus vehicles have a poor hood design and there hoods especially around the grill take a beating more than any other vehicle (which I can't fight becuase I bought the car the way it is) Apparently Infiniti has the same issue with their hoods by the grill as well.

Lesson learned:

Wash the Lexus more often then you've ever washed any other car in your life... Not to mention wax.

The solution... for the hood anyways because I already stated what will be done about the body... We are going to have the Body shop repaint the front part of the hood and then attach 3M to the hood. Which means I will be without a vehicle for 30 days.

While I LOVE LOVE LOVE my car... I have to say the treatment that I experienced with trying to present to the dealership the concerns we had, left such a bad taste in my mouth that I doubt we will ever own another Lexus after this. I didn't go into much detail about the poor customer service because It was such a headache. We will drive this car till it dies because we love the car... But what I love more is having a car manufacturer that stands behind their consumers. I do plan on writing to The Customer Satisfaction Technical Manager at Lexus with my concerns and complaints about the way we have been treated and the lost faith that we have now in their company and ability of the dealerships that represent them being able to resolve consumer issues effectivly.

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I am glad that you have received some answers, but I would venture to say that your issues are somewhat unique among this Lexus community. In addition, poor customer satisfaction at Lexus dealerships is not the norm, at least according to what I've read in this forum. Every dealership with whom I've dealt has shown me nothing but excellent service.

That being said, I must also mention that I think you're punishing yourself more than you are Lexus, as they are the most reliable vehicles on the planet. Our RX400h is the only vehicle we've ever owned that has gone 4 years without a single problem. And no, we are not young people to anyone who is not past retirement age! So to disavow Lexus forever is taking this to an extreme that is not neccesary, in my opinion.

Buy hey, that's just me!

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LinDarlex,

I'm really sorry to hear of al of the trouble that you had with your dealership. Here in L.A. I have NEVER had such a consistantly fabulous experience with any dealership. I love these folks at Glendale Lexus, they have always treated me great and fixed any issue that I have ever had. In contrast to you, I will ONLY ever have a Lexus as long as I drive, partly because of the experience that I have had with the Lexus team. I am so picky about customer service that if I felt as you do, I would get another car lickety-split! Hope things get better for you, Rey in L.A.

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The sides and hatch are from metal shavings.. they can be easily removed. ( which we will let the dealership remove with clay bar and then put a protective coat on )

Thats what I thought, a good clay and machine polish should remove them. Personally I wouldn't let the dealer do it, I've had bad experiences with dealer "detailers". I'd get a referral for a good detailer from your body shop and let them take care of it.

The front is mostly from stone chips. They don't believe it is a paint quality issue however... They believe that Lexus vehicles have a poor hood design and there hoods especially around the grill take a beating more than any other vehicle (which I can't fight becuase I bought the car the way it is) Apparently Infiniti has the same issue with their hoods by the grill as well.

I would buy this. For some reason I do recall having more rock chipping around the grille on Lexus vehicles I've had.

The solution... for the hood anyways because I already stated what will be done about the body... We are going to have the Body shop repaint the front part of the hood and then attach 3M to the hood. Which means I will be without a vehicle for 30 days.

The problem is made worse by new low VOC paints that don't resist chipping as well. Clear bras are a must on modern cars I think, and a lot of manufacturers, including Lexus, are including them on northern cars from the factory. I think Lexus puts them on many models in Canada.

I assume the 30 days is so the paint can cure before the clearbra is installed?

While I LOVE LOVE LOVE my car... I have to say the treatment that I experienced with trying to present to the dealership the concerns we had, left such a bad taste in my mouth that I doubt we will ever own another Lexus after this.

Don't let an experience with one dealer sour you on the brand. The dealers are all independently owned, they aren't owned by Lexus and service qualities vary.

Even so though, what did you expect the dealer to do? They can't warranty a car against wear, and rock chipping and rail dust contamination really isn't something they can deal with, thats something you as the car owner need to deal with as a part of normal vehicle maintenance. The rail dust would have been clayed off when the car was prepped for delivery when you bought it, but cars can pick up ferrous dust like that all over the place from a lot of different things, splashing contaminated water, etc.

You still didn't answer my question about how frequently you wash the car. In your climate it should be washed once a week, waxed every 3 months or sealed with a polymer sealant twice a year...even in the winter to be kept in good condition, thats just any car. I'd clay it after every winter too.

