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Toyota doesn’t sell its Yaris in America anymore, despite how much enthusiasts want the GR homologation special. Yet, there are plenty of pint-sized economy cars floating around on the used market. The later versions of the Toyota Yaris were rebadged European-market Mazda2s, but still provided the same minimalist motoring experience. But unfortunately, they all have one issue owners lament.

Owners claim the Toyota Yaris wasn’t painted well

The Toyota Yaris is prone to peeling paint
2008 Toyota Yaris | Toyota

Besides the usual economy car drawbacks like build quality corner-cutting, the Toyota Yaris has few mechanical faults. However, an issue stands front and center, according to Yaris owners.

CarComplaints indicates that—by far and away—the biggest problem with the Toyota Yaris is peeling paint. Toyota Yaris drivers will likely experience clear coat peeling on the roof and hood first, then continuing to the rest of the car. Interestingly enough, many complaints seem to involve cars painted in “Caribbean Blue.”

Yaris owners have tried to return their cars to the dealerships for redress. But many are told the issue is outside the three-year warranty for damage. Paint problems seem to be less common in the third-generation Yaris, which was a Mazda2 at its core. Most complaints are relegated to the earlier model Yaris subcompact, but the issue can be seen until the car’s 2020 discontinuation.

How much does it cost to paint a car?

If you want to repaint your Yaris, the cost will depend on the color. J.D. Power says one coat of white could be a couple of hundred bucks. But once you start layering it on and adding colors, painting a Yaris may be a few thousand dollars.

You’ll probably never have to paint your Yaris for the rest of the time you own it. But you will have to reason with spending a few thousand dollars on car maintenance for a model that isn’t worth much more than that.

Is the Toyota Yaris a good car?

The Toyota Yaris has severe paint problems
2020 Toyota Yaris | Toyota

Even though the Yaris is plagued with numerous recalls, most of them aren’t mechanical in nature. Most recalls deal with incorrect load-carrying capacity labels and improperly deploying airbags.  

Otherwise, what the Yaris is known for is its outstanding fuel economy. Later models employed Mazda’s 1.5-liter four-cylinder that produced 106 horsepower and 103 pounds-feet of torque. In a four-seater not much bigger than a shoe, drivers could expect at least 40 mpg on the highway.

Cargo space is an area sacrificed, but the Yaris is a perfectly safe car. The NHTSA (National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration) gave the 2020 model year a five-star crash safety rating. Unfortunately, to owners’ grief, the NHTSA never stepped in to redress the paint problems.


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