Just joined the Rear-Ended Clarity Club

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by Rob_v1, Sep 11, 2019.

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  1. Rob_v1

    Rob_v1 Member

    Hit at a stoplight. Very slight visible damage; just a roughly round, quarter-sized tear in the plastic bumper cover, centered at the middle of the concave area. A question: how far beneath this cover is the bumper beam? If you push at this part of the bumper with your fingers, can you detect the bumper beam? I'm wondering if the beam has been compromised, as I suspect. Taking it for an estimate this morning, but doubt they'll remove the plastic bumper to investigate. How to tell if the beam is bent?
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  3. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    That will require an automotive MRI scan. Don’t let them upsell you a MRI with contrast or PET (positron emission tomography) scan. Also pass on the message therapy, CBD oil, aroma therapy and acupuncture if it’s a California dealer. Acupuncture on the high voltage areas has had mixed results so far.

    Seriously though, for most dealers in the hinterlands, the Clarity is so rare that I bet they will have to pull up theparts diagrams. You might ask if they will print that page out for you or at least show it to you.
    Let us know what you find out and how involved the repair will be. (Patchable or replacement)
    And could we have a before and after picture of the booboo. Thanks.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019
  4. victor_2019

    victor_2019 Active Member

    take your car to the dealer, not to a body shop.

    they need to check not only the structure but also the electronics. you have the battery in the rear and possibly other electronics of the powertrain, and the regular body shop won't have a clue about those.
  5. AlAl

    AlAl Active Member

    If you're going to do that, make sure the dealer actually has a body shop. Most of them just sublet the work to the nearby ProFirst body shop, since they don't usually run their own collision center.

    PS: Most body shops have the ability to perform proper repairs, believe it or not ;)
  6. victor_2019

    victor_2019 Active Member

    it's not the body work that's the problem here, it's all the electronics and battery.

    even if they outsource the actual body work it's fine, as long as they verify the state of the battery and electronics.
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  8. A quarter-size tear in a bumper cover isn't going to affect the electronics and battery.
    craze1cars likes this.
  9. victor_2019

    victor_2019 Active Member

    if that's all there is.
    you don't know if the structure is affected or not until you take the bumper off. sometimes there can be more damage than just what is visible on the outside.

    if insurance is paying for it, why go to the cheapest place/take a chance?
  10. Teslawannabe

    Teslawannabe Active Member

    Here is a photo of the rear bumper beam with the cover off from a Clarity owner installing a hitch. Might give you some insight. Sorry about the mishap. SmartSelect_20190911-105525_Gallery.jpeg

    Sent from my SM-N960U using Inside EVs mobile app
    Domenick and KentuckyKen like this.
  11. TomL

    TomL Active Member

    Exactly right. Go to the dealer because who knows what lurks underneath. In June my wife bounced off the garage door frame into the back of our Clarity which only had 882 miles on it. The Honda dealer in Eau Claire, WI was very cooperative in using Honda parts (which took about two weeks to get) and seemed to really care about doing a good job to bring it back to showroom condition. Mine was the second Clarity they had seen, but they were far better equipped to handle the repair compared to the two body shops "preferred" by my insurance company. In the end, it took almost four weeks and cost over $14,000.
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  13. craze1cars

    craze1cars Well-Known Member

    This one sounds quite minor. Anybody can handle a rear bumper repair on a Clarity. Dealer not needed. Focus on finding a good quality painter for minor fender benders like this.
  14. Rob_v1

    Rob_v1 Member

    Thanks for the inputs. Without removing the outer bumper, it's not possible to see the bumper beam beneath. The Outer bumper is slightly deformed, and will be replaced. The black plastic fairing piece beneath is also damaged, and must be replaced. I still suspect the beam is also damaged. I wish I had another Clarity to compare the geometry of the trunk closure area with! Just looks a little suspiciously curved.
  15. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member

    Post a photo and I or someone faster than me will post the same view of their Clarity.
    KentuckyKen likes this.
  16. Rob_v1

    Rob_v1 Member

    The plastic lining panel at the trunk opening must be removed to see these areas. This is easily done by pulling it from the bottom edge.

