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'13 CTS-V Coupe, '09 Escalade
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Greetings this is my first post however I have been reading this forum for sometime now. If this post is not in the correct location please move and understand I am a noob here :)

Aprox 1 month ago I purchased a brand new CTS V coupe in black, Recaro seats, dealer installed black chrome, dealer powder coated grey and black wheels, and dealer installed window tint. I purchased the car as opposed to leasing because I believe it will be a classic and intend to own the car for 20 + years.

I bought the car at night and it looked amazing on the dealer's showroom floor. When finishing up in finance and insurance the F&I manager informed me the car had a $1,000 dealer applied epoxy sealant on the paint and that the cars finish was protected for several years. Although I would have preferred to know this before purchasing the car, I was excited to drive my new toy home and took delivery.

Later when I washed my car I noticed fine scratches in the paint. I also found imperfections where the black "chrome" was not covering the silver chrome completely. Additionally I noticed that two of the powder coated wheels were marred where the dealer had re-installed Michelins back on the wheels presumably after powder coating. I also noticed that the passenger side door's window was not making a seal because it was "bowed" out away from the rear glass. I assumed the door was incorrectly hung on the car and that the dealer could adjust the door and correct the problem. The steering wheel was also off center and the car was slightly out of alignment.

I called my salesman and informed him of the problems to which he said I could take the car in and they would correct issues. I arranged to get an ATS 2.0 turbo to drive while the work was performed (amazing car by the way). When I got to the dealer my salesman informed me they had no ATS on the lot despite the fact I called ahead . Since the work would take some time to perform I opted to come back when they had an ATS to loan. I later called and they had an ATS so I drove the 30+ miles one way in LA traffic back to my dealer. Long story short they gave the ATS to someone else but said they would drive an ATS to my home as soon as it was returned from another customer who was also having work done on their Cadillac.

I went over all the issues with the car with both my salesman and the service adviser and drove home in a GMC crossover in bumper to bumper traffic. Much to my surprise the air conditioner was not functioning. Two days later the dealer delivered the ATS to my home and picked up the GMC. About one week later my salesman informed me the work was complete and that I could pick up my car. The car looked fine in the early evening light and I drove home. So far so good. A week later I washed my car and was shocked to find deep swirl marks all over my paint job. I also noticed that the black chrome was still not right on some pieces and on top of this, it was also marred by the wheel when they were attempting to remove the fine scratches and the epoxy sealant. Now I do not know what to do. I fear the clear coat is permanently damaged or if not, that any further work done to correct the swirl marks will weaken the clear coat and I'll need to get the car repainted prematurely.

I purchased a new automobile because I wanted a new car, not a car with issues due to my dealer not properly prepping the paint before applying a $1000 epoxy sealant. The car looks horrible in anything but overcast light and the expensive black chrome likewise was damaged by the polishing wheel.

At this point I want to take the car to a professional detailer in Orange County who works on Ferraris and Lambos. If they say the paint can be brought back to show room perfect condition then I'd like to let them correct the dealer caused problem and send the bill to my dealer and get a reimbursement for the $1000 sealant. However if they cannot fix the problem or say the clear coat has been compromised I want the dealer to take the car back and replace it with a brand new CTS V coupe. The last thing I want is a $72k + car with hideous swirl marks or to have the clear coat fail 5 years from now and necessitate a new paint job. Nor will I accept a repaint at this time on a brand new car.

If anyone has any idea how I should proceed I would love to hear from you.
 

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First piece of advice...Do not pick up the car at a time you cannot do a thorough inspection with good light.
Second, avoid dealer "add on's" and paint sealant.
 

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I will not be able to help you regarding the dealer powder coated rims or black chrome, but I am sure that your clear coat is fine and you simply need to contact a reputable detailer to remove the sealant that they have applied, prep the vehicle and apply a sealant like Opti-Coat. Your area has plenty of great companies. Just be prepared to pay $600-$800 and remember that Black Raven is pretty delicate.
 

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2012 CTSV coupe
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My dealer allowed that construction company working on the dealership to get overspray on my black coupe. They paid for it to be clay-bared. By the way its the only way IMHO to make a black car's finish look awsome. I was going to have it done prior to the overspray misshap. You should see if they buffed your car. And if its black it will most certainly cause swirl marks. As for your rims. Have them replaced and/or redone by the folks who did the work.
 

