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I just purchased a 2010 Limited Escape about 2 weeks ago. Just today I noticed on both rear doors what looks like metal knockout panels toward the lower rear portion of each door. They are not easy to see but it is just ever so slightly raised and appears to be metal. Anybody have any idea what those panels are for or why they would make the rear doors with them? Thanks
 

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Could they be the clear plastic protective pieces that guard against stone chips? They were added to the Ford 500s (I had an '06) when owners complained about the paint chipping in that location and I think they are on our Escapes now.
 

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What LIEscape said. Chevy decided to cheap out on the HHR and not do the plastic cover pieces, and now they are paying the price with owner complaints about loosing paint on the lower rear wheel openings from stones flying then chipping the raised surfaces. Lots of repaints on virtually new cars.
 

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It's amazing what a little piece of clear plastic tape can protect.

A set of mudflaps/slash guards on the front wheels doesn't hurt either.
 
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