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Paint Peeling 2006 Ford Focus

I am wondering if you might be able to either prevent me from wasting my time, or give me an edge to use when contacting Ford. We purchased a 2006 Ford Focus a few years ago and have helplessly watched as the paint on the hood had slowly started to peel away. What started as a rock chip or two have transformed into two palm sized bald spots on our hood. We are confused as a) 2006 doesn’t seem like an old enough year to have such a terrible paint issue b) we love and take very good care of our car and c) if it truly is caused by rock chips as the numerous Ford reps we’ve talked to on the phone have suggested, wouldn’t everyone’s car look like it’s balding??! We are so sad that this has happened because this was our first “Nice car” purchase as a married couple and hoped to take good care of it for many years. Now we’re faced with the potential $300-500 cost of paying to have the entire hood repainted. Should we even bother trying to get Ford to fix it for us?

Was The Car Purchased New Or Used ?

Arrange to stop by a couple of high quality auto body shops and have the “painter” look at the car. Professionals are likely to give you better advice after seeing the hood and the rest of the car, too.

Ford may help, but they are only obligated by warranty and won’t help with situatuations involving collision repair, environmental damage, refinished panels or (in their eyes) poor maintenance.

Pay and have it professionally refinished before rust sets in and causes additional damage.


I recall seeing a Ford pick-up truck once that was missing a large amount of its paint. It wasn’t a very old truck and it was obvious that something had gone terribly wrong with the factory paint job. In big letters the owner had spray painted “Ford won’t repaint this truck”

Can you post a photo? My gut reaction tells me that the paint warranty expired about 3 years ago and that your car is experiencing “wear and tear” that is completely normal, but a photo could change my mind. 2006 is a 5 year old car–not new.

I assume you bought the car new and have had no accidents, hood has not been replaced or repainted, etc?

“Palm sized bald spots” does not sound like normal wear & tear- even on an '06. Sounds like there may have been an adhesion problem, probably with the clear coat. Check with Ford to see if there were any bulletins or recalls issued on this. Your probably on your own in either event however at this point.

Everything Is Just Speculation Or Guessing Until This Car Is Professionally, Physically Examined. I’m Certainly Not Placing Any Blame On The Manufacturer At This Point.

I managed a dealer Body Shop (not Ford) for two years. I dealt with complaints similar to the one made by jalexander1492. Very seldom was the paint job defective from the factory, but it’s possible. There have been “episodes” where some manufacturers had problems. More often, something / somebody else is at fault.

I am still waiting to find out if the car was purchased new or used. New cars usually have a known history (However, sometimes shipping damage is repaired) and used cars come with lots of unknown history. The past of some used cars is amazing. We have no idea whether or not that’s a “factory” finish on this car’s hood and I doubt seriously that jalexander1492 could tell, but a trained eye usually can.


What started as a rock chip or two have transformed into two palm sized bald spots on our hood.

b) we love and take very good care of our car

c) if it truly is caused by rock chips as the numerous Ford reps we’ve talked to on the phone have suggested, wouldn’t everyone’s car look like it’s balding??!

No, because people who actually do take good care of their cars would have bought the $10 small bottle of paint for repairing chips as soon as they are discovered. I can’t make the connection from “taking good care of our car” to allowing a paint chips from rocks to fester into paint peeling and expecting someone else to pick up the tab.

You can’t seriously expect to have the manufacturer cover damage that was made significantly worse from neglect.

I’m going to disagree with TwinTurbo - not in principle, but in practical terms.

I drive a '97 Escort. Its not garaged. I don’t worry a lot about its looks so I’m not found washing & waxing it every Saturday or something.

Its got plenty of chips in the front of the hood from the occasional rock. A couple of those went down to bare metal so I have a couple of tiny little chips with rust in the chip. At least one of those has been there & that way for, oh, at least 5 years or so. It doesn’t change or grow. The clear coat isn’t peeling off, nor the surrounding paint. You have to make it a point to look for them to find them.

I’m thinking that if small chips in the paint routinely led to the surrounding paint beginning to flake off due to lack of touching up you’d see it on cars all over the road.

This is also not to say that I think Ford should necessarily do anything with it. I think it is probably a botch on Ford’s part (or perhaps from some later work done to the car). But at 6 years old I just don’t think they really have any obligation to worry about that.

I agree with cigroller. Short of parking it in some sort of industrial fallout zone, there should be no owner-negligence factor in causing paint issues like this on such a young car. They’d have to do something proactive to get the paint to lift that badly - like trying to get rid of the rock chips by applying acid with a pressure washer. Sounds to me like the paint didn’t properly adhere to the e-coat (or the e-coat didn’t properly adhere to the metal). Perhaps oil or some other contaminant got on the hood before it was painted.

You apparently bought a used car and myt feeling is that the car has probably been repainted due to a collision. If the respray was not done properly then rocks and other road debris will easily chip it and this can lead to flaking whereas new from the factory paint will stand up to much of this kind of wear.

A body shop should be able to look at this and tell in a few seconds if this is the case or not. I doubt very seriously this is a FOMOCO caused problem and odds are you may find out this car has been whacked in a past life.

When I was in high school someone I knew took out their frustrations with a neighbor by putting paint stripper on the neighbor’s hood. Definitely wasn’t the car manufacturer’s fault.

My Dad’s 77 Aspen’s paint pealed…was the manufacturer fault. Two weeks after he bought it the hood started pealing. Within 2 days the hood was almost completely bare…When he took it back to the dealer…he had to wait about 5 days…because there were 4 cars with the same problem ahead of him.

But I haven’t heard of ANY manufacturer with this problem since then.

jalexander1492, five years is a lot of time for a car to be exposed to sunlight and road debris. I don’t think it’s reasonable to blame Ford for this, at least based on what you have told us so far.

Body damage caused by road debris might be covered by your automotive insurance. Have you looked into that?

My thoughts are the same as everyone elses;

  1. it sounds liek you bought this used
  2. it might have been the result of a repair
  3. only paint shop actually looking at the vehicle can venture a guess.

Mike’s dad’s '77 Aspen was painted during a series of years when some manufacturers were still trying to figure out how to successfully apply the newly-mandated low-VOC aqueous based paints. Peeling paintjobs were common in the late '70s-early '80s. But your car is way too new to be suffering from that. While no manuacturer is perfect, they’ve all pretty well nailed down their paint processes.

If it had been repainted even most refinish paints have a lifetime warranty now days. Whether it is transferable from a previous owner or not, however, I don’t know.

I also have a 2006 Focus, and the paint is peeling away faster than I can fix it. It started around the driver side rear door when the car was only three years old. I sanded it down and put some primer on it, but it spread. Now the paint is peeling under the doors, around the tire wells, both rear doors… THIS IS DEFINITELY A MANUFACTURER DEFECT!! And as sure as I am of that, I am sure Ford will not agree or fix my car - which every day bares itself more.
Yes, I bought my car used - 2 years old - but you cannot convince me this is due to something done to the car in those 2 years. NO WAY!


Have you confirmed your used Focus came with the original factory paint job? If so, how did you do this? How did you determine the car was never repainted before you owned it?