100+ Voices Unhappy About Honda Clear Coat Paint Peel Defect & Honda’s Ambivalence


I normally don’t like complaining about companies or their products. Sure, all things that we purchase have issues or will have problems over time. But when it comes to expensive purchases and when there seems to be a commonality among the types of issues, I feel that there is a requirement to say something about it publicly, either to simply raise awareness or as a public service. And that is exactly what I did regarding the issue that I have with my 1998 Honda Accord and the clear coat peeling off of it. And before I put paper to pen (or fingers to keyboard in this case), I did try to get my issues resolved with Honda both via my local dealer in Walnut Creek, CA (who acknowledged that the issue my car was experiencing was not normal) as well as with Honda USA corporate (who flat out did the opposite by saying that they had no record of issues and that most likely it was due to me not taking better care of my automobile).

So, what am I talking about here? Take a look at the picture below…that is my Honda Accord in 2009 on the left and its current state now in 2011 (throughout this article, you will see pictures illustrating how much of the clear coat has eroded away on my 1998 dark green Honda Accord).


Now my car’s value has bottomed out, even though it only has 79,000 miles on it. To catch up on the history, you can read my two articles (which I seem to do annually):

I also used my Honda Customer Service experience as an example of how NOT to do customer service in my article “The DOs and DON’Ts of Customer Service in a Social Media Age“. The frustrating thing is, Honda has made an active choice not to acknowledge that they may have an issue, nor have they even tried to talk to me about my story or even ask questions. The funny thing is, this problem has happened with others around the country AND these other Honda customers have been met with the same response: “It’s your fault – the car is out of warranty – we have not heard of any issues.”

So, for this article, I’m going to let others write the content. Below, you can hear the stories and voices of 100 unhappy Honda customers. I haven’t edited these at all. Honda, if you are listening, do you now believe that there might possibly be some sort of a problem with the clear coat that was used on your dark colored autos between 1997-2009?

Honda Owner Voices are Strong and Consistent!

These are actual comments on my articles:

1) Hi my name is Mark and I have been having this problem for the past 3 years. I own a 1998 Honda Accord EX. I bought the car(Sept.2001). The clear coat started peeling on the rooftop with a small dot. Then months gone by and it spreaded all over the roof, front hood, and trunk. People been making all kinds of jokes about how my car look. I wish there was something that Honda can do about this. PS.my car has been washed and wax on a regular until this problem happened. – Mark

2) I have a green 02 Accord and it is doing the same thing. Clear coat peel on the roof between the windshield and the sunroof, and some on the trunk. It actually started flaking off below the door panel a couple years ago, but the roof and trunk damage is new. I was wondering if it was a known issue…or if there was anything that could be done for it other than a total repaint job. – Cat

3) I have the same problem with my 2003 Honda Accord LX.
The car was parked on the street, under exact same conditions as my wife’s 2004 Hyundai Elantra. Elantra has no problems, Accord looks horrible.
To add insult to injury, I had been taking my Accord to the local Honda dealership since day 1 for regular checkups and repairs. They said nothing for several years, until it got so bad that I finally asked. They blamed me for not waxing, and when I said I did wax they changed their tune and said some waxes destroy the finish. $3,000 for a paint fix that they will NOT guarantee the finish on.
– Itadaki

4) Oh my God…..if i didn’t know better I would think that it was my car. I am so embarassed to drive my car looking like that. I bought my 1998 dark Green Honda Accord certified at the Brewster Honda in Brewster New York, from the very beginning I had service issues. I wrote a letter of complaint to the Manager of Brewster Honda, and sat down with him and the service manager, I went to the Honda website and found the certified list that the service department should have gone by, and with that and the letter in hand they gave me an additional year of certified warranty..original mileage was 34,000, and 7 years after owning it it has 80,000 miles, and peeling paint…now what should I do. I put 8,000 cash down on 14,000 and paid the rest off…after 46,000miles my car looks like junk I went to the local body shop, and was told that it would cost me a fortune to have it repainted, the owner of the shop told me that the paint is defective. Now this car is worthless, and to invest upwards of 2000.00 is nuts..help me if you have any advice. – Joann

5) Same problem here, my car looks horrible! And I’ve seen a couple others in the area like it. Thanks to this defect if I try and sell the car I will take a big loss! I’ll take some pictures. – Rex

6) My 2005 Accord EX has this problem. It first started on the trunk, then the roof, and now the doors. I complained to the dealership and offered to only paint the roof. I then complained to the headquarters who says this is not a defect. WTF?!?!? I just got done dealing with the Better Business Bureau and they say they cannot help me due to my car’s age. I see so many honda’s on the road with the same problem in the same area. It’s ashame Honda is denying this problem. I’ve driven Honda ever since I could drive, and I’m never buying one again. – Ranjan

7) My car is doing the same thing. It is a 1998 Honda Accord…imagine that. I think something should be done about this. The thing is my cars older (makes no difference) but if i had a 05 i would raise cane. I wish everybody the best on this issue. – laurent

8) I have a black 02 accord. Same thing with mine. My trunk is in “bubbling” stage. Rear passeger door top coat is peeling at a steady rate. I cant believe there isn’t some kind of recall or even a class action on this deal. I look around on the roads and see SO many accords with the same problem. At first I thought it was just the black paint but i notice all colors. And I agree! I have only driven honda. They are great cars. Hope they realize at some point that all of us driving around in they’re product, with poor paint jobs, is not great advertising for them!!!! – Penny

9) I have a 1998 Accord with similar problem – first stage of clear coat breakdown with white patches spreading (hard to see in pictures due to silver color of car). Auto shop said only solution is repainting entire car which would cost around ~$2k for proper job. Auto shop said some percentage of Honda cars are experiencing the same issue but not enough for “recall”. Some blogs I have read in past have almost no success contacting Honda customer service etc. Something I read was that Honda had changed the paint/coat to be more “environmental” friendly which may have something to do with the problem – I have not found any information that
Honda has addressed the issue in newer models. So I think an NBC / 20/20 type news coverage or contacting editors consumer’s auto buyers magazines or websites might be effective.
– eva

