Elantra Rocker Panel Dent(s)

I waxed our new 2006 Elantra GLS yesterday for the first time since the purchase in late December. And, I was chagrined to find "crease dents"
beneath the rocker panel on both sides of the car. Each of the "V-type" dents are perpendicular to the rocker seam, and almost alinged with the center rust-proofing plug, just slightly forward of B pillar. The one on the driver's side is more prevalent (and deep) than the one on the passenger's side. There is no evidence of paint damage on either rocker panel.
Obviously, I was sincerely disappointed and concerned on how this could have happened. One starts to "brainstorm" on the possibilities, such as "did the dealer mess up placing the car on the lift, or . . .?" In my case, the car has only been to the dealer once after delivery due to a fraying power steering drive belt, which they changed from underneath the car. Thus, my obsession with the possible hydraulic lift theory.
Well, guess what? I just returned from the dealer and inspected 1 used 2005 Elantra GLS and 6 new 2006 Elantra GLS's on the lot (only 1 hatchback 5 speed BTW) - and, ALL have the same dent in each rocker panel! Big surprise . . . my guess is the jig that punches the holes for the rustproofing must fit "a bit too tightly against the rocker" during the manufacturing process.
Certanly, I'm releived that it seems to be normal, but also a bit befuddled. This is only specific to the current generation Elantra, and not any other of the Hyundai sedan products, as I checked them all this evening - even including the previous generation Accent and Sonata.
So, I guess we Elantra owners have dents supplied as standard equipment with our new car. That's one way of eliminating the anxiety of getting your first parking lot ding! At least you almost have to stand on your head to notice them.
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Don Allen wrote:

Are you sure that isn't an intentional crease stamped in to stiffen that part of the panel? I really doubt that this many cars would have the exact same "defect".
Matt
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Matt,
Good question . . . I posted essentially the same query on Edmonds.com Elantra forum, and it appears that it's only present on the 2005 and 2006 Elantra. One poster who owns a 2004 Elantra GT doesn't have them. And, another who owns a 2005 does! Since I bought our Elantra from a dealer in a Chicago suburb (Downers Grove), and we live 150 miles south of there, it doesn't appear to be specific to only one dealer's stock. The dealer I checked yesterday is our "local" dealer and all of his 2005 and 2006 inventory had the "dents."
I'm going to ask the dealer this week about this. It will be interesting to see what they say.
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Don Allen wrote:

I personally believe from what you have described that this is a design element, not an accidental dent. Then again, I have a Sonata and haven't looked closely at an Elantra. However, true defects, other than design defects, are never this uniformly occuring over such a wide range of samples.
Matt
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Matt,
They're not design elements as the dent severity varies from sample to sample. And, from some answers to my query on Edmonds.com, it seems that only the '05 and '06 Elantras have them. The '04 and earlier model years do not.
OTOH, I don't think it's an accidental dent either. In each case, the dent lines up with the center-most plastic plug on the underneath side of the rocker panel. These plugs are similar to those that Zeibart uses to cover holes drilled for rustproofing. I wonder if the '04 and earlier Elantra's had these? And, I also wonder if this is done at port, rather than at the factory.
Since the position of the dent, not the severity, is exactly in the same location on the right and left side rocker, it leads me to believe it's caused by some tool jig, possibly used for punching (or, drilling) the holes.
I just find it hard to believe that Hyundai would deliver cars this way, so I will be very interested to see what the local dealer says this week.
Don
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Don Allen wrote:

Is the paint damaged? I can't believe they would be punching holes in the sheet metal after the car was painted. If the paint isn't damaged, what is the problem? Are these dents easily visible?
Matt
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Matt,
No -- absolutely no paint damage. No problem other than the realization that the dents are present - certainly more mental OCD-based than anything!
And, yes, the dents are easily visible when you look underneath the rocker panel. Plus, if you view the rocker from the side from a 10 foot distance or so, you can see the edge of the dent as well.
It's no major problem of course, but I'm just wondering "why"? Maybe Hyundaitech will have an answer?
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No answer from me. I could provide some speculation, but you and Matt have done a good job with that already.
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