I never waxed my 2009 red passion, but I have gone to infrequent car waxes...I found a clear plastic film falling off my right rear body panel above the wheel...It exposed a very dull red surface underneath...I never knew that the body was covered with a clear plastic film, but I should have suspected that when it didn't need a wax job for 5 years....

Was this plastic film applied by the manufacturer or the dealer???

1. Can I apply a wax or sealant by hand to brighten the exposed dull red paint, or will that strip off more of the plastic film???

2. Should I instead buy new body panels???

3. Should I try to strip off all the clear plastic film and get a paint job???

Was the film damage aggravated by the Phoenix sun and 116 degree heat ??? If so, the last option may be the longest lasting repair...........

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Sounds like you have the dreaded "peeling clearcoat" [all smarts are clear coated] syndrome; several threads on SCoA about this.  Seems to predominately affect early model red cars for some reason.

http://www.smartcarofamerica.com/forums/f4/clearcoat-peeling-48755/...

http://www.smartcarofamerica.com/forums/f25/delaminating-panel-4150...

i have a cover for my smart so she does not bake in the heat and i take it to the smart dealership to have them wash it. The saleperson who sold me my smart told me not to take it to a carwash but to bring it here or to any dealership and get it done for free and so they use the correct stuff so my smart would not be harmed your sale person messed up bye not telling you this. 

Have to disagree.  Any car wash liquid sold in auto parts stores, or dishwashing liquid for that matter, will not harm the clearcoat on your smart (although the dishwashing liquid will strip off any wax on the car.)  I'd recommend asking the salesperson who gave you that info exactly what the "correct stuff" is they use - especially if they charge you for the car wash.  Washing your smart yourself takes about 15 minutes and is a great way to find any small nicks and scratches in the body panels.

A car cover is a help in hot climates, although if heat/sun were the problem every car in high heat areas would have peeling clearcoat, and they don't.

Donna Garlitz said:

i have a cover for my smart so she does not bake in the heat and i take it to the smart dealership to have them wash it. The saleperson who sold me my smart told me not to take it to a carwash but to bring it here or to any dealership and get it done for free and so they use the correct stuff so my smart would not be harmed your sale person messed up bye not telling you this. 

Thanks for the extensive information, Mr Wright....It appears that with 2009 red I have a bitch of a batch problem which will only get worse...So it is a film of clearcoat and not plastic film...My alternatives are:

1. What  cheap cosmetic coverup of the spot can I do to sell my Smart

2. Where can I get the least expensive,installed,new yellow panels

The hidden agenda of Smart to sell decorative decals may be to coverup their delamination problem on their red cars...



jwight said:

Sounds like you have the dreaded "peeling clearcoat" [all smarts are clear coated] syndrome; several threads on SCoA about this.  Seems to predominately affect early model red cars for some reason.

http://www.smartcarofamerica.com/forums/f4/clearcoat-peeling-48755/...

http://www.smartcarofamerica.com/forums/f25/delaminating-panel-4150...

I had the same problem.  I took mine to the dealer, they took pictures. I keep in touch with the dealer and after about 2 months, they said the panels would be replaced.  They covered all the panels except for the drivers door.  I paid for that one because it showed no sign of damage and I wanted to keep the panels matched.

I would ask you to call 1-800-smartUSA and speak to customer service. Sadly as jwights points out we see 2008-2010 Rally Red smart with the similar issue and many of the panels are being replaced with assistance from our field teams and Customer Support. 

- Eric

I contacted Park Place Motorcars where I bought my Smart. They looked at it and decided hood panel behind front license plate and the right front fender and door and the right rear fender are peeling.mthey called and told me the panels were $801.00 plus $490. Labor and they would give me 10% off which would have been about 100.00. The car has been great with no break downs in 80,000 miles but Mercedes does not care about Smart customers. They won't even reset the service reminder if they do not do the service.

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