I showed this to the local dealer, and haggled with them. Eventually they saw it my way (after a call to SOA), and they replaced the welting under warranty. Mine had some adhesive on it, and it almost looked like corrosion. Initially the local dealer didn't want to handle it because I bought it on the other side of the state! As I mentioned above, that call caused them to rethink their position. Be sure when it's replaced, that they cut it even. Mine had sharp edges where it was cut (from the spool?). So, I took an emery board and gingerly sanded it smooth, without touching the paint. I guess the best suggestion is to keep it clean (once a week washing).