I am not exactly a fan of internet memes. And the Camry Dent one hasn’t quite changed my mind about them. But tonight as I was fixing a typo on the Toyota Chinook post, it suddenly jumped out at me: a Camry Dent.
I’m not sure of its origins, but there’s a whole web site devoted to Camry Dents, which appear magically on Camry rear bumper corners. Kind of like the famous crop circles. Obviously, the phenomenon is a direct result
of the poor driving skills of all Camry drivers of the huge numbers of the best selling car on the streets. The odds are greatly in its favor. Or maybe you have a better explanation.
Like John Cameron Swayze would have said, “Takes a licking and keeps on ticking!”
Makes me think of the great Seattle windshield pitting epidemic of 1954.
Also makes me think of confirmation bias, just like my impression—despite knowing otherwise—that the Subaru XV Crosstrek is available only in orange.
That windshield pitting epidemic is remarkable. A new bit of PNW history I never knew. Thanks.
Gen 2 is yellow. There are rumors of other colors but I think those might be Imprezas the owners raised and cladded themselves.
A bit late, but I just ran across an old Gus Wilson Model Garage story that referenced the pitting incident: http://www.gus-stories.org/Stories/WordDocs/1955/January%201955B.doc
Hey, neat! Your link wanted to download me a .doc; here’s the story on a web page.
Sorry Daniel, copied and pasted the wrong link on my phone. Thanks for sharing the correct one.
Reminds me of the case of the exploding distributor caps when I wen to trade school back in the early 70’s. Cars made o to school but when they went to leave the cars failed to start. Turns out someone was popping open the little window for points adjustment and delivery a little blast of ether.
I see these all of the time! It seems like they’re all this color too!
Here’s a better dent picture taken 2 minutes ago across my street. Hint the driver is in her late 60’s and awareness is questionable.
CC Effect Alert: I saw three Toyotas yesterday on my commute that were a) all in this color, and b) dented the same way on their bumper covers. Two were Camrys and one was a Corolla.
Don’t most appliance stores have a “scratch & dent” section where you can buy your appliance of choice at a substantial discount? ?
I haven’t noticed Camry dents….because there are so many Prius dents and they’re bigger! I got a big dent on my 2001 Prius, on the 2010 so far just a small one recently that I should be able to get pulled out.
Two reasons why:
1) Really poor rear vision due to the aerodynamics demanding a high rear deck and safety demanding thick C pillars and headrests.
2) Toyota’s steel bumper underneath the beautifully finished plastic cover is way too short and narrow. The photo below (not my car) makes this plain. When cars had real chrome bumpers they wrapped around and covered the corners.
From now on I won’t buy a new car that doesn’t have ultrasonic range beepers and/or a rear camera. Another level of technological complexity to make up for a basic old-fashioned deficiency: insufficient steel bumpers.
Yes it is a real thing and it is mainly due to Toyota cutting corners in the design, literally.
The biggest problem is that they normally don’t run the bumper absorber, ie Stryofoam, to the corners.
Not the best picture but that is a Camry impact bar, the steel portion, and the absorber, the Styrofoam. Note the difference in length.
Cutting corners, that’s good. Thanks for the photo.
When my friend got a used 02 Camry with minor front end damage early last summer the first thing I did when he had me look at was walk to the back and see if it had the notorious Camry dent. Surprisingly it didn’t.
There is definitely a legitimate phenomena to this though, I started paying attention to EVERY car after hearing about and reading through the blogs, but it really is a Camry with them in most cases. I see other cars with corner damage there a lot, especially in the city, but it’s always scrapes and scratches in those cases, or if there is any dent it’s the metal next to the bumper cover.
I think it’s the cover material Toyota uses, it’s flexible enough to deform, but has virtually no “material memory” like many other plastic bumpers seem to, it gets pushed in and it won’t bounce back to form.
I have a Yaris with a dent on the front, it’s the result of a parking lot hit-and-run, and of never coming to love the car and using the insurance payout (from my own insurance) to pay the car off instead of fixing it. I had planned to have a coworker’s spouse fix it for cash but that never came to be.
