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When Tesla first announced the availability of a vibrant pink paint option for its vehicles, many customers were thrilled. Pink cars certainly stand out from the crowd and make a bold stylistic statement. However, in recent months, some owners of pink Teslas have expressed dismay over the way the paint holds up over time.
Unlike more subdued paint colors, bright pink seems prone to fading and discoloration. Many owners report that their once-vibrant pink Teslas now sport large swaths of unsightly beige and orange blotches. The culprit appears to be a chemical reaction within the paint itself when exposed to sunlight and other environmental elements.
Tesla has acknowledged the pink paint problems but maintains they only impact a small percentage of vehicles. However, online forums contain numerous complaints from pink Tesla owners across different models and manufacturing years. Some report the pink paint issues showing up within months of purchase.
The fading and discoloration seriously detract from the custom pink paint jobs that add $2,000-$3,000 to the vehicles" price tags. Most owners say they would not have paid extra for the pink paint if they knew it would start looking so shabby so quickly. They feel misled and demand that Tesla address the pink paint problems more adequately.
Many customers have pushed for Tesla to re-paint their vehicles at no cost. But the company has been reluctant to do systematic re-painting under warranty. Some owners have taken matters into their own hands and paid thousands out of pocket to repaint their Teslas a more durable color. But most feel Tesla should take responsibility for the flawed pink paint.
Tesla owners increasingly turn to independent auto body shops for resprays and touch-ups to salvage their once-pink paint jobs. While Tesla has resisted systematic repainting under warranty, many feel they have no choice but to take matters into their own hands.
Maria Sandoval was an early adopter of the pink paint option for her Tesla Model S back in 2017. "I just loved the idea of having a bold, bright pink car that would stand out from everything else on the road," she recalls. For the first year or so, Sandoval enjoyed flawless pink paint. But fading and discoloration soon crept in, spreading down the sides of her car in large splotchy patches.
After getting the runaround from Tesla customer service, Sandoval took her car to a trusted local auto body shop for an evaluation. They confirmed the pink paint was corroded beyond repair in some spots. For $5,000 the shop resprayed Sandoval"s Tesla a more durable metallic rose hue. "I"m much happier with the color now," she says. "Just be warned if you buy a pink Tesla. That paint they use just doesn"t hold up."
Brad Mills went a different route after the pink paint on his 2018 Tesla Model 3 started showing white streaks and orange blotches. For $3,000 a mobile auto body tech gave his Tesla a pink "retouch" to mask the worst damage. This involved expert blending to create a visual uniformity. But Mills says the color matching isn"t perfect, and he worries the makeshift fix won"t last. "I wish I just had Tesla give me a factory quality respray," Mills says ruefully.
Other owners turn to third party shops like Electra Finish and EV-nu for professional Tesla paint repair at a lower cost than a full respray. These mobile services can restore faded or discolored sections of paint for $800-$2,000. Jose Hernandez used Electra Finish to retouch the hood and roof of his Model X, which had turned an unsightly pale beige. "It"s not flawless but way better than driving around in a two-tone Tesla," he quips.
When Maria Lopez financed her custom pink Tesla Model X in 2018, she was drawn to the idea of making a bold stylistic statement. "I loved everything about the pink paint job when I first got it," Lopez recalls. "It was just fun and different. And Tesla gave me every assurance it would hold up great."
However, within a year the paint on Lopez's Tesla started noticeably fading on the hood and roof. She brought her complaints to Tesla but got the brush off. "They told me it was just normal wear and tear. But a car paint job should not look that ratty after only a year," Lopez insists.
Like many owners, Lopez feels misled and deceived by Tesla's promotion of the pink paint option. When she paid $4,000 extra for the custom color, she assumed it met Tesla's normal high quality standards. "If Tesla knew the paint couldn't withstand the elements, they should have warned buyers upfront or fixed the formula," Lopez argues.
Many other owners share Lopez's frustrations. "I thought Tesla stood behind their products, but I guess not when it comes to the problematic pink paint," says David Chin, who paid $3,500 extra for a pink paint job on his Model 3 in 2019.
Within months, Chin noticed spots on the rear bumper where the pink had completely faded to white. A Tesla service rep blamed environmental factors and called it normal wear and tear. But Chin feels that explanation does not suffice. "Tesla charges a huge premium for that custom paint," he points out. "It should not fail so quickly with normal use."
The fading and discoloration issues with the pink paint leave many owners feeling ripped off. But even more concerning is how Tesla has handled the situation. "I expected more from a company of Tesla's reputation," says Leilani Grant, who has had to repaint 80% of her formerly pink Model S at her own expense after Tesla refused to cover repairs under warranty.