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CTS-V BR Coupe
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None of the OP story surprises me... Every time my dealer gets near the wheels, they get scratched/chipped. For some reason, Cadillac mechanics hate black wheels and use their airguns like blindmen in a dark room.
 

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'09 CTS-V, 3K miles & '87 Turbo Buick, 29K miles
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Katie at Cadillac Customer Service would probably be your best bet.
Also, change your service needs over to Boulevard Cadillac on Cherry Street, Signal Hill, CA.
Talk to the service manager, Mark Perlstein and see if he can do anything to help you.
 

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2011 CTS-V sedan HIS, 2012 CTS4 coupe- Her's
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I will not be able to help you regarding the dealer powder coated rims or black chrome, but I am sure that your clear coat is fine and you simply need to contact a reputable detailer to remove the sealant that they have applied, prep the vehicle and apply a sealant like Opti-Coat. Your area has plenty of great companies. Just be prepared to pay $600-$800 and remember that Black Raven is pretty delicate.
im wondering if this $1000 "epoxy coating" is actually poorly applied opticoat over a less than ideal surface?
 

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Had 2009 V, Red/Blk 2016 Now
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1. Take the car back and talk to the manager or owner. 2. File an official complaint with Cadillac (it's in the books we get), and don't take no for an answer.
 

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2010 CTS-V
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Guys, as stated, the "$1000 epoxy sealer" is just a $60 application of Opti-Coat or ccquartz or the equivalent. As most people know, the paint needs to be PERFECT before the application of these products, as they nanobond to the paint, adding a very thin coating to the top of the clear. That's the intent of them. Having a porter buff it with a high speed wheel for 20 minutes is the dealer's idea of 'prep'....

To the OP:

- A detailer can fix your clear. It is not damaged, just swirled up. Expect to pay $600-$1000 for a full correction BUT you need the right detailer. Someone that understands what paint correction is and can correctly explain how a double action polisher works, what compounding is, what polishing is, and what an LSP is. If he can't answer that, find another guy. And make SURE the guy is charging you like $800, as anyone that says they can do it for cheaper probably isn't doing the work I just described. A good detailer will have at least 2 double action polishers, lots of clean microfibers, and lots of 'exotic' products. If their stuff is from Autozone and they have dirty cotton towels, that's bad. This guy looks knowledgable: http://www.innovativedetailing.com/

- If they have buffed through the clear at the dealer, that's an issue. Let's hope that didn't happen. In my option, you could never match black diamond and would need a total repaint.

- A good detailer would have a paint gauge that could read your clear coat thickness if you are worried about that.

- Have the dealer give you new wheels to replace the marred ones. Those aren't easily fixed and probably won't look the same.

- The dealer should replace any black chrome hurt by their 'prep' work

- From now on, KEEP THE CAR AWAY FROM THAT DEALER. Don't let them wash it, do tires changes, especially anything like that!
 

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'13 CTS-V Coupe, '09 Escalade
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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the advise guys. I am going to file an official complaint with Cadillac today and also contact the regional representative in the LA area to have him look at the car. My concern is that they attempted to remove the original application of the epoxy sealant the first time I filed a complaint and then put deep swirl marks in the paint (and I assume thinned the clear coat) and then re-applied the epoxy sealant a second time. This has effectively sealed in deep swirl marks. Now even if a detail house can remove the epoxy and the swirl marks what guarantee do I have that the clear coat is not thinned to the point it will fail prematurely thereby necessitating an expensive and less than perfect repaint- at my expense? Does anyone know how tough / thick the clear coat is on Black Raven paint?

The rims have been corrected by the dealer however this morning when I was washing my car I noticed the front tire sidewall is "bulging" out as if the sidewall was compromised from the last removal of the tire from the wheels when at the dealers. I will try and get them to replace the left drivers side front tire but the more I look at this car the more convinced I am of the incompetence of the dealer and their installed options. Perhaps later today I will post a video of the paint and defects on YouTube with a link here in the thread.
 

