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2007 Hyundai Santa Fe - Rust Issues

I have a 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe in Powder White Pearl. About 6-9 months after I got it, I noticed orange specks, appearing to be rust, all over the vehicle, but concentrated on the lower half of the car and behind tires on rear bumpers.

I had it looked at by Hyundai service and they concluded it was “Rail Dust” (iron particles from the railroad that transported it) and would remove it with a special mud treatment, which they did. This removed about 98% of the specks.

In the meantime, I noticed that there is ACTUAL rust (bubbling) around the rear window at the bottom, and peeling paint inside the right front headlight (more rust?). I brought that to their attention and they have agreed to fix it.

Meanwhile, the orange spots all over my car are BACK, worse than before. It is less than 1 year since they “fixed” it with the mud treatment.

What is most concerning to me is I had a car accident during that year which required the right front door be re-painted. It looked beautiful for a couple months (only area without the orange flecks), but now even that area has little orange flecks, which look like they are “bleeding through” the new paint.

Am I elibible for Lemon Law with these issues? I’m skeptical that re-painting will even fix it since it did not for the door that was re-painted.

Any and all advice are welcome!

Also, I have looked up close at other 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe’s in Pearl White in parking lots and they, too, have the orance specks! Could it be a problem with the paint color?

This definitely looks like you have a lemon; car manufacturers have to provide strong rust warranties, and your normal warranty would have to cover paint flaking off and surface rust.

Rust bubbling through is not a matter of paint color, but a mattter of poor surface preparation.

I am assuming you do not live next door to a steel mill, chemical plant or paper mill.

Hyundai is very sensitive about its image, unlike GM years ago with their poor paint. Your stae’s lemon laws should back you up.

GM was not that bad about poor paint. They repainted my mom Suburban under warranty by grinding it to the metal and then putting down proper coats of primer, paint, top coat. The repaint looked fine after 12 years in salty New England.

Repainting can be okay if you have a decent shop do it.

Lemon laws vary by state (the JD Power website can get you to yours). Whether yours meets your state’s criteria I don’t know, but it definitely suonds like Hyundae has a paint problem.

Keep records and start to go through the process described in your owner’s manual for complaints. Sincere best.

I doubt if the Lemon Law will apply since the requirements are numerous, but check your state/area. The rust bubbling around the windows would really wig me out and that is a problem.

But the “rail dust” is not an issue that anyone can/will get away from. The orange specks are in fact bits of metal that have become airborne and have melted into the paint. Clay bars normally do not get them out but buffing does. And once you get rid of them, they will be back! You see, they may have gotten on the body by trains, but may also get onto the body from a factory close by or something like that. BUT, HERE IS WHY YOU WILL NEVER BE RID OF IT. This metal that melts into the paint also comes off the disc brake pads and whenever you apply the brakes, bingo, the pads wear, therefore bits of metal comes off. I’m sure you have alloy rims on this car and with the wide openings between the spokes it is easier for the dust to come out both sides of the rim and land on the body. Also, it is more visible to see on your powder white pearl. I’m very sure my dark blue Taurus has it but I cannot see it. So with that said, as far as the "rail dust " issue the only problem with the paint is the color.

My husband and I have the same paint/rust spots issue with our 07 Hyundai Santa Fe in powder white pearl. My husband brought it to my attention the other day and I didn’t believe him, since we’ve only had the suv for less than 2 years brand new. I was outside yesterday hoping that it was something that could be washed out, unfortunetly not.
We’re planning on calling Sante Fe to get this fixed, since it should still be under warrenty.
After reading your post, I’m nervous the spots are always going to come back. It really stinks because I love the Santa Fe and would hate to get rid of it.
I’d love to hear if you qualify for the lemon law with the issues you have. How frustrating! Too bad we didn’t know this ahead of time.