Have used them for years and never notices and scratches in the paint....And I have looked too. I guess it is how the car wash place takes care of there equipment...Theres a newer one (built 4 yrs ago) the nearby city we frequent, and it has brushes. They have a monthly subscription service and is priced competitively compared to visiting a touchless car wash once a week. And it is fast, almost no waiting in line behind other cars with the 'assembly line' style conveyer system.
So last summer I thought I would give it a try, after watching cars, trucks and suvs pouring out of the exit. Most of those vehicles were newer and worth far more than my '07 Accord, so if it is good enough for them... so I bought one wash to try.
We went through (my wife was with me), and I was quite pleased with the speed and lots of water and soap, but a bit concerned about the supposedly 'soft' brushes. Parked the car in the sun at our next stop and turned around to glance at it as we were walking away..
My heart sank as I viewed all the fine 'scratches' down the sides and over the hood, roof and trunk. Took a lot of buffing, polishing, and a couple coats of wax to bring the paint to its former state. My wife did warn me "Are you sure about this?".
I guess all those other drivers I saw exiting that wash aren't too concerned, as long as it's clean.