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Revenge of the flies, mayfly residue marring paint on some new GM SUVS


The annual and dreaded appearance of mayflies in some parts of the country is a unwelcome tradition many buyers are forced to live with. Mayflies are especially prevalent in the Great Lakes region, but if you’re one of 2,600 2021 GMC Yukon and Chevrolet Tahoe owners, the pesky bugs can be quite destructive to your new ride.

GM recently discovered that some of their newly produced full-size SUVS were having paint issues at its plant in Arlington, Texas, with the pesky insects being considered the most likely culprit.


According to the report from Automotive News, GM didn’t notice a problem right away and had shipped roughly 100 units to dealerships with bug stains. Earlier this month, a dealer bulletin was sent by the auto giant to inform dealerships of the possible issue, after the first signs of trouble were spotted. For example, a Chevy Tahoe shipped to Pete Eischen Chevrolet in Fairview, Oklahoma, had a lot of bug goo on the hood. This forced the dealership to completely repaint the entire hood, while all the chrome accents, wheels and windows also had their fair amount of mayfly residue on them.

Being an aquatic insect for the bulk of its life, Mayflies are found near large bodies of water, and the report reveals that the SUVs in question were stored near a large lake. Mayflies have a short life span when they emerge as adults, with some species only living a mere two hours before entering the afterlife. However, several entomologists (including a family friend of ours) are not sure that mayflies are entirely to blame, with the bugs not eating much of anything in their quest to create the next generation.

GM claims that the procedure to eliminate the alleged mayfly residue is an easy but very time consuming job, with the task taking as long as two and a half hours to complete. An affected model has to first be sprayed with a special bug remover, which is then rinsed off with a power washer. The bug affected area is then polished with a foam pad before being carefully inspected for paint damage under fluorescent lighting. Areas with severe paint damage after the procedure (due to the power washer) have to be repainted by a body shop which can greatly expand the amount of time needed to resolve the issue.

Both the Yukon and Tahoe are strong sellers for GM, with the duo proving to be a very hot commodity with dealer inventory managers, especially with GM having to stop production for about two months due to COVID. Understandably, this unexpected mayfly issue couldn’t have come at a worse time for the company, and will only serve to constrain supplies of the recently launched full-size SUVs.

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