Honda Paint & Clear Coat Peeling

Honda Clear Coat and Paint Problems
Honda wants you to think this is "normal oxidation." Really.

Accord, Civic and Odyssey owners are wondering why their cars look like clunkers.

The best way to describe Honda's problems with paint? Well it looks like someone taped steel wool to a monkey's feet and then your covered your car in bananas. Or, alternatively, you could just describe it as giant swatches of paint that are peeling away from your car all the way down to the metal.

What Honda's Paint Issue Looks Like

Honda owners claim that the problem begins as a few patches of slight discoloration, where the paint appears lighter or duller than the surrounding area. Eventually the clear coat starts to pull back from the car and chip the paint. This continues to grow into a full-fledged peel-a-thon until your car's paint job starts to resemble swiss cheese.

According to owner testimonials the most susceptible areas are the hood, fenders, around the gas tank, the trunk and the roof.

What many Honda dealer's are shrugging off as "normal wear and tear" is actually a widespread trend. There's even an entire Flickr group highlighting the problem. The 1998 Honda Accord alone has almost 100 complaints about clear coat peeling on

Honda Peeling Paint and Clearcoat Honda Peeling Paint and Clearcoat Honda Peeling Paint and Clearcoat Honda Peeling Paint and Clearcoat

Honda Models with Paint Issues

Honda has a long history of paint issues, but the models that have accumulated the most significant complaint totals are the Accord, Civic, and Odyssey. The bulk of complaints come from 1998-2006, but given time to oxidize we expect later model year complaint totals to rise.

Model Years Affected Worst
Accord 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 1998
Civic 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 2006
CR-V 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2013 2008
Element 2007, 2008, 2007, 2008, 2008
Fit 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 2009
Odyssey 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 2003
Pilot 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 2011
Ridgeline 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 2008

What Causes This Peeling Paint Problem

While there's no definitive answer to what causes this problem, it is often attributed to the quality of primer and paint that Honda used. Many are calling it a shortcut to save money, others are just saying the paint doesn't hold up well to the conditions.

Most complaints come from those with a dark paint job, with colors like blue, black and red.

What is Honda Doing to Fix it?

There was a paint warranty extension for Dark Blue 2003-2005 Odyssey's back in May of 2008. Honda issued a TSB to its dealers who were told to inspect the minivan forpeeling, flaking or, in some cases on the hood and the roof, paint "coming off in sheets". Odyssey owners were sent the following note from Honda:

On certain 2003–05 Odysseys with dark blue (midnight blue pearl) paint, the paint could peel off from one or more horizontal (flat) surfaces and in recessed areas around the glass or the sliding doors. Because of this possible problem, the following areas of exterior paint on your vehicle are now covered for 7 years from its original purchase or lease date, with no mileage limit:

  • Roof (including under the tailgate, under the top edge of the sliding doors, and the top panel on the sliding doors)
  • Hood
  • Top half of the left and right quarter panels
  • Top half of the front fenders

If the paint on your vehicle is peeling or flaking in one or more of the areas listed above, take it to any Honda dealer for an inspection. If the dealer confirms the paint problem, and your vehicle is within the warranty time limit, they will arrange to have ALL possibly affected areas on your vehicle repainted, free of charge.

The warranty extension inexplicably does not cover the bumpers, front doors, bottom half of quarter panels, or the bottom half of fenders.

So what about those who don't own a 03-05 Odyssey, but are still having paint problems? Many are reporting bringing their car to an authorized dealer and being told it's normal wear and tear on the vehicle. Don't fall for it! While most modern OEM paint jobs, especially with darker colors like red, tend to oxidize and fade faster, this oxidation can typically be buffed and polished up. The flaking or paint "coming off in sheets", as Honda described it, is a much bigger problem. Here's the 4 top excuses given by Honda dealers:

  • Keep the car out of the sun
  • Don't wash the car as often
  • Don't use harsh waxes
  • Avoid Bird Poop

5 Most Complained About Hondas for Paint Issues

Year Model Top Complaint Total
1998 Accord Clearcoat is Peeling From Hood, Roof, And/Or Trunk » 120
2006 Civic Clearcoat and Paint Problems » 113
2007 Civic Paint is Peeling and Cracking » 107
2002 Accord Paint is Peeling and Cracking » 66
2004 Accord Clearcoat Started to Peel » 64

Actions You Can Take

This step is crucial, don't just complain on forums! The sites below will actively manage your complaints and turn them into useful statistics. Both and the CAS will report dangerous trends to the authorities and are often called upon by law firms for help with Class Action lawsuits. Make sure to file your complaint on all three sites, we can't stress that enough.

  1. Step 1: File Your Complaint at is a free site dedicated to uncovering problem trends and informing owners about potential issues with their cars. Major class action law firms use this data when researching cases. Add a Complaint

  2. Step 2: Notify the Center for Auto Safety

    The Center for Auto Safety (CAS) is a pro-consumer organization that researches auto safety issues & often compels the US government to do the right thing through lobbying & lawsuits. Notify the CAS

  3. Step 3: Report a Safety Concern to NHTSA

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is the US agency with the authority to conduct vehicle defect investigations & force recalls. Their focus is on safety-related issues. Report to NHTSA

Share Your Complaint

Add Your Complaint

Join thousands of frustrated car owners who have voiced their opinion and notified other consumers of issues at

Honda Consumer Affairs Department

1919 Torrance Blvd. Torrance CA 90501-2746