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Delamination, Ford Focus 2006

Purchased a brand new Ford Focus 2006 model in 2007. We notice the paint was starting to fade Dec 2015. Started on bonnet, spread to roof and now to the tops of the doors, slowly working its way to the boot now. Handles had delaminated around 2012, but I thought this was just wear n tear. Car is black. It’s like it has a form of cancer. Car came with paint protection from a company called Motor One, fifth dimension paint protection. Covers for bird pooh etc. We called them and was told to take to a panel beating shop for a inspection… We were told it was to do with clear coat separation.
Was told to take this issue up with Ford, who should then take it up with the paint suppliers. Haven’t called Ford as yet. Purchased brand new $24,000 and currently has 99,000 km. Car runs great, only other issue/s is with the acceleration as it can be touchy ( jolts ) on take off and left hand window will do the reverse when putting the window up, both problems from day one. As the car paint fades, you can see like hundreds of faint scratches under where the paint should be. All help/ advice would be appreciated. Have read other stories in same situation and was wondering what the outcome was, if they followed through with there complaint.
Thank you

I would be STUNNED if Ford offered to help on a 10 year old car. Won’t hurt to ask, but don’t count on it. Only cure I know of is a paint job.

And this is another good example of why ‘paint protection’ packages are worth very little.

Sometimes car makers get a bad batch of paint or primer. Problems with the bad batch don’t show until years after the car is sold.

@sako From your letter I surmise you are either in Europe or are driving a Ford made in Europe. If the car was built in Dagenham, England I understand all manner of quality problems. This is one of Ford’s worst plants worldwide and that fully all car assembly has been phased out of it.

American and Canadian Focus models are built in Mexico and the plant there has had few quality problems.

I agree with other that getting free service on a 10 year old car is highly unlikely.

Seen this on a lot of Fords down here in the south. The only way to fix it is strip it down and repaint it. I don’t think Ford will do anything for a 10 year old car, but it doesn’t hurt to try.

Pretty much agree with the others. Not much chance Ford will do anything about it and the only resolution is to take the paint down to bare metal and start over again. Who knows what happened at the factory. There are specific time frames that need to be followed for clear over the color etc. so could have been paint, application, or whatever. At any rate once it delaminates, it can’t be saved. Been there.

I agree with everyone else. If adhesion between surfaces is failing, it’s all over the vehicle. The only real solution is to strip to bare and start over.

Although an alternative approach might be to have it cleaned up, get the MAACO “special”, and sell it cheap with full disclosure. Or pass it on to a family member who needs a cheap car.

Re: the window issue: the power windows are often controlled by a “body control module”, and these can be subject to needing to be re"initialized" after replacing a battery. Being as how your car is 10 years young, it may just need to be reinitialized. Or the initialization procedure may not have been done properly during delivery prep (the dealer prep guys do this). The dealer’s parts window guy should be able to look up the initialization procedure for you. You can do it yourself.

I had to reinitialize my car’s windows after my 5-year battery change. They wouldn’t run right either. I have my procedure, but it probably wouldn’t work on your car. Mine’s a different manufacturer.

I also agree. My wife hates to throw out milk when it’s past it’s sell buy date but I enjoy dumping the stuff. A 10 year old vehicle is expected to have some problems with it’s paint. Rat rodders love the look of faded and separated paint.

$24k for a Focus in 2006? I really, really hope it was the RS model.

10 years of mostly being outside in direct sun would cause this no matter how good the original paint job. Especially if the surface wasn’t kept waxed and clean. How was this car situated during the ten years from 2006 to 2016? Parked outside in the sun a lot of the time? What about at night? In the garage or at least under a carport? How frequently was it washed or at least rinsed off? How frequently was it waxed?

@FoDaddy, the OP uses words like bonnet and boot. Like @Docnick, I think @sako is from Great Britiain. I doubt that it costs more to build them, but there might be heavy taxes to account for the difference in price there.

Cars are considerably more expensive in Europe

come to think of it, cars are considerably more expensive in lots/most other countries, besides the US

@db4690 Yes, cars are taxed heavily in most countries. A Jeep Grand Cherokee costs nearly $90,000 in Holland. Some of that is import duty, but most is gas guzzler and weight tax, making it a true luxury car there considering the $2+/gallon gas cost!

"10 years of mostly being outside in direct sun would cause this no matter how good the original paint job. "

No, I never wax my cars, clean them only occasionally, they always are parked outside, and I keep them at least 10 years. I’ve never (knock on wood) had a finish delaminate. Or fade.


I’ve never had a vehicle delaminate, and I’ve had vehicle that sat outside for decades. There’s typically some minimal fading on those plastic panels where flex agent is used in the paint after about a decade, but not significant finish deterioration. My personal experience has been that if you keep a finish clean and waxed, it’ll last the life of the vehicle.

Having said that, there were some manufacturers who had difficulty adapting to the new aqueous-based low VOC paints mandated by the feds in the '80s-'90s, resulting in delamination problems. I recall pain on some cars (my sister had one) peeling off in sheets. I have no idea how much was the fault of the car manufacturers vs. the paint manufacturers, but since not all car manufacturers experienced these problems I have to conclude that it was the processes used by some car manufacturers. I seem to recall one of them issuing a recall for the issue after a reputation developed and it began to adversely affect their sales.

I’ve attached a brief history of paints in the automotive world for perusal.

@tsm, from your link I surmise that manufacturers are currently striving to give the public more GLITZ with little concern for longevity beyond the warranty in choosing paint options. We get just what we deserve.

Sadly, Rod, you may be right. Except that in my opinion we deserve to expect integrity in the manufacturers of the cars we buy that the paint will outlast the car. I think some manufacturers simply don’t care enough to do the “up front” work (the reliability engineering) to ensure that things they do sill last. Some seem to do only the bare minimum.

@jtsanders Yes, I was aware of that. That’s why I mentioned that I hope it was the RS model. The 2nd Gen Focus RS was not available in the U.S., it was sold in Europe and Australia/NZ


What state do you live in?

There it is. I took a look at that paint history article and I don’t know. I can’t imagine how paint was applied if not by spraying after by brush in the 20’s.

At any rate, I only know about Dupont paints but way back the first paints were Dulux if memory serves me back in the 50’s which I thought was an enamel. Couldn’t be polished. Then it was the straight lacquer which had to be polished. Maybe I reversed the two and lacquer was first. Then in about 61 it was an acrylic lacquer. Then Centari which was more like an enamel again but acrylic. Then in the last 10-15 years it has been urethane and up. And I know they had metalics back in the late 50’s. My 59 Pontiac was a metalic and our 61 Merc had a metalic finish. When I cleaned my paint cabinet out last year I still had a can of Dulux for the Pontiac that went to the recycling center. I don’t know, I should do a little more research. My memory is a little fuzzy.