Wow, what you describe is almost exactly the same as mine with the exception that the left band on mine is a lighter shade. This tells me that it is related to some kind of manufacturing flaw. Which means Panasonic is already aware of the issue. I am negatively speculating here and i hope i am wrong, but something tells me they will probably try to deny a repair/replace.Have you contacted them to try and resolve the issue? If not do you plan to?