I experienced a similar dent on my 99 Camry LE; the car was brand new, painted in “Blue Dusk Pearl,” a unique color which nobody could figure out (“Looks gun metal gray to me…”, ..”No, its what you call blue gray…”,..”Oh, that’s pewter!”)…..anyway, I was gassing up at the corner 7-11 at 6am, it was dark and as I backed up in reverse, I gently bumped a metal pole, at like 6 mph. I didn’t even bother to get out and look, thinking “oh, that’ll just be a little scuff mark I can buff out.” When I got to work and took a look, I almost had a coronary when I saw that gentle little kiss on the pole had caused one of the dreaded Camry dents!
My explanation? It’s caused by the drivers stuck behind the many of the typical Camry ditherer/ dawdler. You know the ones, can’t merge, doesn’t indicate, sits in the inside lanes on freeways, can’t take advantage of gaps I can safely fit a truck into.
Yes, they’re not all like that, but the Camry has a greater percentage of poor drivers than most cars. My question is: what did they all drive before this piece of white goods arrived on the scene?
By me the drivers you describe seem to always be in a Kia Soul. On the phone. Laid back, way back. Like looking at the roof back. With their blinker on except when making a turn.
Volvo the north shore taxi were the worst driven cars in OZ
First step to the crusher, one hopes.
All wrong, and the illogicality of the thoughts expressed here are perturbing.
It is a mistake to think that the Camry driver need actually hit anything. This is simply a known, if esoteric, operation of man’s unconscious attitude on the temporal world. Allow me to explain.
Next time you are driving, and see, which inevitably you will, a foolish driver doing a reckless thing, you will see damage to their vehicle exactly where it would be if their sudden swing into your lane, the over-fast reverse in the carpark, the corner-cut, the too-close passing (the list is limitless) had been only millimetres different. Or if you had not taken action. I guarantee you that having had this thought put in your minds, you will now see it every single day.
Camry owners cause this identified phenomenom to trasmogrify into the realm of what scientists suggest is the paranormal, something they share, oddly enough, with BMW owners, albeit reversed. The Camryite cares so little for cars or driving or roads or perhaps even living, that the dent simply appears shortly after purchase. (The Beemite, often as not a decent individual before purchase, becomes a flagrant asswipe within minutes thereafter, the car in this case exerting the control of the mind in the opposite fashion. Clearly, as CT scans have proved, it is the mind in which the dent appears).
Science is science, folks.
This is wonderful.
A few years ago, my ’97 incurred a similar transgression while parked in an airport lot which I didn’t discover until the morning following a late night flight home. It remained for several years, while the finish on the vinyl bumper cover cracked away, revealing its yellow undercoat. I attempted unsuccessfully to cover the scars with bumper stickers, but there’s only so many of those which work before they became visually annoying.
My dilemma was resolved when another airport parker later hit the other side with an impact leaving the bumper askew but had the decency to leave a regretful note accompanied by insurance company contact information.
I think the Camry dent phenomenon is just due to the number of them on the roads. Depending upon where you live, the car of most people’s choice (or payments) is the car with the most dents.
In my neck of the woods, the Pontiac G6 is considered the bellybutton car. Everyone has one. They were very popular around here and as a consequence, there are many, many cars with minor cosmetic damage on the roads.
Even my own example has a little minor bumper rash from when my oldest ran the G6 in to the back of my Cavalier some years ago. I buffed out the paint from the Cavy, but the styrofoam underneath deformed a bit. It’s not immediately apparent, but in the right light is noticeable.
I think some posters are correct, that the steel bumper underneath the Camry’s cover is to blame. That and probably a lack of plastic or styrofoam support under the cover, also.
Most of these Camry dents can be cured with hair driers. It may take more than one.
One thing that cannot be cured with hair driers is the misspelling or misuse of “phenomenon”. It seems to some it is Greek. Singular: phenomenon, plural: phenomena.