10) I am dealing with the exact issue as above. We own 4 Honda’s (1988, 1998, 2002 and 2007) all accords except the 2007 is a civic. We already paid to have my wife’s 1998 repainted ($3K+) and my 2002 looks like a car 10 years older! I contacted Honda and got the same BS about the sun damage to darker colored Honda’s and that it was not covered, but they would have me talk to a local dealership to see what can be done (which I am pretty sure will be nothing). They also tried to convince me that it is happening with all makes of cars, however I must say I see it mostly in Honda’s. Nice try. Last, I told him that we will be shopping for another make of vehicle next time around if they are unwilling to fix it. Has anyone out there seen many Acura’s with this problem? – Patrick


11) I, too have a 1998 Honda Accord and the clear coat began to flake off about two years ago. When I confronted the dealer I was told there was nothing he could do as the car was out of warenty. While I agree michancle and electrical parts may have a failure rate I do not think the cleare coat should. I talkes with a locak auto paint shop and he told me there is a problem with the clrar coat Honda used in the 1998 and 1999 model year. They tried to cut cost and this is the result. M honda is in excellent condition otherwise and I like the car. But the paint is just an eyesore. – Joe


13) Hey all. I have the same paint issue with my 2003 dark green Accord EX. It’s only on the driver’s side, starting at the rear roof but now in front of the sunroof, on the hood and trunk. It’s really bad. I ahve never had this problem this bad on any other car. It looks like lines on the hood so it seems like a problem occurred during the spraying process during manufacturing. I did auto body work for 10 years and I know that a good paint job should not result in these issues regardless of hoe the finish is treated. I could see if a single spot had an issue due to chemicals, bird or tree stuff or something getting in there but this widespread area and only in the one section all the way over the car has to be from a manufacturing defect in my opinion. When I first went to my dealer they offered to pay half to paint it but that was just the roof and trunk. I did not do that (it was last year) and since then the hood has started to go. Has anybody tried contacting Honda of America directly about this? I will post some pictured to Flickr as you suggested. Thanks for starting this thread! – Greg

14) I have a 2002 Honda Accord V6 that looks just like this car. I am planning on contacting Honda soon. I have 1995 accord which has no such paint prooblems.
Any advise about who to contact other than the service manager.
– Mary Ann

15) Thank you for article, I thought it was just my 98 Honda, but when I saw the pictures of you 98 Accord it is peeling exactly like mine. I am embarrassed to drive it even though it runs great it looks terrible. I have no idea where to start or who to complain to…but from what I am reading on the internet Honda doesn’t seem to think it is their problem. Very frustrating. At any rate, thank you for the information. – Deborah

16) Same problem on a dark green 2003 Accord. Interestingly, the deterioration is limited to the same areas (roof, hood and trunk) but there is a clear demarcation line on all these surfaces where there is no issue at all – the clear coat is peeling only on the periphery. I talked to the factory rep and he offered the same deal. Pay for half the cost at the dealer’s body shop. Sounds like collusion (or is it called collision in the autobody biz?).
I didn’t notice the problem until after the warrenty expired, so in a way I can understand that they are not interested in paying the full price for a repair. However, it is clearly a factory defect and I agree that Honda should do everything they can to keep a loyal customer. I am not averse to looking at other brands next time if I don’t get this resolved.
I am going to contact the dealer where I originally purchased the car to see if they have had other complaints. The clear damage lines on my car look like it could have been something that was done on the lot while the peel-off plastic they use to ship vehicles was still intact, which would have protected the areas that are undamaged. Maybe they’ll be up front about it . . .who knows. I’ll post after I talk to them.
– mkmannella

17) I have the same issue with my 2003 green Accord. I think that by the VIN# there is a way to find out a date of manufacture for these cars. I wonder if something could nail down a certain time that cars with this issue were painted? – Greg

18) I have the same problem with my 2003 Honda Accord EX. It’s a dark green color and the clear coat is fading and peeling on the roof near the windshield and back window. It is also fading and peeling on the top of the trunk as well as the driver sider fender. I took my car to Honda of Leesburg, VA and they said there’s nothing they can do and that they’ve never heard of this problem. They said to contact American Honda. I asked them to speak with a regional representative and they said they would get back to me. It’s been almost 2 weeks now. If anyone has any luck with a Honda dealership or American Honda please let us know. – Faisal

19) I, too have had the same problem and almost the same car. I have an 2003 Green Accord LX. My paint began to fade in 2006 after garage kept at work for 1.5 years. (I wrote a posting about my journey) and my car is now having to be re-painted for a 4th time. One problem that I have identified is the PPG brand paint used. It seems to accelerate the “cancer,” at least in my case.
I believe my luck was that the paint started to fade within the 3 year warrenty, otherwise in 2007 when the other side began to fade they were not going to re-paint it. I bascially kicked and screamed till they painted it out of “goodwill.” I’m afraid that since your car is six years old, they may do the same song and dance of it being out of warranty and that you should have waxed your car, which someone told me. I wish you all the luck!! Be aggresive!!
– FL gal

20) I have a Honda Acord EX 2001 -same color- same car- exact same problem. Roof is starting – already about 1 1/2 feet of white and speading
trunk is beginning to go white starting on the back lid and the hood is starting with white spots. I also have the rim beginning to damage. The sides are perfect.
I was just at the Honda dealer and they sent me for a quote and told me it was FL sun. The quote is 952 dollars and it does not include the hood. The painter told me call my insurance CO and let them know the sun has vandalized my paint.
I only have a foot and a half of damage at this point so I was not going to paint it. I have been driving a Honda for 20 years- this is my third- I lemon lawed the first one and they are not an easy Co to work with but after reading your post I am going to see if they will cover it. Glad you posted!
– Karen


