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Old 2nd October 2009, 23:26   #1
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Default Optra Magnum Defective Paint (Chevrolet)

Dear Friends,

So I moved here from the US, having owned 4 previous Chevys (and my fav ofcourse is my beloved Honda S2000!), I think I'm fairly good judge on what constitutes a decent car! Being a gear head and having purchased 5 new cars, I think I know what new cars should be like. Anyway, having moved to Mumbai and being sick of getting into the taxis, I finally bit the bullet and bought myself a new Chevy Optra Magnum 1.6 LT - a good size car for India I think. Anyway, after going through the hassel of actually buying a car here - like paying for it ALL in advance before seeing the car, etc... I got my BLACK Optra LT. I think its a nice GM car (er... Dawooooo! Don't worry we won't tell anyone).

Man, after deliery, I was in for a severe dissapointment. From the outside the Optra looked great - alloy wheels, clear coated deep black paint made the car have this great look! The next day when I oped the bonnet to check out the engine bay (I was going over the manual) I soon discovered that the paint job was half-As* as far as I'm concerned. The underside of the bonnet and entire engine bay and the rear deck lid was not painted at all!! It was just left with the base coat - off-white in color. At first I thought the car had been repainted due to damage or something. Upon closer inspection (with GM persons and Dealer persons present), it was actually that the vehicle came from the Factory that way! Can you imagine that GM is now essentially ommiting an entire layer of PAINT from the car!!! Can you believe it? I'm in shock!

This gives COST CUTTING a new low in todays economy. They must be saving like 100 rupees in paint supplies! Karl Sym deserves a corporate bonus for thinking of this cost saving feature on all future GM models. I think even the Nano is not this cheap with its paint!

BUYERS beware, after a lot of heart-ache and heated conversations with GM corporate (Bombay office), they told me its a NEW PROCESS and that all NEW GM CARS will now have an identical paint process! Can you believe it? This is B.S. as far as I'm concerned. All new GM cars, if they have this paint process will suffer from early rusting and lower resale values cuz people will also think they have been repainted or accident vehicles. If GM wants to increase their market share, this was definitely one of the dumbest moves! To all those out there buying new Cheverolet cars of any make, please make sure you CHECK THE PAINT before DELIVERY - especially the underside of the front bonnet and the dear deck lid.

Please see the pics enclosed.

If anyone knows any other means by which I can try to remedy my situation please let me know. I like the car, just hate the paint job. I live in Mumbai and the salty air here is conducive to rust. Any lesser paint in sensative areas like the engine bay may induce premature rusting. Thats my true concern.

cheers from Mumbai.

Super S2000.....
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Old 3rd October 2009, 09:27   #2
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Great car to buy. Is there anything more in your ownership experience other than the paint issue?
How does the car feel to drive? How is the interior and driving comfort? have you had a chance checked the mileage as yet.
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Old 3rd October 2009, 10:49   #3
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At the outset congratulations on your purchase. That is one hell of a fast sedan. Drive safe.

BTW, I think most of the manufacturers follow the same cost cutting method.
IMO, if it really is a bother you can have the same painted aftermarket.
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Old 3rd October 2009, 10:52   #4
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That is really ridiculous, what will they think of next ? Unless they repainted a silver car black for you
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Old 3rd October 2009, 11:14   #5
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Its the primer coat that's showing there, wont rust and all, but a coat above would have added to the protection under Mumbai conditions.
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Old 3rd October 2009, 11:48   #6
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i dont think its normal. Looks like the hood and the deck lid have been sprayed by the dealer. Get in touch with General motors management and report this.
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Old 3rd October 2009, 12:18   #7
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It appears that the underside is the white/grey undercoat, before the top colour is sprayed, and not a silver colour of another top-coat.
If so I don't find any problem. The top coat does not really act as a protection, it's merely a colour. The real protection is the undercoats.
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Old 3rd October 2009, 12:31   #8
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Hey congrats on the car!

btw you mentioned 1.6LT, but in the pics the model shown is LS!

regarding the paint job, my mom's chevy aveo U-VA has painted bonnet(underside) + the area around engine bay in the same color as the outside body! but sans the clear coat.

Anyways, I thought that they dip the whole car body in paint container! shouldn't that paint the engine bay black too!??
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Old 3rd October 2009, 23:31   #9
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Hey congrats on the car!
i also got a black optra magnum LS diesel I was also shocked seeing white paint but the sale person told me that all the cars are coming this way for past few months so nothing to worry

Originally Posted by sohail99 View Post
btw you mentioned 1.6LT, but in the pics the model shown is LS!
The car shown isn't LS also its a max model the tail lights and no fog lights are dead giveaway
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Old 4th October 2009, 21:59   #10
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Hey guys, THANKS for all your comments. Really. I think its outstanding that you all read about this and have commented on the events. Yes the car is an LS (my bad!). Yes is fast and handles great vs most cars I've driven in India. Though nothing compares to my Honda S2000, this Optra is immensly more pratical and has great torque for city driving. I love the large trunk (plenty of airport trips and dozens of bags!), leg room in the back seat and its soooo quiet. The large 15 inch wheels/tires nicely absorb all the potholes and bumps also. Oh ya, plenty of room for friends when you go out partying and pubbing.

I've driven about 1200km todate and I've gotten about 9 km per liter between city (Mumbai crazy taffic) and highway driving. I think on the Highway I should get somewhere north of 14 km/liter.

On the whole I'm overall satisfied with the car. The handling, the space, the way is rides, how quiet it is and the mechanics of it all. My main angst is that the paint issue really has left a bad taste in my mouth. I can't believe most consumers in India would settle such a lame response from a corporate house - and let them get away with it. Are there are no consumer forums which can put pressure on auto manufacturers to see right from wong - beyond profit?? What about the issues I (and dozens of others) may face in a few years due to lack of one layer of paint on the car? Such as premature rusting, lower vehicle resale values (people may think the vehicle is an accident automobile due to paint variances) and of course the asthetics between the two paint colours.

GM and other manufacturers need to stop taking consumers for granted and stop this business of assuming that they can (on a whim) simply walk over consumers. Perhaps I have a warped sense of principles, but I know that not painting an entire care for cost saving purposes is wrong. They should have at least disclosed the matter prior to the sale if they in fact knew a change in the paint process was going to take place. Like I said, I have owned many GM cars (Oldsmobile, Pontiact, Chevy Trucks, and Geo) during my upbringing in the USA - and so I hold manufacturers to a higher standard.

Regardless, I do like my Optra and am quite happy with it. Let me know what you all think of your Oprta (perhaps 2 or 3 years after purchasing it also). If any of you want to know my opinion on any other subject - like my S2000, drifting, motor cross racing or engine and car maintainance just hit me up peeps.

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Old 5th October 2009, 14:39   #11
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Black looks stunning.Does this have rear disc breaks & Automatic Climate Control(LT)?
Is there an difference in features from its Diesel sibling?
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