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I probably washed my car about 7-8 times in the year including two waxes over the summer and including the dealership washing it 3 times so that's a total of about 10-11 times washing. But let me say this... I have never had to wash my Audi, Acura, Toyota, or Honda that often. We really did baby this car more than we have ever babied any vehicle we have owned. And in fact I probably only washed my Tacoma twice the year before we traded it in on the Lexus. I believe it all boils down to that Lexus paint is lacking and is extremely high maintence. Like I said earlier ... Lesson learned! LOL

As far as the Dealership goes... I will try and give a short story of what transpired.

On wednesday of last week my husband mentioned to me that he noticed there was some rust forming on our hood. This is the first time my husband and I had noticed it. On Thursday morning I called the dealership and asked to speak to someone in the service dept. The line was busy so they person on the other end asked me what I needed and I explained I had a rust problem on my hood and I wasn't sure if it was just because of rock chips or if something else was wrong ( remember... lived in Michigan my whole life... never had so many rock chips go straight to the metal and never had a brand new car rust so fast so I was extremely confused by this.) They took down a few notes and told me that they would have someone from the service dept call me back shortly to schedule an appointment. I never heard from anyone on Thursday. On Friday around 10:30 am I called my husband at work to see what time he might want the appointment and if he wanted to do it on Saturday and he informed me that he recieved an email from the service dept saying that I had made an appointment for Friday at 11am. I could not make this appointment and I did not make this appointment so I called the dealership and told them I needed to cancel the appointment that was made for Friday and reschedule my appointment. The gentleman in the Service Dept asked.." Is this for the rust issue on the hood?" and I said "yes" and he said... ok... What time on Saturday and I told him 11 am would be fine. He said I was scheduled and that was that. I live 25 mins from the dealership. Saturday morning we head to the dealership.. We pull into the garage and we stand around and wait for awhile.. The salesman that sold us the car came out when he saw us and talked with us a bit. Asking us how things were going and how we liked the car and what kind of gas milage we were getting.. We told we loved the car and that we were only getting about 25mpg but in the summer we were getting 27.8-28.2mpg. So we were very pleased with the mileage. Then the woman who was working the service dept came over to us and said.." Can I help you?" I explained I had an appointment to have to car looked at at 11:00 am. She asked me for my last name and then told me that we were not scheduled for that day. I asked her to double check and she said no... theres no ..... scheduled for that day. I asked if maybe someone might be able to look at it later in the day if there was an opening and she told me the only person who was authorized to look at my vehicle was the Director of Fixed Operations and he was not in that day. I asked her if she would be willing to schedule an appointment with him for us for next week. She was clearly in a hurry and handed me his business card and told me that if I wanted to schedule an appointment I could call him. Her demeanor and body language clearly stressed that she did not want to deal with us and that we were a nuisance to her. And to speak on her side they did have about six vehicles in the garage. But I expected that we would be treated with fairness and patience and not rushed off as if we were the ones inconviencing them. So we went home... later on that evening my husband told me he got an email from the Lexus Dealership and it was from the Director of Fixed Operations and he had scheduled us for an appointment at 7:45pm on Monday night. That was this past monday. I kind of chuckled at this because I knew the dealership closed at 8:00pm. On monday evening we headed up to the dealership with the car. We pulled into the front of the garage door. The whole garage is made of glass so you can see in. There was no one in their offices. So we sat in the car for a minute waiting for someone to activate the door. I saw my car salesman walk outside to smoke a cigerette and talk on his phone.. He looked right at us and waved and kept on walking to around the corner and just stood there. I finally after five mintues got out of the car and went into the dealership and asked if anyone was available in the Service Dept. The receptionist said that they were around somewhere and asked me if I had an appointment that day. I said yes , I have an appointment at 7:45pm. She kind of looked at me and said.. "you know we close at 8pm." I said." I'm aware" and she said.." well I don't know why anyone would schedule you for a service appointment at 7:45pm when we close at 8:00pm" and I said.. "I agree" So she went and got someone and I walked back to the vehicle. At that time the Salesman