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      06-01-2011, 03:47 PM   #1
Night Hawk
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Dealership Screw-up Involving Paint Thinner (Advice Needed)

So yesterday, I get my car back from the dealer after having my OEM performance carbon fiber rear wing installed. Upon getting the car back and inspecting the job, I noticed finger prints all over the trunk and wing that had what appeared to be residual residue from the adhesive used (Betalink). They bring the car back and still had smudge marks in a couple of places and they go to buff it out and return it back to me. Upon final inspection I noticed a 3 inch long scuff mark that is in the paint, they agreed to take care of it at a later date being that I was starting to be pressed for time.

I then head down the road and noticed a faint smell of paint thinner and thought it was normal since it was in their body shop; mind you that I had my AC was on. I didn't think nothing of it and continued on my way thinking that it would soon be gone. I got back to work and in the HOT Arizona sun, I had my windows rolled up so I don't get dust and shit in my car. After I got off from work, I head back to my car and open up the door and instantly almost fainted because of the intense smell of paint thinner. I knew that it had got severely worse and new something was wrong. I go to open my trunk to throw in my maintenance coveralls and noticed a clear bottle that had the tip cut off and had apparently been filled with paint thinner, there obviously was a lot in there and was almost completely gone as it was on its side just rolling about. My guess is that the shit leaked out into my carpets. Also, they had left their blue scrapper tool as well.

I almost can not drive the car because of the smell as it makes me light headed even with the windows rolled down. This smell is even in my air condition system. My question to you all is, should I make the dealer/service dept. give me a whole new interior as it's even in the passenger cabin or should I just ask for the rear trunk area? Either way, I'm guessing the whole interior is going to need to be gutted and washed out with soap and water. Is there anything else I should be asking for? Thanks!


*Update on pg.2* http://www.m3post.com/forums/showpos...7&postcount=23
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      06-01-2011, 04:01 PM   #2
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You're a good customer, bought a high-end car, bought OEM parts and had them do the install. They really need to make your car like new.

I don't know what might be under the trunk, but you have the mobility kit and other stuff, the battery to the side, toolkit. Plus whatever seepage might have happened in adjacent areas. Paint thinner on synthetics is like Alien blood on spaceship bulkheads.

And it's potentially flammable. (And seeping right over your muffler.)
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      06-01-2011, 04:07 PM   #3
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They need to clean the car and replace all the carpeting in the trunk.

Who knows how much paint was eaten in the trunk as well. My guess the trunk might have to be repainted.

Call them right now and tell them to tow the car back from where ever your car is now because it is filled with chemical fumes from the liquid that was spilled in the trunk of your car.

They need to make this right, even if it means replacing your AC and all the carpets. Because the smell simply doesnt go away.
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      06-01-2011, 04:18 PM   #4
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Oh man, can't believe that level of stupidity, but after the horror stories I've heard over the years, not surprised at all. That's why I always do all of that myself. Anyway, I wouldn't trust that stupid dealer to make things better for you. My immediate action would be to leave trunk and doors open overnight so the odor dissipates, then inspect the trunk area for damage, especially the amp and other electrical stuff under there (that I'd demand replaced, of course). And hopefully somebody here has a better answer how to completely eliminate the odor. The good news is paint thinner is pretty volatile and clear, so it's not the worst news you could have (glue would have been much worse IMO). But I'd definitely have a word or two with the owner, or at least the general manager of the dealership. Good luck, and please keep us posted.
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      06-01-2011, 04:24 PM   #5
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I'd leave the windows and trunk cracked open for a couple days (totally open if you can) and the smell will be gone. If the solvent has damaged anything, then by all means I'd expect them to replace the affected parts, but you don't need a whole new interior to get rid of the smell.
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      06-01-2011, 04:26 PM   #6
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Jezuz. I'm surprised that M3 owners don't go postal.
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      06-01-2011, 04:30 PM   #7
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i would have went back the same day.... or the time i found out. ... also they need to replace the affected parts. the interior wise i doubt they will replace but the rear carpet they should.
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      06-01-2011, 04:49 PM   #8
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heres my story , almost like yours =(

http://www.m3post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=534235

as we speak mine is getting repainted and reinstalled ,ill post pics after its done

heres what it looked like when i took it back yesterday,half off the car -___-

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      06-01-2011, 05:13 PM   #9
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Jeebus, were they trying to kill you?!

