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Hairline Marks on New Honda

I bought a 2012 Honda Civic in July of this year, and it only had 2 miles on it. After purchasing the car, I took it for a car wash one week later, and after the wash, I noticed that there were hairline scratches throughout the vehicle. I alerted the car wash and an attendant told that the scratches on my vehicle occur typically when a car has been sitting in the sun for a long time or on older vehicles. I informed the attendant that I just bought the car; however, I am not aware of how long the car was on the lot of the dealership. Afterwards, I contacted the dealership and was told to bring the car in for an inspection. The service man inspected the car and arranged for it be waxed. The waxing did not resolve the problem. Later, I discovered paint chipping around the bumper, which Honda repaired, and there isalso rust, putty that was painted over, and discoloration on the front hood of the vehicle. Consequently, I surmise that the paint is defective; however,honda is only willing to repair the rust, putty, and discoloration but not the scractes. The Honda representative indicated that the scratches are normal wear on a Black vehicle, and the sales manager at the dealership reinforced the statement by pointing to other new vehicles with the same scratches. I am livid because I am paying for a car that has scratches throughout and other issues. I am in desperate need of advice. I would appreciate any assistance you can provide.

Have you contacted American Honda about it? Body putty indicates that the car body may have been repaired. It’s hard to say from this distance. Your choice of words (putty) is what makes me think of body damage.

I’m with JT on this. Manufacturers do NOT use putty. Something is wrong here.

Did you notice the scratches when you took delivery of the car? This sounds odd to me. I’d be pretty upset myself if I’d bought a new car that CAME with paint defects. I’m guessing the dealership buffed the car with rubbing compound in an effort to get rid of the scratches. If they’re still there after a buff, than they’re deeper than I wold expect in a new car. It sort of sounds like everyone’s trying to wash their hands of this problem, and are hoping you’ll just go away. I just went out and looked at a Black two year old Chevy Equinox owned by an engineer here at work, and I see no scratches like you report.

I have a black car, from Honda. It doesn’t have scratches like you describe, and it’s an '07.

That it has rust and body putty on it indicates it was damaged before you bought it. That is unacceptable. At this point, I would be demanding a replacement car. You paid full price for a new, unblemished car, and didn’t get one.

Reminds me of an amc worker commenting on why all the fenders rusted on their cars. He said the unpainted fenders were stored in an area with a leaky roof, the water would pool on the fender, start to rust, then they would just paint them over and send them to the dealers. Hoping things are better but who knows.

Cars sometime get damaged in transit. Maybe this dealer received a load of cars in which this happened.
By Honda representative do you mean someone from the regional office? If so, and this person denied any further responsibility, then you need to escalate this to the national headquarters and bypass the zone rep if that’s who you were dealing with.

As others said, body putty means it was damaged goods at some point. As to scratches, that could also be due to someone being a bit careless during the cleanup procedures.

Regarding outside influences on paint, many years ago a good friend of mine finished fixing up a '64 Ford Fairlane 2 DR HT as a gift for his daughter. It was stunning to look at with a gorgeous shade of blue, custom wheels, new upholstery, and so on. On his vacation, he and his wife drove the Fairlane to CA to present it to the daughter and got caught in a nasty sandstorm while crossing the CA desert.
The blowing sand ruined almost every inch of that beautiful paint.

Point being, whose to say a load of dealer cars did not get subjected to something like that.

And there’s also the possibility that the car wash did this. The attendant will not 'fess up to this.

If your Honda was made in America or Canada, it is possible that the paint did not have time to cure. It should not have gone through a car wash for 90 days. It is also possible that the car was wrecked on a previous test drive, was repainted and that paint has not had time to cure.

Your sales contract probably has a clause in it that protects the dealer from recourse by you for any damage done in transit or previous test drives.

Did you purchase this car from a Honda dealership, and was it represented to be a “new car”? New cars may have a patch up or two made during the manufacturing process, but usually don’t have auto body filler (putty) used. Mabye ask the dealership is this car has had any autobody repair work done before you purchased it.

If on the other hand it is actually a new car and just had a minor patch up job done at the factory, maybe – consider this as a word to the wise, if you value your time – maybe you’ll have to live with the hair line scratching. I expect a good carnuba waxing job will cure most of these ills. And I also expect one day you’ll park at Target or Walmart or a shopping mall someplace, and some inconsiderate dummy will open the door fn their 1981 Cavalier, and whack it right into the side of your nice shiny Honda. You won’t be there to complain. But you’ll notice when you come out. And then the hair line scratches will be the least of your concerns.

I had a neighbor one time, when he bought a new pickup truck, he told me he couldn’t wait for the time it got the first scratch. Because he know after that it was worry free driving!

Maybe some perspective is in order. Best of luck.

MANY new vehicles get banged up before they are sold…Assembly plants all have “repair facilities” right at the plant to take care of dings and dents and no starts and check engine lights…new cars are delivered to delivery points by rail, unloaded, stored, loaded on trucks and delivered to dealers…During this process, stuff happens…A lot boy with a dirty polishing rag can make a mess out of a black car…But body putty? Those cars are usually sold as “demonstrators” at deep discounts…If the car was damaged during assembly or transport, there should be a record of it listing the extent of the damage…

If you check the door tag on the B pillar, it would have the manufacturing date of the car and that would answer some of the mystery.
Now I am with others, putty on the car means repaired and repainted after it left the assembly line/factory. I will call the regional Honda rep and take it up. Also have the car checked by an independent auto body shop to know what was done and maybe even pay for a written statement.

Regarding the scratches, with red and black cars, the sun really does a job on the paint, and you really should wax the car once a month, especially if you live in the south. If you haven’t waxed the car once a month since you bought it, the sun might have baked the paint.

Is this your first new car or first black car?
Are you talking lines that are smaller in width than maybe spider webs lines? My brand new Challenger had these from the dealership wash, they were not terrible but I could see them and this was on a white car. The clear coat is going to show this over time, especially on a black car. The fact you ran it through a car wash was not the best way to take care of this black paint job. Car washes are of unknown care intervals for how often the debris from other vehicles gets washed out of the fibers that touch your car. You could have followed through behind a muddy truck and it just sanded your car with his mud. I don’t see this as a Honda problem. With black and great eye sight, you have to care for black differently than light colors. Proper waxes/polishes are required and very careful hand washing are necessary to keep black looking its best. That is why companies like the link below thrive:

Paint flaking, Honda fixed. You didn’t say with certainty where the putty was found. If near the repair then they may have applied some putty to fill in the flaking area, still not a great way to repair this. Discoloration or color hue being off is very common because the process in the dealership is not exactly the same as the factory so there will be a little shade miss.