21) Same story with our Green ’97 Accord…getting paint estimates now…sucks. …1997 Accord bought new…”eucalyptus green” …pricing paint now…really sucks. We want to give the car to our 16 year old but it would embarrass her if not re-painted. The hood started first, moved to the roof. The car has 178,000. miles on it–and runs great–such a shame. – Mommysnofun

22) i have an 09 accord coupe and the paint near the headlight on the bumper is starting to chip/peel of. went to dealership and they said they need to repaint the whole bumper on a month old new car that is BS. i told the service manager that that would make my car lose value and he said it would not again BS. contacted honda and they said i should have noticed that at delivery. trust me i just noticed it when i washed it and it is not easily visible since it is in the inside gap betwen the side panel and teh bumper. been over 2 weeks and still waititng for sales manager to contact me he said he would get back to me in an hour. contacted honda and they said there is no recall on that model and said could nto help me didnt even want to allowe regional representative to mee twith me. – j

23) I have a 2001 Accord and the problem that I’ve been having since 2006 is that the paint on the right door panel is bubbling up, flaking off, and then rusting underneath. Only on this one panel is this happening, which makes me think that the paint job on this panel was definitely defective. I take excellent care of the car with washes and waxes, so I don’t understand why this would be happening. I was hoping to hear a positive story of someone that contacted someone from Honda corporate that was able to stand behind Honda and fix their problem. – Denise

24) My 96 Accord is in the same shape (actually, not quite as extensive, yet). Any advice on what to do about it? Aside from repainting the car, is there anything that can be done to protect the metal and retard this disintegration…and, just make it look a little better? Should I wax it? – John

25) Will upload pictures today—just got a $4500 quote for the exact same problem–2002 Honda accord in great shape other than the paint. Did you ever get any positive response anywhere on how to handle other than paying out or dumping the car? – JayR79

26) Yes, I am having the same problem with my 2003 Honda Accord Coupe. It started with the roof and is now on the sides of the car. Has Honda done a recall or are there any other legal actions that have been taken? – desniseda

27) Blue 2003 Honda Civic LX. About a month ago, the clear coat began peeling on the roof near the front and rear windows, as well as on both the hood and trunk. Within 1 month, the spots have grown like cancer, and are each almost a foot wide.
If nothing else can be done, I may just hit the spots with a quick clear coat to try to prevent the spread… the result may not be perfect, but anything would beat the peeling.

28) Same story here – 2001 Accord V6, Dark Emerald Pearl. Roof “going bad”. Spoke to dealer yesterday, said problem is across all makes with the dark green through about 2005. Service tech said nothing can be done and no assistance available due to milage (175K). Interestingly, he said they refer to it as “car skin cancer”.  – Stuart

29) This is exactly what my 1998 Civic looks like – it really is a shame!! Before this Civic, I drove a 1983 Accord – and after selling it when it was 16 yrs old, the paint wasn’t anywhere close to what this paint job looks like. All my cars are parked outside and none look like this Civic. It really is embarrassing to drive around. I will be taking pictures today and posting them to flickr with the tags you suggested. Thanks. Hopefully something will come out of this and we can get our cars repainted. – Anonymous

30) I am having the same issues with my green 03 accord despite regular washings/waxings & garage kept at work for 1.5 years. My paint began to fade around 2006 but did not get as bad as yours. I immediately took it to the dealer and demanded that they repaint it. I have had the sections painted twice and am now trying to get the SAME areas re-painted again. Apparently it is the PPG brand paint used. If you are unsatisfied from your dealer, contact American Honda because they will pay for it.
While it might be too late because your car is older, the problem should have been addressed when you first noticed the issue. It is definitely a defective issue. I even had the sales manager at a Honda dealership mention that the green and burgundy colors are prone to fading. Good luck!
After reading all the posts, I figured I would detail my journey into getting my paint re-done since many of you have not been able to. (I wrote the post above)
With my green 2003 Accord LX, I noticed in 2006 that the paint fading on the roof, trunk, and side panels. I took it to the dealership and told them that it was still under warranty. I was nice but bascially told them I would not go away unless they re-painted it. I left my car for the American Honda rep to look at. They outsourced the paint job to a local body shop that used PPG paint.
Fast forward to 2007, I noticed the horizontal sides between the window and doors beginning to fade. Again, I took it to a different dealership and that section looks brand new still today because they did NOT use PPG brand paint.
Today, in July 2009, the same sections I had painted in 2006 are fading, along with the area around the license plate and the driver side back door and the horizontal section along the window and door. I again took it to the same dealership I did in 2007 and they referred me to a body shop that uses PPG paint. I have not had to pay any money out of pocket for labor. I keep saying that Honda should be quality and I should not have to pay for their shotty paint (I had a ’96 black Honda civic before my Accord and the paint never faded! Also, I live in Florida.) The body shop took pictures this morning and is going to speak to the PPG rep. The body shop rep said that PPG should cover the entire thing…. I am currently waiting to see how things turn out….
The key to what I believe was my success was alerting the dealership to the problem when it began and still under warranty. It seems that some of you do not have that luxury because of the length of time before your car showed fading. My advice is to be persistent and not let Honda get away with this. After this experience with this car, I will be buying another brand of car!
– FL Gal


31) I also have the same problem. I have 1998 Honda Accord LX, the clear coat started peeling of the roof. It always gets worse. It is like a cancer, it keeps on spreading. Now my trunk paint started on peeling as well. The cancer has also reached the side panels. The car runs great, I just wish it does not have this problem. I took it to the local Honda dealer and they said will cost me about $3000 to get it re-painted. – Mohammedsk

32) IT IS GREAT that you got somewhere. I bought the extended warranty, they told me that paint was not covered. They refuse to do anything. I ALSO WILL NEVER BUY ANOTHER HONDA – AnnCarol51

33) I also have the same problem with the same model(98 honda accord ). i totally agree with mohammeddsk , it is like cancer n spreads fast. first paint started peeling off on the roof now its started even on the front and the back. it looks so horrible.. its really frustating me. pls help me if there is any solution. mean while i wil upload the photos on flickr. – ramya_arun

