Sunnyvale

New Car Changes Color, Manufacturer Denies Responsibility

NBC BAY AREA RESPONDS

Oliver Nicolas logs just shy of 100 miles a day commuting to and from work. So, he splurged and paid $32,000 for a new 2015 Toyota Camry SE Hybrid.

"It’s a long drive every day, so I wanted it to be something I was comfortable in," Nicolas said. "So, that’s why I chose this car."

Recently, though, Nicolas has noticed that the paint is yellowing near the doors.

Our lens doesn’t perfectly capture the color shift and Nicolas concedes it’s probably difficult for others to see, too.

What matters to him is that he can see it.

"I see it," he said. "And it bugs me."

Nicolas' Camry is still covered under Toyota’s 36-month, bumper-to-bumper warranty. So, he filed a claim. Nicolas showed us paperwork from a Toyota inspector who "confirmed a yellowish stripe."

And yet, Nicolas was denied.

"I called Toyota [and they said], 'that’s not from workmanship. That’s not manufacturer defect,'" Nicolas said. "I saw a manufacturer rep twice, and the whole time they claimed that it was not their fault."

Nicolas wondered why Toyota paint isn’t covered under a Toyota warranty. So, he contacted us and we contacted Toyota.

"Next thing you know, I get a response right away,” he said. "They said, 'We're going to repaint your car.'"

Toyota declined to discuss specifics.

A Toyota spokesman assured us Nicolas' situation was "unusual" and not part of a broader flaw with Camry paint.

"We are glad that in this unusual case we were able to come to a resolution to help satisfy the customer," the spokesman said.

Toyota didn’t disclose how much the total repainting job will cost.

We got quotes from Toyota-recommended shops that ranged from $8,000 to $11,000. Nicolas is glad he called NBC Bay Area Responds. If he hadn’t, he might have paid all that money on his own.

"Absolutely, because I was not getting a response at all ... whatsoever," he said. "It’s great news."

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