The bugs were a royal pain in the butt (Probably) since Karl Benz patented the first car in 1885. For more than 2,600 future 2021 Chevy Tahoe and GMC Yukon owners, these pesky bugs are a problem even before they take delivery of full-size SUVs. That’s because General Motors had no other way but to delay shipping from large family carriers to dealerships after discovering paint problems.
It seems the culprit is the mayfly, an aquatic insect that typically lives a day or two, although some species live as short as two hours or as long as two weeks. Mayfly tailings affected SUVs built at GM’s Arlington, Texas plant, causing even more problems for dealers already struggling with low inventory levels due to the production shutdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
According to Automotive News, GM didn’t notice the problem right away and shipped less than 100 vehicles to dealerships with bug spots. Earlier this month, a newsletter to dealers was sent out by GM advising them of possible insect residue, which affected some SUVs more than others. For example, a Chevy Tahoe shipped to Pete Eischen Chevrolet in Fairview, Oklahoma had a lot of bug spray on the hood, which prompted the dealership to repaint the entire hood. Not only that, but the wheels, windows and chrome accents on the body also had some fleeting residue.
All of those SUVs with bug spots were stored near a lake, which is usually where large populations of mayflies can be found, according to entomologist Molly Keck. That being said, she’s not entirely sure the Mayflies are to blame for the paint problems, as they “don’t really stain.” She added that “when they emerge from the lake, they don’t feed. So there is nothing in their guts for them to excrete.
GM says it takes up to two and a half hours of warranty repair time per vehicle to get rid of the suspected ephemeral residue, according to the dealer’s bulletin. The procedure is fairly straightforward as dealerships need to use insect remover and then a pressure washer before buffing with a foam pad and inspecting the affected area under fluorescent lighting.
Completely redesigned Chevy Tahoe and GMC Yukon hot products and soar (voluntary pun) dealerships, but with GM shutting down production for about two months, inventory is tight. It goes without saying that dealerships are eager to get their hands on as many vehicles as possible, so this ephemeral problem hampering the deployment of full-size SUVs could not have come at a worse time.