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Is it 'normal' to find a scratch on my just delivered 2016 Honda Civic?

"Normal" is a subjective question, but delivery can take its toll on a new car finish, and it's not always noticed prior to purchase. Here's what to do if it happens to you.

Why is it possible for a surface scratch or ding to occur on a newly delivered 2016 Honda Civic?
A dealership transfer abrasion clear coat blemish, surface scratch, or small ding. does happen from time to time and here’s what to do about it. No worries!

In a recent round of discussion on a Honda Civic owners forum, members tossed the ball around a bit, as to the frequency of a slight scratch, clear coat blemish, unseen ding, or seemingly failing seat leather when taking delivery of a new car. No new car owner wishes to discover a flaw the day after purchasing or leasing a new car or truck.

I can’t say that it’s ever happened to me, yet. But then again, I’m getting older and tend to block out past unpleasantries. New 10th gen Civic owners ask if scratches on delivery are “normal.”

Yes, the best selling Honda in recent years can come off the transfer flawed

But, I must to tell you, regardless of brand, it’s darn rare. And when it does happen, the dealership with little exception will remedy the problem. Facts are facts: Depending on where you live in the U.S., that shiny new 2016 Honda Civic travels hundreds, sometimes thousands of miles from its point of manufacture to you -- and generally on an open car transport. Read my latest 2017 Honda drive experience here.

Birds, rocks, chains binders and boneheads

Much can happen to a car transitioning from the assembly line to the dealership lot or showroom, on a train, and then a car transport. Birds, rocks and boneheads to name a few, with the occasional loading or unloading mishap. Infact, vehicles transferred by rail to a port of entry have been known to arrive missing a part or two. But generally, most cars arrive in stellar condition, are then detailed, spot serviced, and released for sale.

By the time your next new car arrives at the dealership, it’s been transferred no fewer than once, and sometimes multiple times, depending on your location. If you do discover a finish or mechanical flaw in the first day or two of ownership; that can’t be remedied with some light detailing, report it to the dealership.

Assuming that you haven't just driven across country in a sand or snow storm, drop in on your Honda shop, and bring the flaw to your sales associate or general manager -- they will most likely oblige your request.


Colm MacDonncha (not verified)    August 29, 2016 - 5:08PM

We bought a new Kia Sportage last year and on our first trip to the supermarket I spotted a door ding on the side of the car on our return from the shop. A hooligan in a 2000 silver passat had swung into the car park beside us just as we were going into the shop and I just knew that he had banged the door of his car off ours when he parked. I went back to the dealer the next day and he was very sympathetic,asked me to bring in the car the following week, and fixed it free of charge. I'll buy more cars off these guys. That's decent customer service!

Bob Plantz (not verified)    September 1, 2016 - 12:15AM

My story goes back nearly 40 years, so things may have changed. I discovered a small dent right in the middle of the hood of my brand new 1978 VW Scirocco. The dealer agreed to repair it, but that was just the beginning of the bad dream. (Not quite a nightmare.) One of the things I learned is that white is one of the most difficult colors to match. The first problem is that VW had a bad batch of white paint. So a second repaint was done. The paint still didn't quite match. I have a color vision deficiency, so colors look different to me. Fortunately, the body shop manager was also color blind, so he understood. The ended up mixing some paint special for my car. Normal vision people couldn't see it, but I could still see a very slight difference. I think the main problem is that body shop painting differs from factory painting. I will say that my 2005 blue Prius has had a couple of minor body mishaps, and I don't see the color differences. But I would think twice about painting over factory paint unless there is a real dent. It looks like your scratch is on the bumper, which will probably get scratched fairly soon anyway. On the other hand, a slight color mismatch on the bumper is much less obvious.