that sold us the car came around the corner and then acted as if he had jus seen us ( must have forgotton that he waved to us earlier) and he slid inside real quick and opened the door. We drove in.. got out.. and waited for the Director. By the time the director came into the garage it was nearly 8pm. He walked around our car.. Said it was stone chips. We asked him about the rust on the doors, hatch, and around the tires and he said he wasn't sure... it could be rail dust. We weren't exactly sure what rail dust was so we asked what he meant by rail dust.. He said you get it from driving by railroad tracks. We told him that we hardly ever are anywhere near railroad tracks. He said well it could be from metal shavings from the plow trucks and if you dont wash your vehicle then it gets stuck and eats away at the paint and will start to rust...We explained we had washed our vehicle a few times this winter not to mention they had washed it just last month when they serviced it and It is my vehicle and I stay at home so it spent most of the winter in the garage. He then responded with " You CLEARLY are not understanding what I am saying to you" (in a cocky tone and with an attitude) and at this point we were both at the end of our ropes. My husband tried to be calm with him and asked him what was to be done to resolve the Rail dust issue so that it didnt come back.. The Director said "buy some clay bar and rub it out" and then started to walk away. At that point, we were *BLEEP*ed and I asked to speak to his boss.. He went and got the Sales Manager... the Sales Manager came out and I expressed my dissapointment in the way their service dept had handled us from day one which would have been Thursday of last week. He didn't answer to my complaints. He just looked at us and said.. "is there something I can do for you?" So my husband asks the Sales Manager to tell us what is on the sides of our vehicle. The Sales manager looked at it and says he felt it was rail dust and then asked us... " Do you wash your vehicle?" and I responded with "Of course we wash our vehicle and besides your dealership has washed it three times! not to mention once last month!" and he responded with..." I was just asking because I don't wash mine very often.. especially in the winter time." We talked about the rail dust and he explained that it more than likely happened during transport of the vehicle from the manufacturer to the dealership and I asked if that was our fault about the rust all over my car? He agreed that it wasn't our fault and that he will have his shop clay bar the car and put a protective coat on the car. My husband was concerned because it appears that the rail dust has gone through the paint and the primer to the metal and that even if its clay barred the rust will come back probably in 6 months or so. So they worked out something that if it came back then we would bring it back in and they would file a claim with lexus. This satisfied us on the rail dust issue. Then we moved to our hood. What upset me about the hood was the rate of corrosion and we were trying to explain to the Sales Manager that we had had several new vehicles with several stone chips and they never went all the way to the metal and that we thought maybe our car didn't have enough coats or the thickness of the paint was not accurate. At this point it was approximatly 8:20pm and I could tell that the Sales Manager was getting irritated because we would just not go away I guess, I dont know.. but he was definatly irritated and wanted to leave. He looked at us and put his hands in the air and said.." I don't know what you guys want me to do for you tonight. I can't do anything.. we close at 8pm" I looked at him and said.." That is not my problem... I did not make this appointment and if you have a problem with the schedule then you need to consult your service dept. This is my second 25 mile trip here which means I've now driven 100 miles to try and get someone from this dealership to look at this car and answer the questions we have." So he looked at the hood of our car and said.. " Well.... Do you drive your car alot?" He asked this as if we were idiots... I responded with " I didn't know I wasn't allowed to drive my $60,000 hybrid! Which he responded with... " You paid $60,000 for this hybrid... ( laughs loudly) that's the most expensive hybrid I've ever sold here!" Talk about a slap in the face. Here we are with our with a 1 yr old car rusting like crazy. And you know what.. maybe it is our fault.. maybe we didn't wash the car enough. But we didn't know that the paint was soft or wasn't of the same quality as the other vehicles we had owned. Which is why we had questions which is what I expected from the dealership was to ANSWER those questions and to do it courteously!.. So to end it... We agreed to make an appointment to have the car clay barred and a protective coat put on... The Sales Manager said he would phone us the next morning to make the appointment and if we wanted he lived in the same town as us and he would bring over a loaner vehicle and pick up the car for us so we did not have to make another trip to their dealership. We said ok ... basically whatever.. and left.

