QOTD: What’s the Worst Blank Panel You’ve Ever Seen?

We all know about blank panels (also known as knockout plugs, or blanking plugs): Those placeholder trim pieces and caps that serve as a constant reminder of all options that you were too cheap to get.

I recently took the SLK into the local Mercedes dealership for service (don’t ask), and received a loaner 2017 C300 for my efforts. I was genuinely surprised when I got in and found myself surrounded by a sea of blank panels. There was one on each door, indicating the absence of the ventilated seat option, and a bunch more on the center console.

Maybe it is just because I always buy my cars fully loaded, but I haven’t seen these on a new car for years. With flexible manufacturing and the virtually unlimited number of variations afforded by injection molding, I had assumed that blank panels were a thing of the past, especially on premium makes like Mercedes Benz.

The one on the door seemed to be particularly bothersome: How hard would it have been to make the heated seat button wide enough to fill the entire opening for vehicles without the ventilated seats? Probably not too much more than the cost of the blank panel, I would guess.


So what are the worst poverty-spec blank panels you have seen? As always, I’ll start things off with one from one my recent posts: The blank panels you got on the Chevy Corvair if you opted not to spend the $15 for backup lights, like the one above.