34) My 2002 Black Accord is doing the same thing…not a color problem but a cheap paint problem! – Tylene

35) We also have a dark green 1998 Accord Ex. Your pictures could be pictures of our car! It looks exactly the same. The clear coat started peeling about 5 years ago. – Julianne

36) Hello… I too am a Honda owner. I own a 2003 Honda Accord that is chipping the same way as the honda above.I am so irritated with this issue. I think that a car less than 10 yrs old should not be peeling, chipping, fading… what ever your car is doing. Mine is horrid! I keep my car up and it looks horrible to look at on the outside. I am the second owner of this Honda. I feel that there has to be a defect in the clear coat . My honda too is a green honda. Can anyone give advice as to what I do to fix it….. – Ambiek

37) I think that I’m a little out of standard timeframe for this issue, but I am having many of these same problems. I have a 1997 Accord SE and aside from very minor wear and tear over the years, the only other visual issue with the car is the fading paint. My trouble spots are on the hood, roof and trunk…much like everyone else. I can’t seem to find too much info on my year of the Accord and I’m sort of hoping that others might be able to help me determine if I belong in the same boat as the rest. I’m not too inclined to spend thousands of dollars on a paint job for a 12 year old car. – Kyle

38) I purchased a brand-new 2001 Honda Accord EX-V6 in December, 2000–it was a stunning vehicle (black) until about 1-1&half years ago. The paint began deteriorating badly beginning as a whitish color–initially, the whitish color began on the driver side back of the roof– it is now down to the gray metal. Other areas began to also have the whitish color: on top of roof near the sunroof, on the trunk, along the sides of the vehicle near the pin-striping and on the hood–pretty well, all over. I am totally ashamed to drive my car now–but, it runs great–since, I also have another vehicle, a 2006 Toyota Highlander–also bought new, I really have low mileage on my Accord–it’s around 56-57,000 miles. I’ve taken it in to the Honda dealership where I purchased it, but they never admit to any problems with defective Honda paint. I have asked around local body shops and they price anywhere between $2,500-$3,500 to paint the entire car and I simply refuse to pay their price–I have owned several cars during my life, but none of them have ever required a paint job. I am in a quandry as to what to do. But, Honda definitely needs to ‘fess up’ to all these horrific paint jobs–if nothing is done by Honda to rectify this situation, I will never purchase another Honda!!! – lindaloveless

39) I have a black 2002 Honda Accord with around 65,000 miles with the same problem-peeling on hood, top and trunk. I called my dealership, they said it was a maintenance problem. My car looks terrible and it is not that old. – CS

40) Incredible, all of us with the same unresolved clear coat issues with Honda! Mine is a black 2001 Accord EX. I’m taking it to the Honda dealer in a few days to plead my case. The car looks horrible and here in Baltimore I’ve seen a bunch in the same condition. – Jack


41) Mine is also a 2002, dark green, with 62,000 miles. My paint issue began approx. three years ago. It encompasses the hood, roof and door. My car runs great & I just had some major maintenance done since I hope to keep the car for some time. I hate driving it because it looks so bad. This is the first new car I have ever owned and the interior looks like new – what a disappointment – Carol

42) My god – I can’t believe this is still on-going. My wifes 1997 Accord has the same issue, mainly on the hood and front driver’s side panel. looks absoultely AWFUL! I can’t believe that Honda hasn’t done anything to correct this problem. – Jimlee68

43) OMG. My blk 2003 Honda accord also. I want to start a class action lawsuit. Honda would not offer to do anything and yes that includes corporate honda america. They were actually worse than the dealer. My car’s VIN # has an A at seven characters to the right as a previous poster apparently this was manufactured in Ohio about the same date. Can we all start a class action lawsuit? How do you start that? – Angela2003

44) I have the exact same problem with my green 1998 Accord EX. It started on the trunk at both corners right near the back window. Later it showed up on the roof. The hood of the car is not as bad as far as the white showing up but the hood definitely has lost its shine even though I took good care of it over the years. I was at Pathmark the other day and there were three other green Accords in the parking lot with the exact same problem! I found it most embarrassing just recently when I had to attend a funeral and all my relatives noticed how bad my car looked in the parking lot. However, I do feel the problem is sun-related as this only happens on the top surfaces of the car. The sides of my car still look brand new! – rgoshey

45) Well all. I got a final response from Honda. I wrote them a nasty-gram and sent pictures of my 2002 Accord (Black) with 45K Miles on it that looks like it has seen war time. I told them we own 4 Honda’s, one of which we already had painted (1998 Forest Green Accord, sound familiar?). I also sent a copy to Perma Plate. No response from them. Anyway, Honda called and said they are sticking to their decision to do nothing. My response was that they have defective clear coat and if they are unwilling to admit, let alone do anything about it, they are not the type of company that I would do further business with. I flat told him that we are not going to buy another Honda again. He said he would make a note of it. I said, don’t bother and hung up. Note to all out there: Unless you want to spend 4 to 5 grand in 5 years on paint job, DON’T buy a Honda. – Patrick

46) I just found this site as I was searching for a solution to the same problem, with my 1999 Accord V6. I am out of town for a few weeks, and will try to post some pics once I return, but know that you have another person who will join in a class-action suit. – Ryan

47) Dark Green 1997 Civic – exact same problem. Paint disappearing from roof and starting to go on trunk. I have called Honda about this and they say it was caused by sun. Until the last year, I always garaged car at night. Days it was parked outside, but if sun were the cause of this issue, wouldn’t every car regardless of make have the same issue? After this experience, I will never buy another Honda again. – Gordon

48) I have a 1998 Honda Accord EX V6 that shows the peeling of the paint like the ones you show in your article. I have been very tempted to replace it since it isn’t appealing. My wife never drives the car because its embarrassing to drive it. I only drive it to the park-n-ride to meet up with my vanpool. The only upside to the peeling paint is that my car hasn’t been a victim of vandalism.
I got a quote of $2700 to repaint the whole car but I think I rather spend that money on a newer car. I am definitely staying away from the Honda brand for my next car! If Honda would support particle cost of the repaint, I might reconsider them again as I like the reliability.
– Vinh