It is now Wednesday and I was supposed to recieve a written assessment of the vehicle damage which has already been submitted to Lexus on Tuesday morning. The sales Manager said that the Director would be emailing it to me that same day (Tuesday) I have not recieved it. and I have not heard from the Sales Manager about making an appointment to clay bar my vehicle. I dont expect to hear from them. I will have to call and make the appointment when we are ready.

I can only go on the experience I have gained in the years I have owned vehicles. And the experience I have gained tells me that this is not the quality that we had with the other vehicles ( the paint) Like I said before... we will drive this Lexus into the ground and who knows maybe in 7-8 years we will feel differantly about Lexus but as it goes now if we were to buy another new vehicle at this moment in time.. we would not be purchasing a Lexus. It would probably be an Audi. I have never been treated with so much disrespect by a dealership. I don't know if its because I live in Detroit and Lexus feels that they are on top of the world now with the Big 3 hurting.. but it's no excuse.

Also, since the dealership hasn't responded to us about scheduling an appointment they probably won't be doing the clay bar. Which means that they were just trying to say anything to get us out of their hair that night. Talk about a waste of time and energy.

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I probably washed my car about 7-8 times in the year including two waxes over the summer and including the dealership washing it 3 times so that's a total of about 10-11 times washing. But let me say this... I have never had to wash my Audi, Acura, Toyota, or Honda that often. We really did baby this car more than we have ever babied any vehicle we have owned. And in fact I probably only washed my Tacoma twice the year before we traded it in on the Lexus. I believe it all boils down to that Lexus paint sucks and is extremely high maintence. Like I said earlier ... Lesson learned! LOL

Sorry, but 7-8 washes in a year is just not sufficient vehicle maintenance in a place like Michigan. In Arizona maybe, but nowhere with any precipitation. If thats babying it...I don't know what to tell you.

Lexus paint doesn't suck, its the same paint as on your Tacoma and on your other Toyotas, its probably the same paint as on your other cars too...only a few manufacturers make paint...and Lexus isn't one of them. It simply has to be maintained. I've had several of these cars for long periods of time, my ES300 is 6 years old, has 125,000 miles on it and with weekly washes and proper maintenance it looks great. Has rock chips like any other car but no rust, not even in exposed chips because it gets regularly washed.

I used to detail cars professionally and have detailed many Lexus, Audi, Acura and Toyota vehicles and Lexus paint is just as good as any of them, and they all require similar maintenance. Your issues are very commonplace with vehicles that have fair to poor maintenance schedules like yours. Everything they said about rail dust makes perfect sense, and I didn't even think about the snowplows but that also makes perfect sense and that explains why the dust would be where it is on the car, and may also explain the heavier corrosion on the hood. You need to get on a regimen of more frequent washes and better care if you don't want these problems to continue. With more than a month between washes and the salt covered car sitting in a garage you are just ASKING for corrosion. Thats like putting your hand on a grill and wondering why it got burned...

Who knows why its worse with this car, maybe they've changed what they use on the roads, maybe its the new lower VOC paints. But Lexus paint is just like Toyota paint...its the same paint. Same colors even a lot of them.

I also read your report about the experience at the dealer. That is unfortunate but like I said, dealer quality varies widely. However your approach has some issues. The sales manager and the salesman will be no help, they have literally nothing to do with service or warranty. You need to talk to the service manager, or the dealership's general manager. The sales divisions and service divisions are completely seperate. The person you have been trying to make an appointment with also does not work at the dealer, they are regional and that explains the late appointment...

Doesn't excuse their nastiness, but understanding how dealerships work helps you get things done. The dealer will be no help here, its not their responsibility. Some dealers will help you out to keep you happy, some won't.

As for the clay bar, I would just buy a claybar and do it yourself. Plenty of tutorials in the detailing forum here, its easy. Your vehicles require specific maintenance where you live, and you'll want to clay the vehicle at least twice a year. If I were you I would find a good detailer if you don't want to do it yourself.

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I probably washed my car about 7-8 times in the year including two waxes over the summer and including the dealership washing it 3 times so that's a total of about 10-11 times washing. But let me say this... I have never had to wash my Audi, Acura, Toyota, or Honda that often. We really did baby this car more than we have ever babied any vehicle we have owned. And in fact I probably only washed my Tacoma twice the year before we traded it in on the Lexus. I believe it all boils down to that Lexus paint sucks and is extremely high maintence. Like I said earlier ... Lesson learned! LOL

Sorry, but 7-8 washes in a year is just not sufficient vehicle maintenance in a place like Michigan. In Arizona maybe, but nowhere with any precipitation. If thats babying it...I don't know what to tell you.

Lexus paint doesn't suck, its the same paint as on your Tacoma and on your other Toyotas, its probably the same paint as on your other cars too...only a few manufacturers make paint...and Lexus isn't one of them. It simply has to be maintained. I've had several of these cars for long periods of time, my ES300 is 6 years old, has 125,000 miles on it and with weekly washes and proper maintenance it looks great. Has rock chips like any other car but no rust, not even in exposed chips because it gets regularly washed.

