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Excessive sun exposure seem to be a primary cause of clearcoat peeling. Other brands will also peel as well. Most of the smart cars that have clearcoat peeling have rally red panels. There was apparently a large batch of rally red panels that were not properly prepared to receive a clearcoat. I believe that smartUSA knows which cars have these panels based on their VIN code.
I would do what chieftmc has done by light sanding to remove the damaged clear coat and re-applying the clearcoat. I doubt if smartUSA will be of much assistance after all of this time.
 

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I have peeling clearcoat all over the 2009 SC I bought it this year from a friend but since I bought it, it has gotten worse. She had the front hood replaced due to the peeling. There was something about the early 2009 RED Smart Cars and their clear coat. Would be nice if Smart Car would financially take on the problem since trying to get it all repainted is way too expensive but it looks bad for real.
 

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I guess I should add myself to this thread!


This 2013 Smart Cabriolet I bought, used, has a big circular area on the rear tailgate panel where the clearcoat blistered and is peeling off. When I first looked at the car, I just assumed it was a spot where someone once had a decal or emblem glued on and thought I could probably clean it off. Only later did I realize it was the clearcoat itself coming off.


I'm guessing the best solution at this point might be to detach that whole plastic panel and have a body shop re-spray it.
 

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I have a rally red 2010 pure. the left rear quarter panel looks like pealing sunburn. Additionally, the roof on my pure is bubbling up and pealing. Unfortunately I guess you get what you pay for. At first I thought it was scotch tape peeling off of my panel. I’m going to try peeling up all that I can, sanding it down, and clearcoating it. I figure I haven’t got much to lose. Seeing as Smart has bailed out of the country I don’t suppose there’s any recourse anyway.
 

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You could replace the panel, but I'd go with the clearcoat myself. Just be aware that the rest of the clearcoat may start peeling too. And for the roof, get as much off as you can and get it wrapped. Works the best.
 

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As 'Miss Mercedes' states, while I was a Smart Manager in Oregon for 5 years, it was a very common trait. By about 2013-2014 it was no longer a problem. Smart was also VERY reluctant to replace the bad panels even while the older cars were under warranty!


We did get some good will replacements, but that did not last long :-(
 

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Hope I'm not jinxing myself, but my black '09 has had no peeling, although I do plan to get a new hood flap as it has become battered in tiny spots by flying whatsits on the freeway. (No different than any other car getting its paint chipped by flying bits on long trips to San Diego.) I do plan to remove the oversized engine air scoop that I bought from Smart Madness about 8 years ago, as the black finish on it is starting to bubble. Glad I kept the original to pop back in. So apparently it was only the red cars with clear coat peeling?
 

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My red 2013 Rally Red is peeling like an onion. Daimler stonewalls this issue in typical German fashion. I will just carry a sign in the window telling others, “This is a Daimler car.”


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

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Gashog's yellow with clear started peeling off about two years ago in year 8 of ownership. The hood was first to go and I removed it and sanded that all down to bare "yellow" and then used rattle can clear and it is fine. Not long after that, all the horizontal surfaces began to fail; the top of the fenders front and rear; the tailgate; and the front end by the grille on the fenders. The clear plastic roof in the '08 Passion got mottled and opaque and that is more of a concern as I wait for it to explode when I hit a hard bump or shut the door too hard some day. The problem is purely cosmetic so there is no "danger" to the car, but is sure is unattractive.
 

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MY yellow 08 is peeling on hook and front panels also BUT my biggest trouble happens last week the clutch actuator failed

the gear on the electric motor snapped off about 1/2 in of it i think it happened as i tried to accelerate when the trany was between gears and next thing i am in limb mode and after i stopped the car would not start well$ 1,000 later i will get the car tomorrow
 

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MY yellow 08 is peeling on hook and front panels also BUT my biggest trouble happens last week the clutch actuator failed

the gear on the electric motor snapped off about 1/2 in of it i think it happened as i tried to accelerate when the trany was between gears and next thing i am in limb mode and after i stopped the car would not start well$ 1,000 later i will get the car tomorrow
Hey Churpee, I feel your pain. I just had to have the clutch actuator replaced on my '09 and it only had 52,000 miles on it. It cost me about the same as yours did, but since I got it back, it's been driving like a champ.

My car is peeling too and I have the Rally Red color that seems to be cursed with the pox. :cry:
 

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Anybody have problems with the clearcoat peeling on their smart? I've got a 2009 red smart, solid color, and a 2008 red smart, painted, and the '09's clearcoat is peeling. I use the same soap & wax on each but only the '09 is peeling. The '09 has the red plastic, the '08 is red painted over a black plastic panel. Could the fact that the clearcoat was applied to the plastic, not paint be the cause?
I have a 2010 smartie that is doing the same thing. I will be you twenty bucks that it is the right rear fender. I read somewhere that there was a breakdown in the manufacturing process. Anyway, I cleaned it up, went over it with mineral spirits, and masked off where I didn't want sealer to go, like taillight assembly. I used a good exterior clear in a rattle can. Two coats and it looks like new. It has been 6 months and all is well. However my roof is peeling the rough vinyl coating the factory put on. It cracks and falls off. I am going to try contact vinyl on that.
 

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Anybody have problems with the clearcoat peeling on their smart? I've got a 2009 red smart, solid color, and a 2008 red smart, painted, and the '09's clearcoat is peeling. I use the same soap & wax on each but only the '09 is peeling. The '09 has the red plastic, the '08 is red painted over a black plastic panel. Could the fact that the clearcoat was applied to the plastic, not paint be the cause?
My 10 peeled like crazy. Looks like poop! I re cleared it with rattle cans and it looks great!
 
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