That's horrible...hope you can work something out with the dealer.
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      06-01-2011, 05:25 PM   #10
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WTF that is pure bullshit! that is so deadly to sit in a car and drive like that. Dealer needs to make things right for you so that you are satisfied. The situation could have been worse because you could have passed out from the smell and crashed but either way take it back have them replace the entire trunk area and any other affected area. I doubt they will change the entire interior because it was just the smell but the A/C they need to clean out as well if your stating that the smell is coming from there.
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      06-01-2011, 06:49 PM   #11
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Wow that's terrible for both you guys. Hate to rub it in, but I installed mine 2 weeks ago with some double sided tape. I could probably push the car holding only the spoiler. If you want it done right....
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      06-02-2011, 02:12 PM   #12
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I'd push for a completely new car. Let them buy your car, fix it up, and sell it while your on your way with a new car. Ask to understand their insurance policy for replacing the car and tell them you want to pursue this avenue - that it's nothing personal you just want a normal M3 back and a fixed up car is not normal. The damage they caused is potentially as bad and as costly ( and more dangerous) than fixing a flood damaged car -which usually gets a salvage title.

I love BMW, but you need to take the dealer to the mat on this one. Good luck.
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      06-02-2011, 02:22 PM   #13
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I hate to break it to you but you have extreme misconceptions. Paint solvents are designed to do one major thing, and that is evaporate, usually pretty quickly. It doesn't matter how much paint thiner you got in your car, it will completely disapear if you air it out without a trace.

If you go to your dealer and ask them for a new interior they're going to laugh at you for not knowing basic chemistry. Just let it air out and ask for some gift vouchers or key chains or free oil change certificates.

The only legitimate issue you could have with regard to your car being damaged is if the paint solvents physically disolved certain parts of your vehicle. In that case the car needs to be repaired obviously, but only on the areas that were disolved, the smell will physically disapear completely within days or hours.

Also to the person who claims that this is worse than water damage and that he should get a new car, that's really far beyond being routed anywhere in reality. You'd have to not know even the most basic functions of the chemicals involved here to say that. If the paint solvents didn't disolve anything then there should be no issues whatsoever, and certainly none of the issues associated with water damage, like rotting, damaging electronics etc.
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      06-02-2011, 02:29 PM   #14
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This story (and others like it) are more or less why I am opting not to get the CF spoiler. I should have ordered it with the car, but I didn't :-/
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      06-02-2011, 02:35 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PKL View Post
This story (and others like it) are more or less why I am opting not to get the CF spoiler. I should have ordered it with the car, but I didn't :-/
Just get it installed at a reputable custom shop. The dealership is not the place to ask about instaling specialty parts. Dealership employees almost always have zero experience with specialty parts and often instaling them is their first experience.

The dealership is not an expert on every part of your vehicle any more than Chick Fil-A is an expert on cooking bird meat. You wouldn't take your Thanksgiving turkey dinner to Chick-Fil-A to have it made and you shouldn't take custom work to dealers for the same reason. Once you make this logical connection you'll quickly understand why so many people's cars get messed up by dealers.
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      06-02-2011, 02:35 PM   #16
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Agree that you should let it air out for a day or two and see what the smell is like. Leather absorbs smells easily but does not let them go as well. They should replace any affected component in the trunk, then get some money to take to a professional detailer to see if they can clean/condition the leather to where it doesn't smell of thinner. Worst case is taht you have them replace other fabric/leather interior parts like the headliner and seat covers.

Just never seems to be an end to dealer stupidity...
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      06-02-2011, 02:48 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Legion5 View Post
I hate to break it to you but you have extreme misconceptions. Paint solvents are designed to do one major thing, and that is evaporate, usually pretty quickly. It doesn't matter how much paint thiner you got in your car, it will completely disapear if you air it out without a trace.

If you go to your dealer and ask them for a new interior they're going to laugh at you for not knowing basic chemistry. Just let it air out and ask for some gift vouchers or key chains or free oil change certificates.

The only legitimate issue you could have with regard to your car being damaged is if the paint solvents physically disolved certain parts of your vehicle. In that case the car needs to be repaired obviously, but only on the areas that were disolved, the smell will physically disapear completely within days or hours.

Also to the person who claims that this is worse than water damage and that he should get a new car, that's really far beyond being routed anywhere in reality. You'd have to not know even the most basic functions of the chemicals involved here to say that. If the paint solvents didn't disolve anything then there should be no issues whatsoever, and certainly none of the issues associated with water damage, like rotting, damaging electronics etc.
True. I'm not a painter or chemist and don't know even the basic functions of the chemical that was spilled. So, If within a week your car is 100% odorless, undamaged, and there's no sign of anything ever happening then no harm, no foul. But if they're replacing parts, interior, painting, repairing, etc, then I personally wouldn't put up with it.

