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I bought a new 2017 Yaris iA in February 2017. At 2 months I contacted the dealer and told them the paint on the roof seemed peculiar; water on the roof was not beading but it was beading normally elsewhere. At 6 months bird droppings on the car for maybe a couple of weeks caused paint failure down to the metal - but ONLY on the roof, the same area that was problematic at 2 months (elsewhere there was no problem). This was not a cosmetic surface failure - like a slight discoloration, it was total failure.
Every person (not employed by Toyota) I've spoken with including the people at dealership and an independent repair specialist that works with the dealership said bird droppings on a 6-month old car shouldn't cause catastrophic paint failure and yet every employee of Toyota said this is normal and "external events" are not covered under warranty.
The Toyota warranty regarding paint is worthless. Apparently for Toyota the car could be painted with water-based paint and when it washed off during a rain storm it wouldn't be covered... because rain is an external event.
The bigger problem is that Toyota failed to investigate this as a Factory Defect. I sent a letter on September 28 explaining in detail why this seemed likely. I wrote based on my expertise as an engineer who has worked on manufacturing issues including quality and reliability of materials. Any competent QA or manufacturing engineer would recognize, based on the information I provided, that this should be investigated as a potential manufacturing problem yet Toyota did nothing. And I was never allowed to speak to any technical person about the issue.
Apparently Toyota employees see paint + localized defects + bird droppings = "External Event" and therefore no warranty coverage. That the failure is catastrophic, not cosmetic, that in only occurred where there were indications months earlier of a paint problem are irrelevant to Toyota.
I am incredulous and appalled that Toyota cares neither about Quality nor customer satisfaction.
Update from Dec 8, 2017: Hi Sarah (firstname.lastname@example.org email did not work)
My car with the paint problem is a Yaris iA (formerly Scion iA) NOT a Yaris.
The iA is basically a Mazda 2 made by Mazda for Toyota which is completely different from the Yaris (not iA) made by Toyota.
The Yaris iA is a relatively new model and top rated by Consumer Reports. The Yaris is poorly rated.
The complaint should be part of a new category Yaris iA or simply iA. The Yaris iA is the same as the Scion iA which was discontinued as a separate brand by Toyota.
- Lee G.,