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2010 CTS-V
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This has effectively sealed in deep swirl marks. Now even if a detail house can remove the epoxy and the swirl marks what guarantee do I have that the clear coat is not thinned to the point it will fail prematurely thereby necessitating an expensive and less than perfect repaint- at my expense? Does anyone know how tough / thick the clear coat is on Black Raven paint?
Well, GM clear is usually pretty thick and pretty hard. A good detailer could use a paint thickness gauge to measure the paint in various areas and see if you have any particularily thin spots where they may have been overly aggressive at the dealer and thinned the clear.

I would have him take a dozen or so spot readings to make sure the paint is the same all over the car. If it is, it's probably fine. Trust me, they didn't do a consistent job all over the car with their big buffer....

If it's NOT consistent, have him take 40-50 readings on the car and document them; Once he's done correcting the car, have him do it again. Then you'll have a picture of the thickness of the paint and how correction affects it. You would know to be gentle in the thinner areas in the future. See this article: http://www.autopiaforums.com/forums...1083-bugatti-veyron-super-sport-detailed.html on how they did something similar for a Veyron. You need basically an abbreviated version of that paint measurement program IF you think your paint has been damaged.

Clear is pretty good nowadays and can take a lot of compounding and polishing before nearing the failing point. I wouldn't be concerned about that; I'd be more concerned about getting the car looking good.

In the future, everyone please AVOID DEALER SEALANTS! Katie, you might want to look at your dealers that are charging $1,000 for a poorly applied $60 product...
 
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I'm sorry my attention was just brought to this thread now! I see I missed several interesting discussions this morning, and I'm glad TWD3 is contacting Cadillac regarding this concern. TWD3, our phone hotline agents are available at the Cadillac Customer Assistance Center (800-458-8006, Monday to Saturday, 8am to 9pm EST). And I'm available via email at [email protected]. If you have an open case with our Customer Assistance Center, then I'm able to locate it and give you updates on your case details whenever you wish. In the meantime, I'm going to document your comments where the proper GM teams can access them!

Katie
Cadillac Customer Service
 

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2011 CTS-V Sedan Black Raven 6 speed manual
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Well, GM clear is usually pretty thick and pretty hard. A good detailer could use a paint thickness gauge to measure the paint in various areas and see if you have any particularily thin spots where they may have been overly aggressive at the dealer and thinned the clear.

I would have him take a dozen or so spot readings to make sure the paint is the same all over the car. If it is, it's probably fine. Trust me, they didn't do a consistent job all over the car with their big buffer....

If it's NOT consistent, have him take 40-50 readings on the car and document them; Once he's done correcting the car, have him do it again. Then you'll have a picture of the thickness of the paint and how correction affects it. You would know to be gentle in the thinner areas in the future. See this article: http://www.autopiaforums.com/forums...1083-bugatti-veyron-super-sport-detailed.html on how they did something similar for a Veyron. You need basically an abbreviated version of that paint measurement program IF you think your paint has been damaged.

Clear is pretty good nowadays and can take a lot of compounding and polishing before nearing the failing point. I wouldn't be concerned about that; I'd be more concerned about getting the car looking good.

In the future, everyone please AVOID DEALER SEALANTS! Katie, you might want to look at your dealers that are charging $1,000 for a poorly applied $60 product...
Amen brother! I'll go a step further...Don't EVER let the dealer TOUCH you paint. Whenever I buy a new car I tell them to leave it dirty and not touch it with anything. I then spend a week detailing and sealing it. If you don't have that skill, find the best detailer you can find. Guys the specialize in Black cars usually know their stuff. If you can detail a black car, you can detail any other color with ease. Dealer "paint sealant" is a joke because they have no idea how to detail a car properly and it's all in the prep.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
cdog533 thanks for your useful information and helpful links. I contacted GM today and a representative will be calling me back regarding my options. As to the dealer applied coating, it's called Xzilon / website: http://www.xzilon.com .

Any ideas on what it will take to remove this stuff? Again I am really concerned the clear coat will be compromised after a 3rd go round with the wheel (first time before the original Xzilon application, 2nd time when the dealer attempted to remove the sealant before applying Xzilon a 2nd time and finally, a 3rd attempt for a last and final removal. I intend to keep the car for 20+ years and don't want the clear coat to go off prematurely due to so much work being done to the paint so early in the car's life.
 