49) My Black 2004 Honda Accord has the exact same problem. Although it is not as advanced as the pictures you’ve posted, the rubbing off of the clear coat on the hood of the vehicle looks identical. Since I purchased the car brand new from the dealership–and I have read many other complaints on the internet–I called American Honda Corporation directly. When I explained the situation to them, they told me there were no recalls and there was nothing they could do about it. When I mentioned the “Good Will Program” (which is apparently some sort of “TOP SECRET” program that Honda doesn’t want us to know about) that will cover certain repairs if Honda knows there has been an issue but is unwilling to recall the vehicles, they told me my mileage (96,000) was to high to qualify for any type of assistance. I don’t understand whether I’ve driven 40,000 miles or 96,000 miles–I’m not asking them to replace a component of my vehicle; we are talking about the paint. The length of time is the same regardless of mileage, and to me, 5 years of owning a car that was purchased brand new does not justify peeling paint! I’ve taken care of my car–I haven’t left it parked under trees and there haven’t been a bunch of bird droppings on my car that have caused this (as others have suggested). It is apparent to me that this is a defect that Honda has been unwillingly to fix. I am very disappointed, and I must say that this will definitely make me think about buying another Honday (and this is my 3rd). – iwantobuyit

50) I have a 1998 Honda Accord LX 4dr sedan. I bought it new. The clear-coat on the roof started peeling several years ago. No it got so bad that driving around is absolutely embarassin, and sell it is hard. – Ed


51) My 1998 Accord has had the very same thing happen on the hood in the last few months. – Dave

52) I have a 1998 EX Accord, dark green… it’s so embarrassing to drive, especially since the car is in great shape otherwise and only has 75K miles! Yes, it’s an older vehicle I suppose but it runs just fabulously- but with the paint job as it is deteriorating, to paint it would costs as much as to sell it! – Ridgecliff

53) This is great. I have an ’05 Accord, Graphite Pearl. The clearcoat is peeling off the front bumper and, as of yesterday, the passenger 1/4 panel. The paint has also faded horribly on the area above the driver side door. I am planning on taking it to the dealership in the next few days.
Anybody else with a newer model Honda had any luck? Do I need to mention this ‘goodwill warranty’?
– codyyyy

54) I have a 2000 Accord EX that’s dark green and was garaged for the first 5 years. I’ve had to park it outside for the last 4 years, and the paint is doing the same thing on the roof. After reading all these posts, I’m worried it’s just going to spread. I’ve been thinking of getting a new paint job to fix it, but now I think I’m going to take it to my local dealership and complain. Thanks for all the feedback! – curtstratton

55) I have a black 2000 accord the was bought new and the clear coat is chipped completey off the roof, mostly off the trunk and is going down the sides. The hood is fine because we had it fixed due to an accident around 03. – Vince

56) I have a 1995 Honda Civic. My clear coat is peeling off in sheets. 6 years ago I had an accident and the hood was replaced. 2 years later the hood clear coat peeled. I went back to the repair shop and had the clear coat redone for free. Then the front fenders started to peel and now the hood clear coat is peeling off again in sheets like tissue paper. It’s a real shame. My car only has 56,000 miles on it. It must be something with the clear coat not adhering to the paint. – Nancy

57) I am yet another victim of clear coat failure. I have a 1998 dark green Civic DX. I am taken aback by how many people have had this same issue. I thought it was something I had done (or not done). I bought the car from a used car dealer with 185K miles on it (super high, I know). The paint looked good when I first got it. Now, my poor car has “skin cancer”. The rear bumper is bubbled and mostly peeled off, the trunk is starting to go, the roof is peeling and white on one side, and the hood has cracks all over it. The doors seem fine for the most part though. My car now has over 200K on it and runs like a champ but looks like crap. – christie

58) i have a 2003 black accord and the roof in the last month has started to turn white in several spots. 45,000 miles – Anonymous

59) Same problem here with a 2000 Accord EX Black. Don’t even have 65,000 miles on it, and it’s in great shape, except it looks like it’s 25 years old with all the peeling paing. Just went out and took photos and will load them to the Flickr page and tag. Honda said it would be almost $5K (here in S. Florida) to paint since I’m way out of warranty. Started happening in 2006. – AKSF

60) I have the same problem with my 2003 Accord!! Talked to the dealer when it was under warranty and they blew me off saying it was a result of the Florida sun!!! I have spots on my roof, trunk, and hood- clear coat peeling off with white underneath. It’s now 6 years old and looks crappy because of the paint job. I had a 1999 black Accord and paint never did that. I plan on keeping it as long as it continues to run so am considering getting it spot painted before it starts rusting. – othoqueen12


61) I have the same issue with my 2002 Honda Accord. I have been in contact with Honda on this issue and are not willing to assist me. If you have any solutions, let me know. – Barbara

62) Wow! So hard to believe we are all having the same issue and nothing is being done! I love everything about my black 2002 Accord SE, but the paint situation is so frustrating! My car looks so awful and embarrassing on the outside, but it runs beautifully and the inside is perfect. Spending $3000 on a new paint job just seems like a waste. If I’m going to drop 3k it will be towards a new car. I would have no reason to even consider a new car if it weren’t for this. I love Hondas, but this just seems like a deal breaker to me. Something needs to be done or Honda is going to lose a lot of customers. – xtina019

63) I have 1997 hond accord green color and is doing same thing. My roof top color iand trunk color is also fading. Actually I was looking for good painting shop and I found this link to read. Now I know for sure that it is honda motor color quality or process problem. I don’t know honda dealer will accept this as their problem or not? – Peter

64) I have my 1997 Black Honda Accord LX that has paint peeled everywhere. IT seems that this happens only on the darker shades of paint of Accords of this year. My neighbor’s white accord of the same vintage still looks good. I am so embarrassed to drive my car and every day, the damage gets worse. I bought this car because I like Honda – maybe it is time to stop giving my money to them and buy other cars??? – ashleysf

