The usage of high-strength multiphase steels for structural components and reinforcement parts is inevitable for modern car-body manufacture in reaching lightweight design as well as increasing passive safety. Depending on their microstructure these steels show differing damage mechanisms and a complex forming behavior. In this contribution, damage initiation, evolution and final material failure are characterized for commercially produced complex-phase (CP) and dual-phase (DP) steels in a strength range between 600 and 1000 MPa. Based on these investigations CP steels with their homogeneous microstructure are characterized as damage tolerant and hence less edge-crack sensitive than DP steels. Furthermore, as final fracture takes place after a combination of ductile damage evolution and local shear band localization in ferrite grains at a characteristic thickness strain, a correlation between the microstructure and a damage induced reduction of local formability is drawn.