• Sunshine and Unicorns
  • Sunshine and Unicorns
  • Sunshine and Unicorns
  • Sunshine and Unicorns
  • Sunshine and Unicorns
sunshine & unicorns: a blog about love, learning, and life in the upper midwest

03 November 2008

my baby's got the bends - oh no

Worst Saturday Ever.

I'll cut to the chase:
I rubbed a curb on Saturday with the front passenger side wheel of my car, and now have dents/ripples in the front drivers side corner and back passenger corner around my moonroof. (Is that confusing to you? Yes, me too.)

I have a white 2008 Honda Civic EX-L Sedan with 3,800 miles on it. I don't drive like a maniac and I have no mods. I hit the curb trying to BE RESPONSIBLE: to avoid a possible accident (someone changing lanes did not see me or hear my horn). And now my car looks like a damn log fell on it. I took it to my Honda dealer, and they did not know what to do other than to suggest that I should take it to a body shop.

I then I took it to a reputable body shop and found that the work that will have to be done to repair it will cost $1300-$1500.

The Honda guys and the two estimate guys I spoke with said they'd never heard of such a thing, and couldn't fathom how this could happen on any quality, intact vehicle, just from hitting a curb as I did. Nothing else on my car was damaged in this little curb scuff, aside from a scratch on one rim and a tire I had replaced for safety's sake.

I also did some searching online. On a popular honda forum, 8th Civic, I found several other people with the same issue. All 8th generation (2006-2008) Civics, all with sunroofs and with 2 or 4 doors (EX, EX-L, and Si sedans and coupes). Sadly, I found nothing promising. Most had had similar experiences to mine (rubbed a curb, or even 'went around a corner fast'). None had any luck with Honda. Those that went the extra mile to meet with an American Honda Motors rep reported that the rep gave one of three answers:

1 - That the car is designed to flex in a 'crash' and that the person must have been driving recklessly at the time that it happened.

2 - That the person has modifications to their vehicle (i.e. racing shocks, lowering kit, etc) and that those mods are somehow what caused it to happen.

3 - That the person is lying and in fact must have set something heavy on the car, or dropped something on the car to make it do that.

The only one of those things that could POSSIBLY apply to me is the first one, and I'm not sure who deems accident avoidance to be equal to reckless driving. I believe what happened is that the car is designed to flex slightly to absorb impact in a crash. Due to the inflexible sunroof, the car tried to flex when I scuffed the curb and the sunroof wouldn't allow it. So in a sense, my own sunroof put those ripples in my car.

In the pic below, you can't see the driver's side dent well, but the arrows point out the affected areas of the car.

Got the bends

These next few pics show the dent on the front drivers side corner of the sunroof... It's a wave/ripple type of thing.

Front driver corner of roof

front driver corner of roof

Front driver side corner of roof

These next few photos show the dent that's on the passenger side, rear corner of the sunroof. This one's more of a crease. The paint hasn't cracked, but any more of a crease and I'm sure it would have.

rear passenger corner of roof

rear passenger corner of roof

rear passenger corner of roof


Questions I was asked at the dealer and at the body shop included:

-Was the car parked outside at night/had anyone been jumping on the car? (Lots of vandalism around apparently due to halloween.) Answer is no.

-Had anything fallen on the car? Again, no.

-Had I tried to carry something too heavy on the roof of my car? No, I am a freak about my car's condition - I won't even set a beverage down on the roof!!

One guy even asked if I'd flown up in the air and hit my head on the roof when I scuffed the curb. (Seriously, if I was able to go through the headliner (leaving no trace, mind you) and dent my roof with my own HEAD, I think I'd have more serious issues to deal with than a few ripples in my car's roof! LOL).

Across the board, everyone's in disbelief about this happening simply from a minor jolt to one wheel. The fact that collision center people - people who see all sorts of damage to all sorts of vehicles every day - have never heard of or seen this type of thing before is troubling to me.

The major point here, damage and anger aside, is that this was not a cheap third-rate car that I bought from some shady used-car dealer. This is a brand new highest trim-level Honda, bought and financed through a certified Honda dealership. This car had 2 miles on it when I first drove it, and only came out of the factory in June. Honda has an excellent reputation for quality and safety. I do not think Honda can or should consider excessive use to include going around a corner 'too fast' or hitting a curb at low speed. I think this is a manufacturing defect, and I'm going to take it as far as I can.

I'm sitting here with this repair quote, trying to figure out my next step. I will update when I have more to share.

My goal is to make it public information in hopes of encountering others who've had this problem. If you have, please leave a comment with as little or as much info as you want to give.