65) I am having the same problem with my 2003 Honda Civic LX – blue. It is looking really bad. I can’t believe Honda will not correct this problem and so many people are having it. – KF

66) Thanks for creating this little page. I jumped on and threw some shots of my black 2001 Honda Leper (Accord) to Flickr with the tags you noted. I bought mine as certified used from a Honda dealership in 2005. Granted, I have lived in both Texas and Florida during the time I have owned it – however, the other thousands of much older cars I see on a daily basis can’t be wrong. Funny how almost every car I see with this issue is a Honda. My first car was a ’91 red Civic hatch – had it for 9 years with absolutely no issues cosmetic or mechanical. I figured I would be a Honda buyer forever based on this experience.. but no – besides the paint, which I can almost tolerate – I had to shell out $2500 a few months ago for a new transmission. I called Honda customer service and they blew off both complaints citing the car to be too old and “natural” wear and tear. I told the rep I would not be buying Honda again and she said “OK, bye.” – Mark

67) I have the same issue on our 1999 Honda Accord (green). Like many others have said…i’m annoyed honda won’t step up, won’t ever buy another honda & am confident there is an issue with the clear coat that was used. This is clearly a loss for honda as they have lost out on many future purchases….this is the only problem we’ve had w/ the car and would have bought more hondas in the future if they would have stepped up. This was my first brand new car purchase & I spent 30k for a car w/a defective paint job. The interesting thing is that I had to get a new hood, that was painted by a local body shop, months after I got the car….needless to say, there aren’t ANY issues with the paint on the hood. However, there’s issues on the roof, trunk and top portion of the sides of the car. I’ve observed this same issue on most other green and black accords and civics from around the same time period. I don’t notice this on other cars….This problem started with our car at least 4-5 years ago, so our warranty was expired. When I called Honda (local dealership where I bought the car and 800#), they of course did nothing. My husband says he will continue to drive this car to and from work in an effort to provide bad publicity for Honda…. – Williamstick

68) Same crap on our end. My wife and I leased a 2008 Honda Accord LX and last week I dropped my child’s stuffed animal on the ground outside the car’s rear passenger door. When I bent over to pick it up I noticed paint chipping from the frame’s underside and side. It is an area that is about 8″ long and 2″ wide. You can see rust under one end of the chipping. This car is only 16 months old for crying out loud. We just took it in to our dealer, (which is under new ownership since June 2009) and they said, “oh well you have hit something and caused this to happen.” BS!! If we hit something to cause that type of damage I am pretty sure we would have known it and looked at it immediately to prevent further problems. They are now telling us that it will be $215 to have the area repainted or $525 to fix it the right way. What ever that means? I am headed in their to talk with the service manager directly later today since this information was relayed from my wife who is rather ticked off when trying to explain it to me. Sounds like I am in for a ride from both the dealership and Honda Corporate. Thanks for your blog. I will try and report back with my end situation. – Kman

69) I have a 1998 Honda Accord V6. It is dark purple in color. We purchased this car 6 years ago and about 6 mo ago the clear coat started to peel away on the roof and around the edge of the trunk. Since mine started doing this I know notice Honda Accords around the same year EVERWHERE that are doing this! Some are much worse than others. We took our car in to a body shop for an estamate to see how much it would cost to have it repaired. The paint guy told us that in ’98 Honda started using a clear coat with a different base and since then this has been a major problem they see time and time again. After speaking to him. I then took the time to write Honda a letter concern this probelm. I told them how much we love our Honda’s, that this is my second Honda I have personally owned, that i come from a family who drives Honda’s and planned to give this Honda to my daughter in 3 yrs and then personally purchase a new Honda. However, I would not feel comfortable purchasing a new Honda if this was going to be the out come of the paint job on Honda’s. I figured such a reputable company would not want cars looking this bad driving around as advertisment for their company. 5 days later i recieved a call from a RUDE customer service rep. and was told becasue there is no recall–they can not help me! In my letter I said I can not stand behind a company that will not stand behind their product and their customers. She said that is my opinion. I told her to “Google” Honda Accord Paint Problems and you will see that it is NOT just MY opinion but the opinion of almost ever Honda Acccord owner in or around that year of Accord. Needless to say, I will not be purchasing another Honda made vehicle. I know there is not a recall on them but maybe there SHOULD BE!!!!! – Candace

70) I have the same problem with my 99 Honda Accord, dark green. It just started. I was going to go to the dealer, but obviously that doesn’t work. I’ve had Honda’s the past 16 years and this is the only car that has done this. Must be something with the paint for green. Hope something can be done! – Carol


71) Thanks for the article and raising awareness. I have a 1997 Honda Accord 4-door LX Sedan.
Exact same problem, hood, roof and trunk. Sides look ok so far. This started happening about a year back and now a full blown problem. I had maintained the car well. Much older cars from other brands look ok. Didn’t expect this from Honda !!
I don’t really want to invest in the paint job, I asked around, it will be almost close to the residual cost of the car.
– Devondrab

72) I have a 2003 Honda Accord that I bought brand new and it’s doing the EXACT same thing. Mine’s green!! – Christie

73) I have a 2002 black Honda Accord. Same problem with the paint becoming white on the roof (in the center, just above the windshield) and areas on the trunk lid. It is washed and waxed as needed AND parked in my garage!! It is SO irritating to see this happening! Has anything new happened with you trying to get Honda to pay for a paint job? – Tylene