I used to detail cars professionally and have detailed many Lexus, Audi, Acura and Toyota vehicles and Lexus paint is just as good as any of them, and they all require similar maintenance. Your issues are very commonplace with vehicles that have fair to poor maintenance schedules like yours. Everything they said about rail dust makes perfect sense, and I didn't even think about the snowplows but that also makes perfect sense and that explains why the dust would be where it is on the car, and may also explain the heavier corrosion on the hood. You need to get on a regimen of more frequent washes and better care if you don't want these problems to continue. With more than a month between washes and the salt covered car sitting in a garage you are just ASKING for corrosion. Thats like putting your hand on a grill and wondering why it got burned...

Who knows why its worse with this car, maybe they've changed what they use on the roads, maybe its the new lower VOC paints. But Lexus paint is just like Toyota paint...its the same paint. Same colors even a lot of them.

I also read your report about the experience at the dealer. That is unfortunate but like I said, dealer quality varies widely. However your approach has some issues. The sales manager and the salesman will be no help, they have literally nothing to do with service or warranty. You need to talk to the service manager, or the dealership's general manager. The sales divisions and service divisions are completely seperate. The person you have been trying to make an appointment with also does not work at the dealer, they are regional and that explains the late appointment...

Doesn't excuse their nastiness, but understanding how dealerships work helps you get things done. The dealer will be no help here, its not their responsibility. Some dealers will help you out to keep you happy, some won't.

As for the clay bar, I would just buy a claybar and do it yourself. Plenty of tutorials in the detailing forum here, its easy. Your vehicles require specific maintenance where you live, and you'll want to clay the vehicle at least twice a year. If I were you I would find a good detailer if you don't want to do it yourself.

SW~ Even if the paint is the same as my Tacoma.. My Tacoma was brand new when I bought it.. 03 traded it in last year.. there were stone chips in the hood. And not an ounce of rust once Not ONCE in.. 5 years... and I can guarantee we hardly washed that car in the winter.. Its just too fricken cold. Not to mention it sat outside during the winter. So.. you can tell me I didn't wash the lexus enough and thats fine, Your probably right. Because my point is... I shouldn't have to wash it every week or every two weeks. The issue with the lexus rusting in a year versus the other vehicles we have owned under the same circumstances proves that the paint on the lexus is not as good as the paint on my Tacoma, Audi, Honda, or Acura. Maybe it's just MY lexus.. and not anyone elses or only a handful of lexus's. Now whether that means the paint wasn't applied properly or what I dont know.. But thats the point I'm making. And I'll never know because Lexus doesn't even know how to test the thickness of their own paint. I'm not the only Lexus owner who can admit that the paint on Lexus is lacking! Since this whole thing blew up I've done nothing but reasearch talked to people we knew that owned lexus and on the internet. So I'm not going to change my opinion. At the end of the day its nothing but personal preference and I'd rather have a vehicle that lasts and isn't as high maintence but also nice and I like knowing I'm getting my money's worth. I don't feel I am anymore with this vehicle. Now had my vehicle been 3 years old instead of freshly one year.. I wouldn't be complaining at all.. because it's expected.. But not for a one year vehicle, Not in michigan and not because I ONLY washed my vehicle 7-10 times in the first year. That's not an excuse.

My friends father purchased an 08 Ford Focus the same week we bought our Lexus last year. I inspected his hood and he had a few stone chips the other day. I asked him ( he works for Ford and drives about 40 mins every day back and forth to work) "How many times this winter did you wash your car?" His response.. "0" Do you think his ford focus has any rust on his hood and around his stone chips? No. He lives in the same neighborhood drives the same roads as me (which means his vehicle is exposed to the same road elements) and he drives his car WAy more than I do. His car sits outside.. Mine sits in a nice garage.

So when were talking about paint quality and Lexus is telling me their's is the best. I'm sorry but it's not... Can we prove it? No one has proven it? I have given examples ... two cars.. two differant makes and models... Same year.. bought in the same week... Experienced same elements (weather, salt, whatever) One was washed 7-10 times the other probably half of that in their first year... the one thats washed more is starting to rust while the other one hasn't. If I say this to Lexus.. their response would be... "well we have the best quality." That's fine.. just give me some proof. Some evidence.