A multitude of Camry dents that seem to be connected in some way are one phenomenon.
The hairdryer might work, you know – it might’ve shrunk my final “m” into an “n”, though admittedly, there’s a number of phenomena which might’ve effected the same, including spell-check (which I don’t have) and education (which I should have listened to).
I don’t think he was wagging his spelling-nanny finger at you. I originally used “phenomena” in my post, but a reader sent me a discreet email pointing out the error of my ways, and I fixed. But the odd thing is that was at noon on Saturday, and Wolfgang’s comment is from this morning. An odd phenomenon.
You can also pour boiling water over the area and then gently push it out from behind. I’ve always used a heat gun myself, but this can cause paint damage if one is not careful.
I’ve got the Camry dent on the back lower corner of my 1997 Civic that has been there since I bought it almost 10 years ago. It’s underneath so the hot water trick will be more difficult to accomplish w/o removing the bumper cover.
What baffles me more than this is the number of vehicles i see in general which obviously have some type of park assist system but still have parking damage to the rear, in many cases multiple vertical divots in several areas. I can’t fault my neighbor for her ‘Carolla dent’ though as I was an aural witness to the hit and run on Christmas night that caused it while it sat at the curb. (Nothing like a gift from a stranger.) Based on the sound of the impact I couldn’t believe the dent and a broken taillight was the extent of the damage. She did get it fixed after several months.
Every 1st gen Camaro at my high school had a dent, including mine.
You know, although I can’t confirm this, but by my observations, 95% of all Camrys that generation were beige, and a fair percentage of them had that same area dented on either side!
Still, I feel that that generation Camry was the most American-styles Japanese car to ever come along.
CC Effect in effect this morning heading out to the burbs…
4/5 of the white Chevy vans I see have paint chipping off the hood. No other color. Not GMC. Check it out.
I first noticed this phenomenon on a school bus (known officially as an activity van; a 1-ton dual-wheel Chevrolet chassis upfitted with a bus body) owned by my school a few years ago. After what seemed like a very short time, on a vehicle that was well cared for and never scratched up or otherwise damaged, the white paint on the hood began to recede, leaving a growing patch of gray primer.
Upon noticing this, I began to see it on many other Chevy vans, but did not think to see if it happened to their GMC brethren. I recall that I only noticed it on white ones, so perhaps they got a bad batch of paint.
My wife’s 2012 Camry doesn’t have any dents, but even though she parks in the far corner of the parking lot, it seems like I find a new scratch on it every time I look at it. Before that we had a 1999 Cavalier that was one of the nicest looking ones in the area, but even that one had a dented in driver’s door from a deer before it was handed down to her.
Didn’t know Camry dent was a thing, but now I can’t un-think it. More crazytown for me. Simply wonderful! 🙂
One car I almost always see without fail that has a scraped and dented rear passenger side door is the Toyota Matrix/Pontiac Vibe. It’s almost laughable how consistent it is.
I’d never heard of the Camry dent, but suspect I’ll see it everywhere now.
It’s sort of like the Volvos of the late 60’s and early 70’s… they seemed to come from the factory with McGovern stickers.
Around these parts, it might have had one of these.
I had a 2013 XV Crosstrek (Daniel: of course it was orange). A couple of years after I got it we had an exceptionally cold winter. One day it was -30 Celsius (-22 F) we went to the grocery store, and coming home I backed into the drive, so I did not look at the front of the car. The next day I discovered a large hole in the front bumper cover. Someone must have backed into it, even though it was orange! It seems that it lost its flexibility, so instead of a Camry dent, it shattered. I would have preferred the dent.
I think every corner of my Citroen has been hit now supermarket rash the plastic bumpers on that dont dent but the paint comes off I may do something about it or I may not
To be honest, I have never noticed the Camry Dent (possibly from being normally very pro-American vehicles in nature), but I have seen this phenomenon many times in Chrysler Mini-vans, particularly the 2000s generation. I give them (the soccer mom drivers) some slack, as it is harder to back up a minivan than a Camry.