Hyundai owners angry over paint peeling problem

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A group of Hyundai owners are joining forces to push the car brand into fixing a widespread issue in which paint is peeling off their vehicles – despite the cars being out of warranty.

Owners of Hyundai models suffering from allegedly defective paint jobs are calling on the car maker to fix the known problem.

A number of Hyundai models painted white – believed to have been made between 2010 and 2018 – have suffered from peeling paint, leading owners to join forces to pressure the South Korean company to act.

According to a Facebook group called ‘Australian Hyundai peeling paint’, approximately 1100 vehicle owners have submitted complaints to Hyundai requesting to have the paint fixed on their cars.

However, owners of cars with other colours built as recently as 2019 have also presented their Hyundai models with similar peeling problems.

While some cases have only experienced paint chipping off in the size of a 50c coin, others have seen large sheets come off the doors, tailgate and other panels.

It follows a similar premature paint peeling issue with Toyota models reported by Drive in July 2022.

Drive asked Hyundai Australia whether it was working on a solution.

“Yes, Hyundai is making a continual effort to rectify the issue in as many cases as possible, and have covered a number of vehicle claims, including many beyond the term of the vehicle’s paint warranty period as a gesture of goodwill and support to our customers,” a spokesperson for the company told Drive.

“We continue to evaluate paint claims as they are submitted, and endeavour to provide satisfactory resolutions for our customers.

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“We encourage customers to contact Hyundai Customer Care or their local Hyundai dealer in order for us to review the details of their case and the issue with their particular vehicle. The Hyundai Customer Care number is 1800 186 306.

“In the case of most vehicles with this kind of issue, the warranty is three years. However, Hyundai reviews cases individually and if deemed appropriate, repairs the customer’s vehicle free of charge,” the Hyundai Australia spokesperson said.

Drive understands there are several criteria considered by Hyundai Australia in assessing each case, including vehicle ownership and other factors that may have contributed to the peeling.

In regards to expectations of how long the product should last, under Australian Consumer Law, any vehicle purchased from 2011 onwards must be of “acceptable quality” – including how it looks.

One owner told Drive her 2015 Hyundai i20 hatchback had been into ‘panel beater’ workshops to have the paint repaired four times between 2018 and 2021.

Rather than having the entire car repainted, each area was painted in isolation on those four separate occasions. In 2022, the unrepaired panels also began to suffer from peeling paint – however, it’s believed Hyundai declined to proceed with any additional repairs.

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Some owners who claim they have been ignored by Hyundai have called for a class-action lawsuit against the car company if their demands continue to go unanswered.

It’s believed a class action has already been taken against Hyundai for peeling paint in Canada, while a Facebook group named ‘Kia and Hyundai Defective Paint Class Action Group’ has 3100 members and is seeking a similar lawsuit in the United States.

Another class-action lawsuit in the US in March 2016 alleged that “self-healing” paint used by Hyundai had caused the paint to peel off prematurely.

Drive understands Hyundai in North America extended the factory warranty to six years for owners of 2017 Elantra, Sonata, and Santa Fe models, and to five years for vehicles produced in 2018.

Ben Zachariah is an experienced writer and motoring journalist from Melbourne, having worked in the automotive industry for more than two decades. Ben began writing professionally more than 15 years ago and was previously an interstate truck driver. He completed his MBA in Finance in early 2021 and is considered an expert on classic car investment.

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