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Suck is such an insipid word for grown ups to use, can we use another word? Just get a Ford and be happy. I love my 06 400h and it has a great paint job. Of course I live in a great part of the world, SoCal, but it has been great in every way. Lexus isn't for everybody but it's the best car I have ever had. I just had a Ford Edge as a rental after I was hit and damaged a good amount of my front and if the paint is better on the Edge, the car certainly isn't! I was glad to dump that car off after two weeks and two fillups as opposed to one and get into my Lexus again. 13 days of that car,ugh. After a 100 years you would think that Ford could make a great car like Lexus but Ford simply can't. I guess they got the paint right though,eh? Happy trails, Rey in L.A.

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I agree, Rey and I replaced that word in its original posting. I do pity the person who chooses Audi or Mercedes over a Lexus, especially if it is kept beyond the warranty period. Here at work, there are at least four former-Audi/Mercedes owners who now drive Lexus.

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First of all, you have to listen to what I am telling you. You're doing a lot of ranting and very little listening, if you honestly want to figure out what is going on here and not just go off on a tirade then you need to do the opposite.

Read what I am about to say completely before responding please. I know you haven't really read my other posts because I've explained this in them and you continue to describe exactly what I am telling you the issue is without attributing the problem to that issue.

I have a lot of experience with this very subject, I owned a successful detailing business that I sold and I have had first hand experience with TONS of different vehicles and different paint finishes. Issues like yours are common with neglected vehicles (and yes, I would classify your vehicle as moderately neglected) of all makes. I know what I'm talking about and every time you give me more info it makes more sense. Let me see if I can help you further...

SW~ Even if the paint is the same as my Tacoma.. My Tacoma was brand new when I bought it.. 03 traded it in last year.. there were stone chips in the hood. And not an ounce of rust once Not ONCE in.. 5 years... and I can guarantee we hardly washed that car in the winter.. Its just too fricken cold. Not to mention it sat outside during the winter.

This makes tons of sense. Like I told you, salt is inert (non corrosive) when its below freezing. Letting your Tacoma sit out in the weather actually kept it from rusting! I know it sounds counter intuitive, but if you aren't going to wash your cars in the winter you're better off to let them sit outside. When you put them in a warm (or warm-er) garage it actually accelerates rusting because the ambient temperature rises above freezing, and the salt becomes corrosive. The exposed metal and the ferrous dust that is imbedded in the finish will corrode quickly.

My friends father purchased an 08 Ford Focus the same week we bought our Lexus last year. I inspected his hood and he had a few stone chips the other day. I asked him ( he works for Ford and drives about 40 mins every day back and forth to work) "How many times this winter did you wash your car?" His response.. "0" Do you think his ford focus has any rust on his hood and around his stone chips? No. He lives in the same neighborhood drives the same roads as me (which means his vehicle is exposed to the same road elements) and he drives his car WAy more than I do. His car sits outside.. Mine sits in a nice garage.

Again...his car sits outside. Outside=below freezing=corrosion cannot occur. Your car sits inside=above freezing=corrosion city. Your situation is much worse than his from a rust/corrosion standpoint.

I think your issue here is the garage, its not the vehicle at all. You drive around on the nasty winter roads and then put the car in the garage and it sits there for a few days above freezing and all that salt just corrodes and corrodes and corrodes.

My advice is moving forward if you aren't willing to wash your vehicle regularly (once a week or once every 2 weeks is a very reasonable frequency to wash the vehicle and is what many manufacturers reccomend, not just Lexus. If you don't want to do it you can have a professional wash it for you for all of about $25, or even take it to a carwash...thats better than not washing it at all) then don't park it in the garage in the winter. I would bet you money you would stop having corrosion problems if you did that. Thats not just the Lexus, thats any car.

Or, you can continue to pretend its somehow the vehicle's fault, your choice. Your issue has nothing to do with paint, its purely an environment and maintenance issue.

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First of all, you have to listen to what I am telling you. You're doing a lot of ranting and very little listening, if you honestly want to figure out what is going on here and not just go off on a tirade then you need to do the opposite.

Read what I am about to say completely before responding please. I know you haven't really read my other posts because I've explained this in them and you continue to describe exactly what I am telling you the issue is without attributing the problem to that issue.

I have a lot of experience with this very subject, I owned a successful detailing business that I sold and I have had first hand experience with TONS of different vehicles and different paint finishes. Issues like yours are common with neglected vehicles (and yes, I would classify your vehicle as moderately neglected) of all makes. I know what I'm talking about and every time you give me more info it makes more sense. Let me see if I can help you further...

