It could be the reason for seeing so many models with rear damage.
A lot of things are noticeable on the road. Most of the time a golden GT-R stands out, or a chrome AMG. Even the occasional DeLorean is known to turn a few heads. Other people, however, notice different things, the little things. People notice the delicate curves of the BMW i8 or the aggressive angles of a Murcielago. How about consistent body damage on old Camrys? It’s come to our attention that the Toyota Camry spanning most, if not all, generations is a magnet for rear bumper damage.
Dents appear on several of these cars, and usually in the same form as an area about 2-3 inches in diameter on either the left or right edge of the rear bumper. It’s curious how consistent this is, and there are a couple factors worth looking into in order to help explain this anomaly. First off, this can happen any number of ways. Perhaps the driver had a hard time parking, or maybe they hit another driver while in reverse. Maybe they stopped too suddenly or maybe when changing to different lanes they couldn’t see if there was another car next to them. There’s also the possibility that Camry owners are notoriously bad drivers. For now, we’re going to count that last point as circumstantial.
The most obvious reason is the simple fact that in a new Camry, using mirrors only, it is near impossible to see the bumper or even the rear of the car. You could use the rear-view, but that area, because of the C-pillars, is confined to the rear window. Thanks to the good people at Redwood City Toyota in California, we were able to check this out first hand. Visibility stops at the passenger doors, and that includes moving your head about. It just doesn’t seem possible aside from sticking your head out the window to see. At least on an Accord or Civic, even on a Corolla, there is at least a rear fender that juts out a bit from the wheel well. The Camry doesn’t appear to have this. At least not that we could see.
The design of the car suggests the natural flow or curve of the body wraps around the rear instead of going straight back. It might not be the reason for the rear damage, but a massive blind spot is a good indicator. Another blind spot comes from inside of the new Camry. Looking through the back passenger windows over your shoulder doesn’t yield a whole lot of visibility, mainly because the angle of the door has an incline towards the C-pillar. There’s another piece of evidence that could be a factor, and that’s a tiny piece of trim that sits at the corner of most Camry’s C-pillars. This is not on most Civics, Accords or Corollas. While it might not be on every generation of Camry it’s definitely present on most.
Now, this is mostly speculation of course and depending on the driver’s height, very circumstantial. We suggest you put this theory to the test. Try stepping inside of a new Camry and driving it around the block, especially if you’re about to buy one. Otherwise, look forward to joining the rear bumper damage club. Shout out to CarBuzz reader “White” for providing the rear damage photos and bringing this curious mystery to our attention.