When Dave Wilson splurged on a custom pink Tesla Model S for his wife's birthday in 2016, he thought the $4,000 paint upgrade would make the gift extra special. But within a year, large swaths of the pink paint had faded and discolored. "It looked like a 5-year-old's art project gone wrong," Wilson laments. "I was livid that Tesla clearly used inferior paint that failed so quickly."
Like many owners of pink Teslas, Wilson felt ripped off and misled. When he contacted Tesla customer service, they refused to cover repainting under warranty, calling it normal wear and tear. This only added insult to injury. "They essentially told me I was stupid for buying pink paint that they knew would fail," fumes Wilson.
After paying $6,500 out of pocket to repaint his wife's Tesla a more durable metallic mauve, Wilson wanted to warn others about the pink paint problems. He started a Facebook group that now has over 500 members who share their experiences and grievances about their poorly-aging pink Teslas.
"Many of us bought into the hype and paid extra for custom pink thinking it was a premium color option," explains Wilson. "We were naive and trusted Tesla's reputation for quality. Now we're stuck fighting Tesla for some kind of restitution."
Group members share photos documenting the rapid demise of their formerly pristine pink paint jobs. The images show faded, blotchy, stained exteriors bearing little resemblance to the pink hue the owners paid for.
"It's insane how fast the pink paint fails," says member Carla Jones, whose 2017 Model X now sports large orange and white blemishes. Like Wilson, Jones feels Tesla duped buyers by marketing a subpar paint product.
Many owners have shelled out thousands for independent repaints after hitting dead ends with Tesla customer service. Others have settled for temporary touch-ups to mask the worst damage. All feel Tesla should take responsibility and fix the problematic paint formula or offer free repaints.
"We shouldn't be stuck with defective pink paint Tesla charges a premium for," argues group member Tom Phillips, who has spent $10,000 trying to salvage his wife's formerly pink Model 3. "Tesla needs to make this right."
Stories of Tesla stonewalling owners seeking paint repairs under warranty abound in the group, leaving members incensed. "Shoddy pink paint is bad enough. But Tesla adding insult to injury by refusing to stand behind their product is unacceptable," declares Wilson.
The Facebook group provides a space for pink Tesla owners to commiserate and strategize getting restitution from Tesla. Many want the company to acknowledge the pink paint defect and provide replacements with more durable formulations.
When Jennifer Chen ordered her custom pink Tesla Model 3 in late 2018, she was excited to make a bold stylistic statement. "I just loved the idea of having this bright, funky pink car," Chen explains. "The $4,000 paint upgrade seemed worth it."
But within a year, the paint on Chen's Tesla began fading and corroding. Large unsightly white and orange splotches spread across the hood and roof. Chen brought her car to Tesla for evaluation but was told the damage was due to environmental factors and not covered under warranty.
"The Tesla rep basically implied I was foolish to buy a pink car in the first place," a frustrated Chen recalls. When she pushed back, noting that no paint should fail so quickly, the rep dismissed her concerns. He declined to have Tesla repaint the car, calling it normal wear and tear.
Chen felt cheated but assumed she had no recourse. Then she discovered hundreds of fellow owners who had experienced the same pink paint problems on a Facebook group started by Dave Wilson. "I finally realized this was a widespread issue with how Tesla's pink paint holds up," Chen says. "I was angry that Tesla acts like it's the customers' fault when they market and charge a premium for defective paint."
Many owners in the Facebook group have demanded Tesla repaint their cars at no cost after the pink paint failed long before it should have based on any reasonable expectations. But like Chen, they have encountered resistance from the company, which maintains the paint issues arise from environmental factors outside Tesla's control.
Group member Freddy Knox whose 2018 Model S is now more orange than pink due to staining and fading, is unequivocal in blaming Tesla: "They know exactly what causes this pink paint to fail so quickly. But they don't care because we're already stuck with these cars."
After comparing experiences in the group, Chen and other owners believe Tesla has sold them inferior paint products while marketing them as high-end custom options. "We shouldn't have to pay out of pocket to repaint Teslas when Tesla sold us defective paint," argues group member Leilani Nakamura. She spent $7,000 repainting her splotchy, stained Model X another color after Tesla refused to repaint it pink under warranty.
Many owners are pursuing legal action against Tesla either individually or as part of class action lawsuits. But Dave Wilson who started the Facebook group believes a grassroots consumer movement is critical for holding Tesla accountable. "If enough of us speak out publicly, Tesla can't ignore this issue," he contends.
Wilson wants Tesla to offer free repaints for all owners impacted by the pink paint problems. He also advocates for the company to reformulate the pink paint to address the rapid fading and discoloration issues.
