For what it's worth, I build musical instruments as a hobby, and there is a known issue with lacquer pooling around the guitar tuners on the headstock. I don't know if it is a similar cause here, but with regard to guitars -- if this happens, it has almost everything to do with curing. Here are some factors:
- 3 thin coats spaced 30 minutes apart, then a full nights cure, then repeat the next day. Then allow a few weeks before tightening the guitar tuners on. This allows the solvents to evaporate correctly between sprays. Applying too thick of a coat too soon will trap the solvents as the outer layer "skins." And while reducing the overall thickness of the clear would help prevent the problem, super thin clear coats aren't generally well received in the guitar world (where applicable) because they lack visual depth and have poor wear resistance.
- Tightening a guitar tuner on uncured clear will trap solvents under the nut. These trapped solvents will soften the paint or finish underneath. This will manifest as a flaking clear coat.
- In the luthier world, it's called creep. It happens to glue and clear coats. A thick glue, when squeezed together,will push out slowly over time during the drying process resulting in what is being called pooling here. This is removed before finishing, but a thick, built up clear coat will do this too. The continuous pressure on uncured clear will cause it to slowly migrate toward the outer edges and pool or bubble. The trapped solvents will then leach into the underlying finish, softening it, and making it flake off. If is unpainted natural wood, it is less likely to happen because the solvents leach into the raw wood and disperse better. The hardest part is that creep is difficult to catch because it all looks fine at first until a week or so later when the clear slowly migrates out to the edges.
The luthier community solved this problem a long time ago by applying more thin coats instead of fewer thicker coats, letting them dry between coats, and then allowing it to cure before covering up portions of it with screwed down nuts. Every so often, the issue re-emerges when a manufacturer decides to save time by changing up the process.
I am NOT saying that is what is happening to the PFs, and there are other things that can cause similar problems (like overtightening, bad lacquer chemistry, bad surface prep, etc.), but I can't help notice a similarity between these problems.