FARMINGDALE, Long Island (WABC) --Long Island residents who park their cars near some stations of the nation's busiest commuter railroad are now claiming the paint on their cars is being ruined by LIRR trains.
They're blaming what mechanics called brake debris.
"There's little rust specks all throughout the car," said Ron Buglione, a Farmingdale resident.
Buglione says he first noticed it at the car wash. The finish of his new Infinity SUV was becoming speckled and rough.
"It feels like a cheese grater like sand paper, there's little specks and grooves in the paint," Buglione said.
It is black, and difficult to see in the dark, but Buglione says it covers most of the car.
He says it wasn't until he went to his local body shop that he got an explanation. His apartment parking lot backs up onto the Ronkonkoma branch of the Long Island Rail Road. Less than 30 feet from the Farmingdale train station.
Buglione insists there's a connection, that the specks are shards of hot metal from passing commuter trains.
"The wheels on the metallic rails, little metal shards develop and they settle on the car and it melts down into the paint, it exposes the metallic surface and it rusts," Buglione said.
Buglione later learned that other residents have similar damage. Friday night, a railroad spokesman told Eyewitness News, "We don't believe LIRR train operations are the cause of the problems, but we are investigating it."
"How would you feel? You know, 2016," Buglione said.
"You think the railroad is liable don't you," Eyewitness News Reporter N.J. Burkett said.
"Yes, absolutely," Buglione said.
Buglione insists it's no coincidence. He says the damage is estimated at more than $5,000.
Now, he and his neighbors are considering legal action.