"We made the mistake of trusting Tesla and shouldn't suffer for it," insists group member Tyler Briggs, who regrets paying extra for now-blemished pink paint. "Tesla needs to stand behind their defective products."
When Jennifer Chen took delivery of her long-awaited custom pink Tesla Model 3, she was thrilled with the vibrant, candy-like hue. It was just what she had envisioned when she eagerly placed her order and paid several thousand dollars extra for the special paint job. But within months, the color Chen had fallen in love with started fading drastically. Large white and orange splotches spread across the formerly pristine pink exterior, leaving her Model 3 looking like a 5-year-old's fingerpainting experiment gone wrong.
Chen soon discovered she was not alone. Hundreds of other owners reported near-identical experiences with rapid deterioration of Tesla's pink paint offerings across vehicle models and production years. But when these customers brought complaints to Tesla, the company gave them the runaround rather than owning up to and addressing the apparent underlying paint defects. Tesla customer service reps blamed environmental factors and called the damage normal wear and tear not covered by warranty. But based on the pink Tesla owners' collective experiences, it became clear that the issues stemmed from much more than regular use or sun exposure. Tesla was selling certain paint products that simply could not withstand the elements as advertised no matter how well customers cared for their vehicles.
So was the vibrant pink hue that first attracted buyers merely a pigment of imagination? While stunning in the short term, the paint seemed prone to inevitably corroding and morphing into a blotchy, unsightly mess after relatively little time on the road. Rather than standing behind its products, Tesla left pink vehicle owners high and dry, often forcing them to pay thousands out of pocket for third party repaints.
Many felt Tesla intentionally duped buyers into paying premiums for paint they knew would not hold up. Some have pursued legal action against the automaker for failing to deliver the long-lasting pink paint job they believed they were purchasing. But many also feel that Tesla should step up and offer free repairs or resprays to make things right with customers left driving discolored lemons bearing little resemblance to the custom cars they ordered.
The rapid fading and discoloration of Tesla's pink paint offerings has become a major thorn in the company's side. What was marketed as a vibrant, durable, premium custom color option has proven to be anything but. The resulting customer dissatisfaction, negative publicity, and potential legal action pose a serious threat to Tesla"s reputation and bottom line.
While Tesla has downplayed the pink paint issues as normal wear and tear affecting a small number of vehicles, the experiences of hundreds of owners on forums and social media prove otherwise. Far from an isolated problem, Tesla seems to have sold large numbers of customers inferior paint technology prone to failure.
Dave Wilson is one of the most vocal critics seeking to hold Tesla accountable. After the $5,000 pink paint job on his wife's Model S suffered heavy fading and staining within a year, Tesla refused to cover repairs under warranty. This led Wilson to start a Facebook group documenting the pink paint problems, now with over 500 angry members demanding Tesla address the issue.
"By marketing defective paint then stonewalling owners, Tesla has lost my trust and business going forward," says Wilson. "I wanted to give others a platform to warn about the bait-and-switch Tesla pulled with the pink paint."
Many owners feel similarly cheated and say the pink paint problems have destroyed their faith in Tesla products. They accuse the company of selling them overpriced paint they knew would not last, then blaming environmental factors when issues arose quickly. Numerous posts in Wilson's group lambast Tesla for refusing to stand behind its defective product.
Tesla's handling of the pink paint woes may prove not just a moral failing, but a legal one too. Over a hundred owners have joined class action lawsuits alleging breach of good faith and fair dealing regarding the problematic paint. Owners argue they overpaid for subpar paint Tesla marketed misleadingly as a durable premium option.
While Tesla has said little about the pending legal action, it represents both a financial and PR liability at a time when the company can scarcely afford either. Tesla may be forced to offer settlements or restitution if courts find it at fault regarding the pink paint problems.
But some believe the damage to Tesla's brand and buyer trust cannot be undone easily. "This company conned me once with the pink paint disaster. I will not give Tesla my business again," insists Carla Jones, one of many owners who repainted her Tesla after rapid paint failure.
As complaints about pink Teslas multiply online, the problems seem more than a minor hiccup. Some industry watchers worry it may indicate the start of a pattern of poor quality control and customer service as Tesla rapidly scales production.
"How Tesla handles outraged pink Tesla owners will be a litmus test for the company's commitment to standing behind its products," notes auto industry analyst Kyle Cameron. "Blaming customers and stonewalling warranty claims could really come back to bite Tesla."
For a company striving to lead a revolution in sustainable transportation, the pink paint fiasco represents an embarrassing and costly diversion. Each new story of a pink paint job gone wrong reinforces perceptions that Tesla cut corners or inadequately tested materials in its race to ramp up production.