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2010 CTS-V
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cdog533 thanks for your useful information and helpful links. I contacted GM today and a representative will be calling me back regarding my options. As to the dealer applied coating, it's called Xzilon / website: http://www.xzilon.com .

Any ideas on what it will take to remove this stuff? Again I am really concerned the clear coat will be compromised after a 3rd go round with the wheel (first time before the original Xzilon application, 2nd time when the dealer attempted to remove the sealant before applying Xzilon a 2nd time and finally, a 3rd attempt for a last and final removal. I intend to keep the car for 20+ years and don't want the clear coat to go off prematurely due to so much work being done to the paint so early in the car's life.
Xzilion is just a typical polymer sealant but with a 'warranty'. A good detailer will be able to get the car in shape and the clear coat will be fine. Don't forget, the Xzilion itself adds a couple of mils and those are what will be removed.

Your main concern should be finding the RIGHT detailer. You really need a good one. Let me know who you are talking to and I can take a look at their websites to see if they seem capable. Here's another guy that looks good: http://www.enviousautodetailing.com

He's done some pretty serious corrections, and that's the kind of experience you want.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Status update:

I took the car to a high end detailer in Costa Mesa California who reviewed the damage done to the paint- Doctor Detail: http://www.doctordetail.com/

I talked directly with the owner Darren. After closely examining the paint he informed me that it would cost approx $1,000 to attempt to correct the issues but that he could not guarantee I would be happy with the final results and that the paint would never be as good as if the dealer had not damaged the paint in the first place.

I have also been in contact with General Motors where I have been handed off to three separate representatives as the usual representative was on vacation or away. The first two seemed very knowledgeable and were pressing for a total vehicle replacement due to the fact that not only is the paint irreparably damaged, but so too is the custom dealer installed black chrome which has swirl marks from the dealer not applying detailers tape prior to using a polishing wheel.

I then attempted to talk with the regional Cadillac representative so I could show him the paint and other issues with my car but according to GM, he is not interested in seeing either the car, or in talking with me. She told me, "he trusts the dealer and since I don't want the dealer to correct the problem (a third attempt to correct the paint with the wheel) he has nothing to say to me".

I asked to talk to a supervisor but was told none can take my call but that she will attempt to have one call me back.

Now I don't know what to do. From what I gather unless I allow the same dealer who messed up my paint in the first place and who attempted to correct the problem a second time only to make it MUCH worse, I can get no meaningful assistance from General Motors. I gotta say I've owned a BMW M5, a BMW M Coupe, a Range Rover and a Mercedes Benz and have had nothing but exceptional dealer service with all. This is by far the least satisfactory high end purchase I have ever made and not because I don't like the car, from what I can gather it is a great car. The problem is in a dealer focused on profit above customer service and the manufacturers anemic attempt to assist me in a satisfactory resolution.

I am reaching out now to Katie and have send her an email. Hopefully she can assist me in reaching a favorable resolution where I get the new CTS V Coupe I paid for.

If anyone has any experience with matters like this or how to get in contact with people at GM in a position to actually help I would really love to hear from you. I'll take some high rez video of the damage and attempt to upload it to YouTube so people can see what I am dealing with.

Thanks again for all your good advice thus far.
 

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I would try to get a final decision from GM regarding a vehicle replacement. If that does not happen I would contact a lawyer, consumer affairs and the BBB. You could take them to small claims court for the $1,000. Photos of the damage and an estimate from the body shop (maybe go to one or two more and bring all three estimates). I believe the dealer, being a business, has to bring a lawyer. That extra expense might make them cave. Basically they are hoping you go away. Show them you will not.
 

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Im a salesman for a Cadillac Dealer. How have the majority of you had such bad experiences with your local dealers or dealers in general? Every thread has something negative about dealers. It just shocks me that many could be that horendous. I mean sure there are bad ones but still.

But sounds like you need to find a reputable dealer / detailer and your car will be fine. Quit worrying about the clear coat man! Any good place will take good care of you.
 