    Left Trunk Edge1.JPG Left Trunk Edge2.JPG Right Trunk Edge.JPG
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  17. Sandroad

    Sandroad Well-Known Member Subscriber

    So far, this thread is very entertaining. I've a lot of empathy for the OP, going through the hit and the followup: bummer X2. The entertaining part is the FULL range of suggestions for what to do. If my car ever gets hit, I'll be sure not to ask for advice here ;)
  18. petteyg359

    petteyg359 Well-Known Member

    I advise that you follow every contradictory piece of advice simultaneously.
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  19. craze1cars

    craze1cars Well-Known Member

    I assessed damaged cars for a living for 25 years. Don’t see any visible damage in those photos, but also extremely hard to assess based on those photos. Need photos of car with bumper removed to do proper assessment.

    It still seems that this is a minor deal, and damage is likely contained to the bumper itself. Maybe damage to the inner beam, by that’s pretty irrelevant because it’s just a bolted on part. Shop will replace it if needed, and won’t if it doesn’t. The best way to assess it is to remove the bumper cover from the car. Just let the shop do that after it goes in for repairs. If you’re that curious what the inner damage looks like ask them to save parts and send you photos after teardown...they’re gonna have to do that for the insurance company anyway.
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019
  20. ryd994

    ryd994 Active Member

    Beam/rail is part of structure and can't be replaced. They are made of 980MPa high strength steels, slightly weaker than the passenger cage, which is made of 1500MPa high strength steels. Because you want them to yield and absorb enegy in very a severe crash.

    From your description, I don't think beam is damaged. Maybe slightly deformed, but nowhere bad. Can't say for sure though. Ask shop stuff, is the structure compromised, even slightly. If any, I wouldn't keep the car, because there is no way to return to original strength. Sell it at low price and make diminished value claims to recover the value loss.

    Impact bar (bumper bar) must be replaced if there is any bend. It is a safety structure designed to absorb energy and sacrifice itself. (so that rail and beam won't be damaged in small collisions) It's easily replaceable. There will be no change in terms of safety if replaced correctly.

    Different from other cars, Clarity uses glassfiber impact bars, instead of steel. Glassfiber is lighter and stronger, but it will not yield. If it cracks, it breaks. If it bents, it breaks. You won't feel small cracks without visual, but that small crack basically means the bar is over. It has done it's job, and it won't take any more force.

    BTW, I'm also in the club. Have degree in materials engineering, AMA.
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2019
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  21. Rob_v1

    Rob_v1 Member

    Very interesting. Thanks!
  22. Steven B

    Steven B Active Member

    So we know how much the Clarity repair cost you. How much was the wife's medical bills after she bounced around like this?
  23. craze1cars

    craze1cars Well-Known Member

    If you really want to get deep into the weeds? Here ya go for full diagrams of the many different steels and aluminum all bonded together to form this car, and some explained repair procedures and recommendations: https://techinfo.honda.com/rjanisis/pubs/web/ABN05388.PDF

    More confusion also is now caused due to ryd994 using some slightly different part terminology than I did. Everything he says is correct. However in my mind the “beam” is the impact bar inside the bumper, yes probably fiber/plastic like most modern cars and a simple bolt on part. If damaged just bolt a new one on. The High Strength steel component component he refers to I would simply call a rear frame rail. If bent I concur it must be cut out and replaced...cannot be straightened. And the part you actually exposed and posted a photo of inside your trunk I would call a rear body panel. This is NOT the frame rail, is not high strength steel, simple mild steel, and is repairable if bent. Or can be cut off and replaced if damaged badly.

    In the end I believe you have a single alternative, as does most everyone involved in an accident with any modern car: Owners MUST trust a quality body shop to do whatever your car needs, in conjunction with a good insurance company. If you do not have this trust in your shop or your insurance company, you have chosen the wrong shop and or insurance company. This stuff has become enormously complex...just the metallurgy and plastic aspects alone have exponentially advanced over the past decade with modern cars. It is far too complex for owners to try to even assess damage alone. The car simply needs professional disassembly, and assessment, and research, to know extent of damage and best repair alternatives. “Dealer” is not required...but it is an alternative. Truth is an awful lot of dealers these days don’t have body shops and are shutting them down in favor of subleting body work out to high quality independent shops who are fully capable and better equipped specialists than the dealers sometimes can be. But Every dealer, shop, and geographical location is different.

    Hopefully damage is as minor as I expect it probably is.
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2019
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