2008 Element plastic panels color match?

Someone backed into the rear quarter panel of my Element. The body shop needed to replace the plastic rear quarter panel. Honda no longerships them pre painted so the body shop needed to paint to match
the panel. The color does not totally match. It is darker than the rest of the car. The body shop claims that they or any one else won't be able to perfectly match the color because plastic takes paint differently. Could this be true? The factory painted panels match. Is factory paint different than the paint bodyshops get? The insurance company is going along with the bodyshop on this.
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On Jun 11, 6:09 am, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net wrote:

Well, you have to account for some element of paint fading, especially with darker colors. You don't say how old your car is, or where you live (i.e., Arizona sun would cause more fade than, say, Wisconsin sun). Also, did they use panels from Honda, or an aftermarket supplier? That could make a difference too.
Dan D '07 Ody EX Central NJ USA
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It is a 2008 Galaxy Grey metallic. I purchased it in Oct. I live in Denver CO. It is always garaged, so I doubt there is any fading. I assume they got the panels from Honda. Honda no longer ships them pre- painted so the bodyshop had to color match the paint.
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On Jun 11, 3:51 pm, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net wrote:

You should be able to tell on the estimate (if you have a copy) as to whether or not OEM Honda panels were used. Typically, they aren't, unless you specifically ask the shop to use them. They will go aftermarket as the default, and that COULD account for the color matching issue. The other thing is, a decent shop will 'fan' the paint onto the panel next to the new one, to blend it in so that change isn't so abrupt. You might ask them to do that.
Dan D '07 Ody EX Central NJ USA
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It is a 2008 Galaxy Grey metallic. I purchased it in Oct. I live in Denver CO. It is always garaged, so I doubt there is any fading. I assume they got the panels from Honda. Honda no longer ships them pre- painted so the bodyshop had to color match the paint.
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How far off is "a shade"? They should be able to properly match the paint within at least 1 value of a pantone color chart.
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The color is much darker with not enough metallic in it. The shop has agreed to try to match it better. It should be done by tuesday.
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The color is much darker with not enough metallic in it. The shop has agreed to try to match it better. It should be done by tuesday.
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snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net wrote:

yes, but only if they want to cheap out on you. oem factory code paints are usually a great match, obviously. but they're more expensive. if they didn't use oem matched paint, that's where your problem lies.

of course - it's cheaper!
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snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net wrote in

I'll bet you used the insurance company's "recommended" bodyshop...
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Just curious, are the panels you are talking about the grey textured panels or the body color, i.e. same as hood and roof color panels?
I thought the panels were just molded textured plastic on my wifes Element which is why I liked it for her, no scuffs and dings.
If I have to paint those when damaged they will never look right since they are color molded in.
If yours are the body colored panels, there is no reason the body shop can't get the color right.
Bumper panels and many other body panels are plastic. My 3 year old Camry with a damaged plastic bumper was replaced, sprayed, and was matched perfectly.
They may not have gotten it right, but that's not your fault. Call some other body shops familiar with Elements, and ask if they can match it and see what they say. If 3 of 3 say they can't, then there might be an issue. But if 2 of 3 say they can, I would suspect a poor quality match.

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They are the color panels that are the same color as the car in the EX model. I thought they were color molded as well and they factory ones on the Element might be but they no longer supply them in different colors as of this year so they have to be color matched. I contacted several other body shops and they say as you do, that they is no reason it can't be a perfect color match. The body shop has agreed to try to match it again and repaint it.

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Thanks,
I see from the Honda website that the 08 Element EX quarter panels are "body color" not the molded plastic, gray & blue color the older ones like my wife's 05 had. I can understand why Honda doesn't supply these painted as they are like any other body panel that could be painted to match as they did at the factory. That said, there is absolutely no reason the body shop should not be able to match the panel to you vehicle. It's not like it's a 10 year old vehicle (from a paint fade standpoint) and even then with the new color matching techniques they get amazingly close. The base primer color would need to be correct to get a good match so that might be part of their problem. Sounds like you're on the right track with them getting it done right.
Best of luck, don't settle for a poor match, that's their job, and that's what you're paying insurance premiums for.

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