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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Saw a couple of Elements at the NAIAS. Exterior panels had a lot of superficial scratches that the Honda people couldn't really explain. They say they aren't that prone to scratches and that this was basically vandalism from previous show appearances. I couldn't really scratch it with my fingernail so maybe this is so? Any owners care to comment?

JR
 

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I thought it would be worth noting that the Element brochure (just got mine in the mail) has a nice shot of the Black EX with little blurbs about the Element all over it. One of them reads, "durable, scratch-defying composite body panels." But, sounds like they ain't so defiable from what people are starting to say. I'm anxious, like you, to hear from owners who take good care of their cars rather than some demo that gets moved from town to town and looked over by thousands, ya know...
 

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I've read that the plastic quarter panels can actually be scratched with a finger nail. Can any owners out there comment? I don't have mine yet to determine whether or not that's true.
 

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Yeah, I was at the NAIAS(Auto Show) of Detroit and seen the scatches too....Ouch! :shock:
I had already ordered my Element but could have cancelled the order. I like the car so much I decided to keep the order in.
After all we had 824,000 people visit just our show. So who knows. I was told by my dealer that they caught some kids with a protractor putting scatches on the vehicles. Hopefully Honda with make them more durable soon! .....Butch.
 

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P.S. I noticed that the composite panels are different on the EX (kinda metallic) compared to the DX. The DX took on a lot more scatches. The EX material seemed more resistant.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I thought the EX panels looked tougher too. Of course the person on the floor said they were the same, but what do they know?

BTW, I wouldn't be surprised to see a more "urban" version of this vehicle with painted panels in the future. I think that is what the Studio E concept was about.

JR
 

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JR, I think your right about Honda maybe coming out with metal fenders or painted plastic fenders on some of the Element models in the future. But I do think that the dark composite panels are one of the major things that make the Element So different. 8)
I just hope Honda looks at this site and makes some definite changes in the material composition of the panels. It can be made more resistant to scatches ( as in: the trim on a Chevy Avalanche)
From the comments I heard at the Detroit Auto Show, If Honda doesn't do something, their headed for a PR nightmare. ......Butch
 

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T Mac, I hope your right about the no scratches (for all our sakes) I would like to know how those cars are going to look like at the end of the Auto show. Tell you friend I'll send 'em ticket money to go back at the end of the week :D ....Butch
 

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the type of plastic used in the fenders does not vary from a DX to an EX

I've worked on about 6 or 7 Elements since they've come out and I can say that yes, the plastic is not to difficult to scratch... but then again, keep in mind.. IT'S PLASTIC. :shock:


As you're all aware I'm sure, the plastic has a slight tecture to it and that is what does such a good job at hiding scratches ~ not so much the fact that the panels are made out of some uber-plastic (as some presenters would lead you to beleive)

~~ Nope, I don't own one... just seriously considering one after working one a number of them
 

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I looked very closely to the panels. THERE IS a difference between the two. The EX has kind of with a metallic sheen and the DX with no metallic sheen. I been told by my salesman also that there is a diff on the panels bwt the EX and DX. I wonder if it isn't just an additive in the EX panels?.......Butch
 

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P.S. At our Auto Show in Detroit I took my finger nail (stubby nails at that) and was able to leave scratches in the composite panels. I tried it on the Chevy Avalanche composite trim and COULD NOT scratch it at all with my fingernail. There wasn't even hints of the trim hiding scratches because of any texturing.
I know Honda can't make the composite panels indestructable, but I'm sure they could have made the material more scratch resistant or textured different. I guess time will tell.....Butch
 

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the sparkly stuff is just a add-in during the injection molding process ~ the plastic substrate itself is the same. They add it in as a "ooh-ahhhh" feature.... Honda corporate is wonderfully aware of how easily impressed and dazzled Americans are... geez...shiny quarters fascinate us (admit it, you stare at them too when you get one...)

~~ they could make the plastic glisten like a snow-globe and neon-kawasaki green if they wanted ~ it's just a cosmetic tweak, not structural.
 

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Dazzeling people isn't confined to just our culture. Look how silly the Japanese look trying everything American, from Michael Jackson to Britany Spears to the Greasers in American Graffiti. :lol:
Just a thought to ponder......Butch
 

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These exterior panels are a real problem ! They are coming off the trucks scratched according to a local dealer. The panels scratch easily and they haven't been shipped wrapped in plastic.

Honda has changed their documentation on the element from scratch resistant or scratch defying to ding resistant and ding defying.

Honda is supposedly going to ship them wrapped mostly in protective plastic, but, who wants a car directed at camping, surfing, and biking that is that fragile?

The Element concept was to have a durable trouble-free interior and exterior and these fenders or panels have thrown a wrench into the works.
 

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The body panels on the Element are different between the DX and the EX. The EX panels are a brighter, almost metalic, finish. The panels are scratch "resistant" not "proof." should they scratch you can buff them just like the paint.
 

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I hope your right. And nothing is scratch proof, thats not what we're saying here. I still say Honda made a boo boo with this part. I really think they can come up with a better idea. More scratch resistant body composites are out there. Seeing you work for Honda, I understand your view.
I have noticed that Honda loyalist sometimes don't want to hear about obvious flaws in their Hondas. Its almost like the "King with No Clothes" syndrome.
Honda does think out their product development before production and thats what I like, "Honda Quality". But no one is flawless "all the time". I bought the Element myself even after seeing how the panels held up because I like the overall vehicle that much. But mark my words, Honda with change this part of the car, some way, in the future models.
 

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i was at the dealer the other day to see if my car arrived (it didnt)anywhay i mentioned the scratching problem. we both went out to an element dx and with his fingernail he tried to scratch it right in front of me and it really didnt do anything to it. i also tried nothing . im not saying i couldnt keep sawing away until i did scratch it.but remember it is plastic we are dealing with and its softer than metal.
 

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Today when I checked on my order (Element will be here in 1 week) In the dealership was an Element and I DID scratch it with my stubby fingernail. And so did a friend of mine who was with me. That was the first try and was not even trying to saw away at it.
Of course we're dealing with plastic here but there are tougher auto composite materials out there. Thats all I'm saying.
Honda should have went the extra mile, since their reputation will be on the line.
 
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