SW~ Even if the paint is the same as my Tacoma.. My Tacoma was brand new when I bought it.. 03 traded it in last year.. there were stone chips in the hood. And not an ounce of rust once Not ONCE in.. 5 years... and I can guarantee we hardly washed that car in the winter.. Its just too fricken cold. Not to mention it sat outside during the winter.

This makes tons of sense. Like I told you, salt is inert (non corrosive) when its below freezing. Letting your Tacoma sit out in the weather actually kept it from rusting! I know it sounds counter intuitive, but if you aren't going to wash your cars in the winter you're better off to let them sit outside. When you put them in a warm (or warm-er) garage it actually accelerates rusting because the ambient temperature rises above freezing, and the salt becomes corrosive. The exposed metal and the ferrous dust that is imbedded in the finish will corrode quickly.

My friends father purchased an 08 Ford Focus the same week we bought our Lexus last year. I inspected his hood and he had a few stone chips the other day. I asked him ( he works for Ford and drives about 40 mins every day back and forth to work) "How many times this winter did you wash your car?" His response.. "0" Do you think his ford focus has any rust on his hood and around his stone chips? No. He lives in the same neighborhood drives the same roads as me (which means his vehicle is exposed to the same road elements) and he drives his car WAy more than I do. His car sits outside.. Mine sits in a nice garage.

Again...his car sits outside. Outside=below freezing=corrosion cannot occur. Your car sits inside=above freezing=corrosion city. Your situation is much worse than his from a rust/corrosion standpoint.

I think your issue here is the garage, its not the vehicle at all. You drive around on the nasty winter roads and then put the car in the garage and it sits there for a few days above freezing and all that salt just corrodes and corrodes and corrodes.

My advice is moving forward if you aren't willing to wash your vehicle regularly (once a week or once every 2 weeks is a very reasonable frequency to wash the vehicle and is what many manufacturers reccomend, not just Lexus. If you don't want to do it you can have a professional wash it for you for all of about $25, or even take it to a carwash...thats better than not washing it at all) then don't park it in the garage in the winter. I would bet you money you would stop having corrosion problems if you did that. Thats not just the Lexus, thats any car.

Or, you can continue to pretend its somehow the vehicle's fault, your choice. Your issue has nothing to do with paint, its purely an environment and maintenance issue.

Well here is what I pity.. I pity people who don't allow others to form their own opinions. Ones who are rude when others express their own opinions. Instead of just understanding that it is my opinion and that's all. It is my opinion that my next car would be anything but a Lexus.. basically because it's just not worth the money you spend or what it is used to be. But, that is my opinion. So a big thanks to you guys for being curteous!

http://editorial.autos.msn.com/article.asp...cumentid=435214

It's only a matter of time...

SW~ Even the sales manager at the Lexus Dealership confessed to us that he never washes his $80,000 Lexus in the winter time. It is just too cold. Also,... My garage door broke and has been permanently up since last fall. If it's below freezing outside it's below freezing inside my garage. But good try! ;)

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,... My garage door broke and has been permanently up since last fall. If it's below freezing outside it's below freezing inside my garage.

You can afford a Lexus but can't afford to get your garage fixed, exposing your house to frigid temperatures and possible theft? Now THAT'S hard to fathom! But hey, you did give us a good laugh......

I also have to chuckle at JD Powers ratings. To look at a much better ratings methology, pick up a subscription to Consumer Reports. They look at reliability issues that go back 5 years, not just 3, and have a very large data base from which to draw their conclusions. As usual, the two best automakers are Honda and Toyota. Jaguar is not included because too few people buy them. There simply is not enough data to come to a reasonable conclusion about their reliabity.

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Well here is what I pity.. I pity people who don't allow others to form their own opinions. Ones who are rude when others express their own opinions. Instead of just understanding that it is my opinion and that's all. It is my opinion that my next car would be anything but a Lexus.. basically because it's just not worth the money you spend or what it is used to be. But, that is my opinion. So a big thanks to you guys for being curteous!

http://editorial.autos.msn.com/article.asp...cumentid=435214

It's only a matter of time...

SW~ Even the sales manager at the Lexus Dealership confessed to us that he never washes his $80,000 Lexus in the winter time. It is just too cold. Also,... My garage door broke and has been permanently up since last fall. If it's below freezing outside it's below freezing inside my garage. But good try! ;)

Funny, when you came here asking for guidance with your rust issues we actually thought you wanted guidance. We didnt realize you just wanted to whine and not accept any feedback that is contrary to your opinion. You are the one who is refusing to let anyone else voice an opinion. You haven't said anything that negates the information I gave you, because there isn't anything for you to say because you're wrong. Instead of just accepting that what I (and YOUR body shop!) are telling you is the case might just be plausible you throw up a link that Lexus has slipped to third place in 3 year dependability. Really...third place...and thats bad? Thats still far ahead of every other make of vehicle you've indicated you've owned.

