Hyundai sign(l), Woman talking(c), White Hyundai with peeling paint(r)

r.classen/Shutterstock @nursekels2008/Tiktok (Licensed)

‘What do I do?’: Woman spends $48,000 on a Hyundai. Then this happens before 50,000 miles

’50k for Hyundai is criminal.’


Jack Alban


A Hyundai owner says her vehicle’s paint started peeling when she hit 50,000 miles, and she’s at a loss about what to do.

Kels (@nursekels2008) uploaded a viral TikTok showing off the unsightly splotches, accruing 1.1 million views on the clip. Several commenters referenced that this seems to be a problem with white Hyundai models; however, some non-Hyundai drivers mentioned having similar issues with their own whips.

“When you worked so hard to get a vehicle you really wanted and this happens….. WHAT DO I DO???” she asks in a text overlay of the video, which begins with a picture of a white Hyundai Palisade. Kels’ TikTok soon transitions to her walking up behind her vehicle while narrating what went wrong with the whip she was so excited to purchase.

“Spent $48,000 on a car, and at 50,000 miles, my paint started peeling,” she says in the clip, showing off portions of the Palisade’s hood. There are clear portions of the car where the white paint has apparently faded off, and she goes on to state that this isn’t the only part of the Hyundai that was fading, either.

“Everywhere,” she says, directing her camera lens to the car’s roof. “Been dealing with Hyundai for a year. Called corporate and everything and the dealership, and nobody’s helping me out here. We’ve gone round and round and round, guys. What do I do? Help me out here,” she asks at the end of the clip.

Is the issue covered by Hyundai’s warranty?

Hyundai offers a competitive 100,000 10-year limited powertrain warranty on its vehicles that covers major components such as the engine, drive axle, and transmission. If you’re driving a hybrid or electric Hyundai, that warranty is extended to the car’s massive (and expensive) batteries as well. The brand calls the package “America’s best warranty”—but, like many other standard warranties auto manufacturers offer on their cars, paint isn’t covered.

While there are companies that offer paint warranties, and your auto sales associate may’ve even tried selling one to you while you were signing on the dotted line for your vehicle, most folks would’ve likely imagined that their car’s paint wouldn’t start peeling just a few years after owning it.

Why would the paint peeling so soon?

According to the automotive painting company McCarthy Collisions, premature paint peeling could be a result of a manufacturer using “poor quality automotive paint or clear coat.” The business went on to explain, “If your car was painted with low-quality materials or if the clear coat was not applied properly, the paint may start to peel off sooner than it should.”

Apparently, Kels isn’t the only new Hyundai buyer to have experienced paint peeling shortly after owning their new car. Another customer mentioned that they too had a similar issue with their 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe.

If you’re interested in preserving the longevity of your cars’ paint job, there are measures you can take in order to ensure it stays chip-free, such as ceramic coating, which costs anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000 depending on the size and complexity of your vehicle. However, there are others on car forums who say they were quoted much lower prices for the same procedure.

@nursekels2008 #hyundai #paintpeel #beenoverayear #help #expensivepos #crying ♬ original sound – Kels

Numerous TikTokers who responded to Kels’ videos brought up problems that they’ve either experienced or heard of with Hyundai’s paint processes. Some even referenced a paint recall for some white models, which just so happens to be the same color that both this viewer and Kels had: “Hyundai has a recall on white paint for several models. I just got my hood and top repainted and a free rental while they did it. I have a Santa Fe.”

Someone else recommended a way they thought Kels could rectify her problem. “Park in front of dealership with a sign,” they suggested. “2 days tops.”

Another viewer on the application wrote that they work as a car painter and named two models that they see in for work quite frequently: Hyundais and Hondas with white paint jobs. “I work at a body shop,” the wrote. “We do quite a bit of work for Hyundai and Honda’s white paint. It’s a very common issue.”

One person said that anyone who buys cars that aren’t Toyotas are pretty much just throwing their money down the drain. “Buy Toyota or nothing,” they stated. However, there was another commenter who remarked that the same thing happened with their RAV4: “I have a Toyota RAV4 that this happened to. Toyota had a recall and they completely repainted my RAV4 as well as a free rental while my RAV4 was repainted. Go Toyota!”

Another said the fact that Hyundai gives its vehicles such a long-term factory warranty indicates that the manufacturer produces poor-quality cars. “When are people going to learn that Seemingly great value and a massive factory warranty are signs of a poorly built vehicle. Buy Toyota,” they opined.

The Daily Dot has reached out to Hyundai via email and Kels via TikTok comment for further information.

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