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      06-02-2011, 08:51 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Night Hawk View Post
So yesterday, I get my car back from the dealer after having my OEM performance carbon fiber rear wing installed. Upon getting the car back and inspecting the job, I noticed finger prints all over the trunk and wing that had what appeared to be residual residue from the adhesive used (Betalink). They bring the car back and still had smudge marks in a couple of places and they go to buff it out and return it back to me. Upon final inspection I noticed a 3 inch long scuff mark that is in the paint, they agreed to take care of it at a later date being that I was starting to be pressed for time.

I then head down the road and noticed a faint smell of paint thinner and thought it was normal since it was in their body shop; mind you that I had my AC was on. I didn't think nothing of it and continued on my way thinking that it would soon be gone. I got back to work and in the HOT Arizona sun, I had my windows rolled up so I don't get dust and shit in my car. After I got off from work, I head back to my car and open up the door and instantly almost fainted because of the intense smell of paint thinner. I knew that it had got severely worse and new something was wrong. I go to open my trunk to throw in my maintenance coveralls and noticed a clear bottle that had the tip cut off and had apparently been filled with paint thinner, there obviously was a lot in there and was almost completely gone as it was on its side just rolling about. My guess is that the shit leaked out into my carpets. Also, they had left their blue scrapper tool as well.

I almost can not drive the car because of the smell as it makes me light headed even with the windows rolled down. This smell is even in my air condition system. My question to you all is, should I make the dealer/service dept. give me a whole new interior as it's even in the passenger cabin or should I just ask for the rear trunk area? Either way, I'm guessing the whole interior is going to need to be gutted and washed out with soap and water. Is there anything else I should be asking for? Thanks!
Honestly, if i was in your position i would call BMW North America right away about this issue and explain your situation as you described it here. There is no argument here that they should definitely give you a new BMW. as one of the members here said, you need to push for a new vehicle and let them buyback your car after such a BIG mistake that the dealership made, don't go for the re-carpeting and all that BS.

My experience: This is different from what happend to you but thats what i did for my e93 335i. i kept experiencing very annoying turbulence kind of noise while i was driving the vehicle. and i kept taking the car for repairs to the dealer atleast 6 times for a period of a year and the problem was not solved. so i finally talked to BMW NA and said i couldn't handle it anymore and that they would need to do something about my vehicle. after a month or so of going back and forth, they agreed to buy back my car only if i bought a new bmw. they call it "trade assist". they bought back my car at full price and now im awaiting a new m3 on order.

In your case i would think your problem will be alot easier to deal with than my mine, since it was a dealership fault. If you complain about the car and ask for a new one and keep persisting, i dont think you'd have a lot of trouble getting it. After all, we spent a crap load of money in our cars to get the best quality, so dont be shy about your property.
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      06-02-2011, 10:07 PM   #19
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Yeah, and while he's at it, he should just ask them to upgrade him to a brand new M5 and throw in a free 1M for the trouble.

It was a stupid and careless move by the dealer but the damage from some spilled paint thinner should be easily fixable as it should just evaporate within a day or so and, at worst, the most they would owe the OP would be a repainted trunk if the damage is too bad.

Good luck, OP.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Un_limited View Post
Honestly, if i was in your position i would call BMW North America right away about this issue and explain your situation as you described it here. There is no argument here that they should definitely give you a new BMW. as one of the members here said, you need to push for a new vehicle and let them buyback your car after such a BIG mistake that the dealership made, don't go for the re-carpeting and all that BS.

My experience: This is different from what happend to you but thats what i did for my e93 335i. i kept experiencing very annoying turbulence kind of noise while i was driving the vehicle. and i kept taking the car for repairs to the dealer atleast 6 times for a period of a year and the problem was not solved. so i finally talked to BMW NA and said i couldn't handle it anymore and that they would need to do something about my vehicle. after a month or so of going back and forth, they agreed to buy back my car only if i bought a new bmw. they call it "trade assist". they bought back my car at full price and now im awaiting a new m3 on order.

In your case i would think your problem will be alot easier to deal with than my mine, since it was a dealership fault. If you complain about the car and ask for a new one and keep persisting, i dont think you'd have a lot of trouble getting it. After all, we spent a crap load of money in our cars to get the best quality, so dont be shy about your property.
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      06-02-2011, 10:13 PM   #20
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      06-02-2011, 10:15 PM   #21
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Legion 5, I've got to side with you on this one. Stuff will evaporate quickly and the smell will go away. Very unfortunate about the install; I'm very happy I had the spoiler delete checked on my build and had the spoiler installed at the delivery center. Looks perfect.
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      06-02-2011, 11:05 PM   #22
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They should replace anything within direct contact of the paint thinner. So basically they should purchase a new trunk lining for you.

The smell in the interior and A/C will air out just fine after they replace the parts that got soaked in the trunk.

I don't see a huge problem here but this should have never happened the the first place. They shouldn't deliver a car back to a customer with open containers of caustic materials in the trunk.
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