Everything I said to you was 100% true and logical. Your story is constantly changing, first your Lexus was nice and warm in a garage when you thought that bolstered your argument, now the door is broken and its freezing in there when it doesn't bolster your argument. First the sales manager cops an attitude because you don't wash your car, now he doesn't wash his? And why does he not washing his have anything to do with what proper maintenance is? His is probably a dealer demo he doesn't even own, and the dealership would wash it for free. Dealership managers don't make enough money to afford $80,000 cars. Your tirades just don't make any sense.

We've all been very helpful actually, I've taken a lot of my personal time to try and diagnose your issue for you and the feedback I have given you is in line with what your own "trusted" bodyshop has told you. Yet you still try and insult me?

Broken garage door, rusty Lexus. Try maintaining and caring for your property and it'll take better care of you.

You're not looking for help, you just want to whine and complain and thats it. Well take a hike, we're all about helping people who want to be helped here but thats not what you're after. Contrary to what you may or may not believe just because you have your mind made up doesn't mean you're right.

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This thread interested me because I had never heard or "rail dust" before... I did a quick google search on rail dust and found a message thread about another person from NY who had this same problem on a Saturn (which has all plastic body panels)...

One of the responses to her problem was from "CarNut, from Northern Michigan" he wrote:

Re: Rail Dust = Rusty Paint

" That happens to every vehicle around here, metal or polymer. Maybe the color of the car makes it more noticeable than previous vehicles you've owned. I've seen it to varying degrees on every car I've owned including those I brought back from California. I think its more related to the gravel and road salt used. Remember, the northeast was home to many iron-ore mines at one time. Oddly enough, I think the "magic" soap in automatic carwashes does a better job gettng it off than hand-washing. But I'm not willing to pay the price in streaked/etched glass. I use a clay bar every spring to clean all the crap off the body. I also clay bar and wax as late a practical i the call to protect it for winter.

Here's a link to the discussion thread: Rail Dust - Rusty Paint on Saturn Ion

LindDarLex, If you do a google search for "Rail Dust", you'll get over 2 million hits... My initial post/response to your problem was that it must have been a problem in transit when the vehicle was new. After researching some of the hits from google and seeing the pictures you had originally posted, I'm pretty convinced that this is your problem... I never considered iron ore that could be in the salt and sand that they use on the roads, but it makes perfect sense to me now...

I'd suggest you call your insurance company and discuss it with them. If it's a common occurence in your area, they must have claims on file for similar problems with other vehicles.

Jim

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Don't confuse her with logic, the car is a peice of !Removed!, thats all she wants to hear.

Honestly though, theres no need to file an insurance claim. If she would clay the vehicle, give it a good two step polish and wax it, or have a detailer do that, it would remove the contamination from the rail dust and it would cost her $200 if a professional did it.

I bet that even would remove the surface rust from the rock chips and she could then touch them up and it would solve her issue.

But, like I said, she doesn't want solutions, she wants to complain.

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Don't confuse her with logic, the car is a peice of !Removed!, thats all she wants to hear.

Honestly though, theres no need to file an insurance claim. If she would clay the vehicle, give it a good two step polish and wax it, or have a detailer do that, it would remove the contamination from the rail dust and it would cost her $200 if a professional did it.

I bet that even would remove the surface rust from the rock chips and she could then touch them up and it would solve her issue.

But, like I said, she doesn't want solutions, she wants to complain.

I thought if she were to hear that the problem was common in her area, directly from her insurance company, it would help to convince her that it was truly the problem. I didn't mean to imply she should file a claim. I've clayed my cars before and I agree its very easy and yields great results. Especially on my old LS400 that was neglected before I got my hands on it...

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Having property in both warm & cold areas, it's easy to understand how paint takes a beating in harsh climate. Even so, our 400h's paint is still in great shape after 3 years of MT winters ... the last one was a doozy too. Could her paint be a 'bad batch' ?? Who knows. that said, when it's 15 degrees out, and you're driving through muddy skuz for months, 99% of folks driving in that goo WON'T wash the car, as you'd have to wash it each & every day ... & who wants to be out in the cold doing that?

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