I have a 2012 CT200h - brand new. We can all stipulate that automatic car washes that use the harsh bristle/brush method are evil and do damage to paint jobs. However, there are now newer systems that use sponge/foam-type washing methods and others that have cloth/rag/man-made-fiber type washing methods (I'm not discussing the high powered water methods because I've never tried them. Are these new types truly bad or are some people who swear we should only use hand washes for our Lexus' just being overly fretful? Have modern paint methods improved enough to mitigate any damage - especially with Lexus? One argument in favor of automated car-washes, aside form the environmental one, is that every luxury car dealer I've been in including every Lexus dealership, has an automatic car wash system to prepare their new cars to look good on the lot and to wash cars for their complementary car wash services - and a free car wash comes with every service visit as well. If all automatic car washes were truly detrimental to the paint, then it stands to reason that the high end brands like Lexus would not universally have these on the lot. And when examining this objectively (and from personal experience with a black car I owned in college, I must admit that a sponge, a cloth or any soft scrubber one uses by hand can take the sediment on a car and cause micro-scratches too. Are there any truly unbiased experts on modern paint jobs and modern automatic car washes out there who can shed some light on this?