74) I have a 2005 Accord Ex with the same described clearcoat problems. I have been to my local Honda dealer here in South Florida, and they had my car evaluated by the regional factory service rep. He said that it appeared to be due to my neglegance. After going into detail about my regular car care, he acknowloedges partial responsibility and offered to pay $800 towards the $2900 painting estimate, which wasn’t even for the whole car, and he gave me 30 days to accept it.
I went to their painting division, where they stated that the whole car needed to painted for the job to be done right, for the total of $4300. I am infuriated because I asked the rep to reconsider his $800 offer since the price was more. No answer was ever given, and when I called the customer service number they brushed me off.
It is complete BS, and they are still using the same crappy clearcoat, and/or paint combination, and have continued to not acknowledge this problem. As another writer mentioned about getting their car repainted and Honda paying a portion, that’s great. I would be thrilled to pay even $1000 to get the factory paint redone, but not 2/3 of $4300, that’s unacceptable for a factory defect.
I have owned three different Hondas and leased 3 Hondas over the last 20+ years. I have had such great experiences with Honda until now. I will not be looking at Honda first the next time I am looking to my next vehicle purchase.
Also, I have asked other people to post pictures of their Honda autos that are manifesting the same issues as mine are.
– madmiamiman

75) I have a 2003 Accord V6, bought it new, with 107,000 miles on it. I was shocked when my transmission just went on it and cost me $2700 to have it rebuilt. I was also noticing the paint on my roof and trunk getting these gray patches. I brought it to a local auto body shop and he told me the same thing – the clear coat is defective and would cost $800 just to do the roof and trunk, which included stripping and repainting. Between my husband and I, this is the 3rd Honda we’ve owned. I had a 1992 accord that had 258,000 miles on it and had no problems – just did my usual maintenace on it. That’s why I went and bought another Accord. After reading all of this and having to deal with the transmission (which I also feel was defective – I just had it serviced in January by Honda), I’m done buying Hondas. But in the meantime, this issue has to be addressed. What about reporting this to the Better Business Bureau or a Department of Consumer Affairs. If Honda keeps hiding and claiming they have never heard about this, I think publicizing like they have done with Toyota would hurt their pockets. I am also going to go through the local dealership and see what they have to say. Just disgusted with Honda after spending money on a transmission and now this. – Joann

76) hi..recently bought a beautiful 2001 black honda accord..it had a really small amount of wear need the sunroof. in ONE month..my car looks horrible on the roof. i am very upset..the rest of the car looks brand new! i want to get it fixed but i dont have thousands of dollars to pour into it..i just bought it! its spreading so fast..it definitely didn’t look this bad a month ago. is there any way to stop it from getting worse at least? i thought i was going crazy when i looked out and noticed how bad its getting just in a few weeks. – sarabeth

77) Thanks for the blog! It’s nice to know I’m not alone. My 2003 Honda Accord also has the peeling paint on the roof, trunk and frame around the doors. I just noticed the front hood today. I purchased it in 8/03. When I called the dealer, they said it was specifically related to the green paint and how the clear coat adheres to that color. They were aware of the problem but said they couldn’t do anything about it. I’m with many of you…I’ve only ever driven a Honda Accord (1993 and now the 2003). I think I’ll be looking for something new when this one goes. – Michele

78) My 2000 Honda is BLACK and is peeling and spots are down to the metal. HONDA said my warrantee ran out and they have no reports of other cars having this problem!!!!! If anyone can get a civil action – count me in. – Jeannette

79) My 1996 honda ex v6 is also black and all the clear coat has peeled off the center of the hood, all over the roof and down the trunk. I can also touch the car with my fingernail and it scrapes right down to bare metal. Honda needs to wake up and take care of their customers. – Melanie

80) I too have a 2001 dark green Honda Accord with the clear coat cancer. I would be pleased to join a legal suit against Honda for shoddy workmanship – jells


81) hi there..my 2001 honda is peeling on the hood also..i just bought the car (used of course) and what started out as a tiny bit on the roof has ballooned into the roof looking horrible. i don’t know what to do…i realize i have to get it repainted..an expense i HADN’T counted on when buying the car! so how do i go about contacting honda to see if i can get some help paying for it..or i have heard of stories of people joining a class action lawsuit. how do i go about getting involved in something like that? thanks!

actually not the hood, i meant the roof. near the sunroof..i was thinking hood because of the pics i looked at..sorry! but i meant the roof is peeling…it seems to keep getting worse in a short period of time. – sarabeth

82) This is not just an Accord problem. I have a Civic. This is my concern. I see people posting years from 1995 (mine) all the way up to 2008 models with this same problem. You would think they would have already changed their pain coating with so many people having this problem. – Renee

83) I have a 2000 Honda Accord. Little by little the car showed white patches and now it is basically all over —- the hood – the trunk – the sides – and now even the metal is showing thru. I wrote Honda just recently (I have 55,000 miles on the car). They told me that they had no recalls of this happening and that my warranty has run out and they cannot help me !!!!! I think this is wrong. If you bought a new car and they told you that in 10 years the pain would start coming off – would you buy that car – NO WAY. – Jeannette

84) I have the same problem on my 2002 Accord. Very disappointing, and Honda won’t fix it. This is the only new car I’ve ever bought. I won’t buy Honda again, even though my 85 Accord served me for 19 years. I’ll look at Chevy’s next time. – Nancy

85) Hello there… I am looking for any ideas or help anyone may have for me. I have a 1990 Honda Accord that is having the same issues listed here and because of it’s age I thougth thats what it was. However, I just recently within a month bought a used 2001 Honda CIVIC and it is starting the same issues with the paing on the back bummper by the trunk. I bought this car used from someone that was not the original owner. Anyone have any ideas? I doubt that Honda Motor Company will do anything for me :) lol – Brittney

86) i own a 2003 burgundy honda civic lx. my first new car i ever owned. it has 66,000 miles on it. paint is starting to turn white on the trunk and rear roof area. spoke to my honda dealer and they just said “sorry its out of warranty nothing they can do.” i never realized this was such problem for so many others also. and such a wide range of years. very disappointed in my honda dealer. i have always faithfully taken my car to this dealer for all maintenance and repairs since i purchased it. – Kimvid57

