I presently own a Plymouth Voyager During the spring of...

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Jan 01, 1994

Dear Tom and Ray:

I presently own a 1990 Plymouth Voyager. During the spring of 1991, I noticed what appeared to be tiny orange rust-like blemishes all over the body. I took it to a local dealership and after a quick inspection, it was determined that during transportation of my vehicle by railroad car, metallic dust particles from the flat car's wheels had settled on the Voyager's finish, to resurface many months later as rust. After a quick buff-out job by the dealership, the condition disappeared. Unfortunately, it came back. And now the dealership and a Chrysler factory representative have concluded that it was never rail dust, but a condition brought on by metallic brakes, which cannot be prevented. Now, I find this extremely hard to buy. I can't imagine how brake dust can escape from behind full wheel covers, to be attracted to the entire body like a magnet! And what about the regular washing and waxing I did? Would that not keep this "dust" from sticking to the car's finish. A couple of body shop people I talked to have never heard of this happening. They suggest that perhaps something settled on the finish when it was first applied. Have you guys ever heard of this problem? Is there a solution?

TOM: These guys should get a Nobel Prize for Fiction, Fred. I mean, the railroad car story is a beaut. But then the surprise ending where it turns out to be brake dust instead of train dust! Positively inspired!

RAY: Brake dust my foot! Something obviously contaminated the car's finish when it was first painted. That means Chrysler is responsible for it, and they owe you a new paint job. It's that simple.

TOM: They don't want to do it, because it's going to cost them a lot of money to strip the whole van and repaint it. But you have to insist.

RAY: Call Chryslers toll-free customer assistance number at 1-800-992-1997. Tell them you've been given this ridiculous line of baloney and you're not going to stand for it.

TOM: Chrysler is on a roll these days. And I'm sure someone in Detroit won't want to jeopardize their new found reputation for quality by letting stories of shoddy customer treatment like this leak out. Let us know how you do, Fred.

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