2017 Toyota Highlander paint issue

2018 Blizzard Pearl Highlander purchased new, last week. SAME day I noticed red dot/mark stuck in my paint ( hours after getting the car). The next day 2 more similar dots. I called Toyota and they acted like they had never heard of this issue, despite many online complaints. I took it back to the dealer on day 4, asking to exchange it. They gave me a hard time but I flipped out and eventually they did it to make me go away. Service looked at the car and said the chemical in Pearl Paint just reacts like this to certain things in the environment, but there is NOT a defect in the paint. HOW DOES THAT MAKE ANY SENSE? I have a 2002 Silver Nissan, with 250K miles, and never had any issues with paint. New car has issues in 2 days w/paint… From reading post, it seems Toyota refuses to acknowledge any issues w/the paint. FYI: Corporate was of no help and told me to work with dealer. I picked up the silver Highlander yesterday and I’m really hoping not to have other problems. I thought Toyota was top of the line—for quality, I am so disappointed.

Has anyone with Blizzard Pearl, noticed red/rust spots? If so how do you remove them ? Has anyone had this covered under warranty. I now have silver but I’m super worried it may happen to the silver also. I really WISH the Blizzard had worked out. I loved that color. Thanks

If the car was delivered by train, its possible rust and metal particules was thrown by the train wheels and embedded into the car paint.

1 Like

The new car is covered by Toyota’s warranty. Look into your documents to learn how to handle a complaint that the dealer is not taking care of to your satisfaction. Good luck and please let us know how it works out.

1 Like

Back in the 1980s, a colleague bought an Oldsmobile (some compact model) that was either silver or white. He bought the car brand new and discovered red spots in the paint. With a little persuasion, the dealer did fix the paint.

1 Like

If the Toyota representative were to tell you that they are manufacturing vehicles with bad paint it would be a bad PR move and it probably untrue.

The dealer will probably clay bar the contaminates from the paint before selling your first Highlander to the next buyer.

That is highly unlikely. All new vehicles are almost completely covered with a protective wrap during shipment .

We’ve had a Blizard Pearl '10 Prius in the family for just about 9yrs now and it never had any wiierd spots in the paint when new, neither did the Venza they had us look at to see what the paint would look like. I’d suspect a detail shop could have done a paint correction on the white Highlander and made it look even better than new for probably $400.00

You’re probably right . . .

But OP shouldn’t have to pay one red cent for that

1 Like

A dealer of any significance would have its own detail department, the service would be an “internal” charge to the sales department.


If its common rail dust it needs to be clayed and detailed. They should have done that before delivery but not everyone goes into that detail in prepping a new car. Really all they had to do was use the clay bar to remove the metal particles.

The service department told me it was brake dust, and it just adheres to blizzard pearl like this, and other environmental stuff causes the paint to react. They didn’t do much as far as telling me WHY this is really happening. To the poster who said a DETAIL shop could get them off or that I can clay bar it, my question is why should I, have to do this on a $40,000 car?. Is it too much to ask, for a new car, I can just drive and take to a regular car wash, as I did all prior new cars?. This paint thing has me so confused. I expected much more of Toyota.

Again, I have a hard time understanding a paint that cannot withstand normal driving, or life (trees etc), without me, having to manually scrub dots off of my car weekly or however often. A google search on blizzard pearl rust spots, led me to this sight, and I saw a lot of complaints, but they were older ~ so I wondered if they changed the paint or whatever. The salesperson then told me, yeah they changed the type of paint to be more environmentally friendly and it causes a lot of problems. He CLAIMS in 2016 they changed the paint again, so it should not impact my 2018, yet~ it did.

Maybe the spots came from rail dust,’but the dealership said likely brake dust. Maybe tree sap, or flower fungus was another explanation. The issue with me clay baring seemed time consuming and a risk to mess up my paint. I wish Toyota had offered me more solutions than , it’s just like that with blizzard pearl, because I LOVED my Blizzard color. The silver is ok., but NOT the in love emotion I had.

What do you mean by “probably untrue”? Are you saying there is NOT an issue with the paint? Or they Toyota just doesn’t want to admit it. I may have Mia read your reply.

What is OP? I agree I don’t think I should have to pay anything extra. Again, they didn’t seem very willing to help or explain it much. Sadly.

I exchanged it, while I still had time. I had read from other Toyota owners, that they were having a similar issues and Toyota wasn’t covering it under warranty, because again, Toyota wouldn’t acknowledge that there was a problem with the paint.

I agree, the dealer should pay

Yeah I’ve got a 40 plus thousand car too and the first thing I did was go over it with a clay bar, polish it and wax it. I use the clay twice a year. That’s just what you do to care for the finish. Rail dust is metal particles getting embedded in the clear coat finish. When the metal rusts, you will see them especially on a light color. Brake dust is from the brake pads and not metal and is more of a tan deposit. Usually doesn’t show up for a while and usually on the wheels. They should have just detailed the car and given it back all fixed. Everybody has their own level of car care but if you run your hand over the surface of the paint after using clay on it, it will be quite a bit smoother than without it. Contaminants will be on the finish throughout its life so you can choose to just run it through the car wash or have it detailed once a year, your choice.

It stands for original poster. Which is you, in this case.

1 Like

Thanks for the tips. I’ll be sure to do those things with the new one. Wish I had been given proper advice by the dealer before returning it. I really loved the Blizzard Car. It all was a bit confusing, as I never had these issues with prior new cars. We currently own 2002 and 2006 Anissa. cars purchased new, and never had issues with the paint.

Thanks. Yes, original poster shouldn’t have to pay to protect a brand new car from stuff adhering to clear coat. It seems simple to me, but just make a paint that can withstand normal driving. As mentioned this is my 3rd new car and never had this issue with the prior two.

[quote=“Karitsa, post:18, topic:121813”]
We currently own 2002 and 2006 Anissa. cars purchased new

What is that and where are they sold.