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Status update:
I took the car to a high end detailer in Costa Mesa California who reviewed the damage done to the paint- Doctor Detail: http://www.doctordetail.com/

I talked directly with the owner Darren. After closely examining the paint he informed me that it would cost approx $1,000 to attempt to correct the issues but that he could not guarantee I would be happy with the final results and that the paint would never be as good as if the dealer had not damaged the paint in the first place.
That's not right. I would take it to one of the other places I posted up for an estimate. A good detailer can do a correction that will leave the paint in BETTER than showroom condition (from a shine and perfection standpoint).

That shouldn't be an issue. It might take a while, but could easily be done. Doctor Detail seems decent, but they don't specialize in FULL CORRECTION, which is what you need -- and what the other guys do. The finish should be perfect following a correction - no excuses or maybes....

Just have it professionally clay barred. Send the bill to the dealer.. That should do the trick. :)
No disrespect here, but a clay bar simply removes contaminants from the paint. Like overspray or sap or whatever. And it swirls the car up in the process. You only want to clay a car if you plan on following it up with a full polishing of the vehicle (4-6 hours) with a DA polisher and proper polishing compound (Meguiars 205 or equivalent). It's the polishing that helps the finish, not the clay bar. Note: this is minor polishing, not a full correction, and doesn't apply to the OP.

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I have also been in contact with General Motors where I have been handed off to three separate representatives as the usual representative was on vacation or away. The first two seemed very knowledgeable and were pressing for a total vehicle replacement due to the fact that not only is the paint irreparably damaged, but so too is the custom dealer installed black chrome which has swirl marks from the dealer not applying detailers tape prior to using a polishing wheel.

I then attempted to talk with the regional Cadillac representative so I could show him the paint and other issues with my car but according to GM, he is not interested in seeing either the car, or in talking with me. She told me, "he trusts the dealer and since I don't want the dealer to correct the problem (a third attempt to correct the paint with the wheel) he has nothing to say to me".

I asked to talk to a supervisor but was told none can take my call but that she will attempt to have one call me back.

Now I don't know what to do. From what I gather unless I allow the same dealer who messed up my paint in the first place and who attempted to correct the problem a second time only to make it MUCH worse, I can get no meaningful assistance from General Motors. I gotta say I've owned a BMW M5, a BMW M Coupe, a Range Rover and a Mercedes Benz and have had nothing but exceptional dealer service with all. This is by far the least satisfactory high end purchase I have ever made and not because I don't like the car, from what I can gather it is a great car. The problem is in a dealer focused on profit above customer service and the manufacturers anemic attempt to assist me in a satisfactory resolution.

I am reaching out now to Katie and have send her an email. Hopefully she can assist me in reaching a favorable resolution where I get the new CTS V Coupe I paid for.

If anyone has any experience with matters like this or how to get in contact with people at GM in a position to actually help I would really love to hear from you. I'll take some high rez video of the damage and attempt to upload it to YouTube so people can see what I am dealing with.
GM probably won't help here. And for god's sake DO NOT take it back to that dealer, no matter how many times they or GM promises that 'this time we'll get it just perfect'. They just don't have the skills to make it right at this point.

The car just needs a 15-20 hour correction from a pro.

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Im a salesman for a Cadillac Dealer. How have the majority of you had such bad experiences with your local dealers or dealers in general? Every thread has something negative about dealers. It just shocks me that many could be that horendous. I mean sure there are bad ones but still.

But sounds like you need to find a reputable dealer / detailer and your car will be fine. Quit worrying about the clear coat man! Any good place will take good care of you.
I have found ALL dealers to be careless, horrible, and basically incompetent. This goes double for any kind of paint/finish/or interior issue.

They are used to working on cars for people that REALLY don't care intensely about cars. No offense, but YOUR comments about 'not worrying about the clear coat' and 'any good place will take car of you' indicate that you are of EXACTLY the same mindset as of the all the crappy dealers.

Hell, just have Jimmy the porter slap a dirty ole buffing wheel on the thing and get it out the door to Joe Schmucky.... um, no thanks!

I'd estimate that probably 95% of dealers and techs DO NOT even really know what swirls marks are! If they did, they'd shoot their swirlomatic tunnel washes with a ****ing bazooka.
 
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