87) I am the owner of a dark green 2003 Honda Accord EX. I originally thought that something had gotten on my car since I’m on the highway a lot and there has been construction during my travels. I took my car in to get it detailed and was informed that the issue was with the clear coat. I first noticed the problem on my roof and hood. Since that time…..within a month or so….I am now noticing that I’m having the same problems on my trunk and it has spread on my roof and hood. I took it to the Honda dealer today and he tried to tell me that the car had been painted. I told him that it had not be painted since I brought it. He got some gadget to try to determine that I was being untruthful. After putting the gadet on my car, he said, “No, it hasn’t been painted.” He then tried to blame it on the place of my employment. We would have had a major uproar at work if the other employees’ cars looked like mine does. He took my phone number and said that he would call me when the regional manager was in town. But from the looks of these e-mails, I guess that it will be a waste of my time even IF he should call me., – Maemagg

88) my 1999 accord looks just like the pics. Sorry Honda, I will be moving on – johngall

89) And I thought I was the only one. My 2001 Honda Accord LX has been doing the same thing as of early 2008. I’ve taken very good care of the car having all maintenance done at the dealership where I bought the car and have the records to prove it. The problem is widespread and the CUSTOMER needs to be taken into consideration. My previous car was a 1991 Honda Civic DX. I drove it for 230,000 miles and finally used it as a trade in. There were no issues with that car regarding the paint job when i traded it in. – scott

90) I have a 1999 dark green Accord. I used to wash the car every week. I moved to Florida in 2005 (from California) and within 2 years the paint looks just like the pictures posted. Now I am thinking about selling it but the paint job is a deal breaker! Reading the postings on this website, contacting Honda will be a waste of time! Any home made solutions? – Otslee HTD-trunk-2-2011

91) I have the same problem with my Honda Accord 1999 EX V6. The clear coat is peeling from all the horizontal surfaces. – Nbatman

92) I have the same problem with my Honda Accord 1999 EX V6. The clear coat is peeling from all the horizontal surfaces. Looks like Honda’s Auto industry’s days are numbered as they have started making defective cars and THEN refuse to take care of defects, just like GM and Chrysler. And US Govt. will not RESCUE Honda!! – Bawejaarun

93) I have a green 2003 Honda Accord that just had the clear coat start peeling. I also went to the dealer and had not satisfaction! Even the regional dealer said they could not do anything about it… I told them I would never buy another Honda if they could not stand by my very well cared for 2003 Accord! That didn’t seem to bother them… I have owned many cars and have never had this problem. Is there a national Honda site where we can make our voices heard? It is too bad because otherwise it has been a good car… – Hubblejx

94) I also have this problem with my 1999 honda accord. It is a plum color. The paint started peeling before i got the car paid off. I called to see if there was a recall on the paint, which there wasn’t. As of right now i have been calling around to get pricing on a paint job. I plan on keeping the car at least a couple more years because it still runs good. I am so aggravated over this that i will not buy another honda. – Chud1968

95) My 2006 Black Honda Civic has suddenly gotten small cracks all over the the hood- I found that it’s called crows feet and also a clearcoat defect. I spoke to dealer who bounced me to Honda Customer Service who bounced me back to dealer, and now I’m told I have to track down the regional rep if I want anything done since my car is out of warranty (even though it has less than 35,000 miles). I’m infuriated that this is THEIR fault and they are making me jump through hoops to do anything about it. – Melissa


97) I have the exact same problem with my 1998 Accord V6. Looks just like the picture above. We park in a garage, don’t have acid rain here in Oregon, and don’t park under trees or crapping birds. It’s the crappy paint. PLEASE DO SOMETHING HONDA. – Andyroo0516

98) My car has JUST started doing this. 1999 Dark Green Honda Accord. 101K miles. It is on the roof of the car. Right now just a white “cloud”. – Jefftb

99) same problem with our black 99 accord. it is an issue they need to address. have you made any headway? – Brj311

100) Same thing has happened to our used (green) 1998 Honda Accord. The paint and clear-coat around the top and around the windows is fading. Dummy me bought some touch up paint, thinking that would fix it. Wrong. It was in a wreck in 2006 with the front hood and trunk being replaced, so they haven’t shown any signs….yet. I cannot tell you how many similar cars I saw when we lived in Nevada, California and now Tennessee. These mistakes are all over the country, not just one area. Probably last Honda we’ll ever purchase too. Hello Honda, are you listening? – Ryoung6725

The Ball’s In Your Court, Honda!

The comments above are solely from my first post on this issue a few years ago. And I actually stopped at 100 comments. There are many more Honda owners who have voiced their displeasure on not only the issue, but on Honda’s lack of acknowledgement of it.

I used to really love Honda. I learned how to drive stick on a Honda Accord in high school. My first car was a cherry red Honda CRX Si. The first BIG purchase that my wife and I made after getting married was the 1998 Honda Accord (the one with the issue). And our first “family” car was a 2001 Honda Odyssey. Last year, when our Odyssey’s transmission finally melted down at over 100,000 miles, when we started shopping, Honda was NOT on our list I’m sorry to say.

Honda, if you care about me or any of the other voices you read in this article or even your customer loyalty, the ball is in your court to do something about it. Simply acknowledging this issue would be a great start. Fixing it would definitely save your reputation in my mind. But the way things stand right now, I’m not happy. And the 100+ voices of (ex)Honda owners in these articles show that I am not alone.

If you experienced a similar issue, be sure to join the voices and leave a comment. And, in order to raise awareness of this issue, please share on Digg, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Reddit and anywhere else you see fit. And if your Honda is experiencing similar clear coat peeling issues, be sure to upload your photos to Flickr using the tags of: HONDACCPEEL, HONDA, ACCORD, CLEAR COAT, and PEEL. See other uploaded photos here.

HTD says: Remember, customers are yours to not only gain, but lose. Think about your actions or lack thereof as you grow or shrink your user base!

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Michael Sheehan (“HighTechDad”) is an avid technologist, writer, journalist, content marketer, blogger, tech influencer, social media pundit, loving husband and father of 3 beautiful girls living in the San Francisco Bay Area. This site covers technology, consumer electronics, Parent Tech, SmartHomes, cloud computing, gadgets, software, hardware, parenting “hacks,” and other tips & tricks.

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