Since its arrival in the West, our 2014 Infiniti Q50 has been spending its time at our El Segundo office. Recently, the 2014 Infiniti Q50 made an overdue visit for its 15,000-mile service. And when you park in the semi-enclosed service drive at the Infiniti dealership, chat with your service adviser in a private office, and then wait for a bit in the showroom with its leather chairs and tile flooring, you realize that the secret to Infiniti’s success in the U.S. market has been customer service, not product planning.

The people at AutoNation Infiniti South Bay in Torrance, California, treated us like we were family, which is pretty much what you hope for. We were offered a loaner car, valet transportation to breakfast or shopping, or a couple hours on the premises with access to doughnuts and coffee. We picked the doughnuts.

Within 2.5 hours, the Q50’s key was back in our hand, along with an invoice for $331.22. It’s interesting to see that the protocol for the 15,000-mile service includes not just the usual inspection of drivetrain and suspension, plus a tire rotation, but also a brake inspection and renewal of brake fluid. This sounds like a smart thing to us since all car owners would do well to be as aware of their brakes as their engine. After all, it’s far more likely that they’ll need full brake performance far more often than full engine performance. We also finally had the tire monitoring system reset after dismounting the snow tires last spring, and this is not a cheap service item, as it amounts to $70 for reprogramming the electronics.

No surprise that the 2014 Infiniti Q50 has picked up a door ding while in L.A., as commercial property developers here squeeze parking spaces to a minimal size in order to meet legal requirements for the number of spaces per property. Sadly, our parking neighbor on the passenger side must have been in a hurry or desperately oversize or just heedless in the usual L.A. way, as the door ding is truly hellacious.

Just how hellacious we learned at the Infiniti dealership, when we invited its body shop partner to bid on the work. The estimate comes to $1,301.90, some $1,007.60 of which is labor. The complication comes in the degree of body damage, which not only dented the door of the 2014 Infiniti Q50 but also jiggled the front quarter panel and front bumper cover out of place. Just as important, our car’s trick paint requires a three-step paint process. As a result, we’re talking about a complete disassembly of several body panels, not just magic paint-less ding repair. We’ll let you know how it all turns out.

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