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Now I know why the rust warranty is for 7 years

Three months prior to the 7 year rust warranty on my Impala due to expire, I had the car looked over in detail by a body shop for any developing rust so it could be fixed under warranty. No rust found. Nor could I find any.

Fast forward six months to now, three months after the warranty has expired, and damned if there isn’t a bit of rust developing along the bottom edge of the rear quarter panels along the seam with the top side of the rear bumper. Experience must have taught GM that rust starts popping up at about 7 years and 6 months, so voila, the warranty is for 7 years.

Gee, even the hamster box of a 1973 Corolla Toyota I used to have didn’t start rusting for 10 years! And I’ve kept this Impala well washed and waxed, kept in the garage at night, any road salt washed off promptly, etc. It may not be ladylike but I’m ready to pitch a hissy fit.

Think I’ll have a talk with the dealership about possible “good will warranty” on this. Worst that can happen is GM says no.

That is the sign of “good” engineering. Timing is everything. IMO, I don’t feel the car is at fault anymore then a Toyota. There is a lot that owners can do to prevent or drastically slow rust down, even in rust belts. You must maintain the car body with the same fervor you would changing the motor oil…which IMO, gets too much attention. As you have found out, body repair can be very expensive as is it is come trade-in time.
Absolutely go to customer relations of GM. The dealership will probaobly not help you as they get paid by GM for warranty work. Go to the manufacturer FIRST. I have gotten good results doing this EVERYTIME. The dealer may not even listen to you unless the manufacturer agrees to reembursed him or you after any repair.

Our family typically keep cars for 16 to 25 years. Eventually they all show some corrosion somewhere. But this is the earliest that any of our cars has ever shown any rust at all. And I keep the exterior maintained with the same care as with all previous cars. Very frustrating.

I Could Be Mistaken, But I Believe Most Car Manufacturers’ Rust/Corrosion Warranty Coverage Is For “Rust-Through” (Perforation).

Not that this helps, but rust of the nature you’re experiencing was probably only covered under the 36 month/36,000 mile bumper-to-bumper warranty.

You can still see if the dealer will work with you on correcting the surface rust and paint damage, though. It wouldn’t hurt to try.

We’ve got 3 Impalas in our family, so far. The oldest one is a 2001 that my daughter drives to high school and back every day.


Thank you CSA. Hadn’t realized that about rust warranties. Learn something new every day.

It is just the tiniest bit of rust starting. In fact, it wasn’t visible just a few weeks ago. So if I jump on this immediately I’m hoping it will keep it from becoming a problem.

Overall, I like the car and expect to drive it many years and miles more. So maintaining it well is key to making it last in good shape.

Perhaps I’m being nit-picky but it is irritating to find ANY rust at this point. Oh well.

I commend you for paying attention to your car’s condition.

It all depends on where the rust is showing. Exactly where is it ? Is it perforated through body panels, on suspension componets( normal) or surface rust where paint was scratched ? It could also be where connectors rub away paint . Most of this except complete perforation of body panels is normal. Do you live in a heavily salted area ?
@CSA is right. Only perforation is covered. Your car, like all were designed to rust eventually. YOU must take measures to prevent it fom happening earlier. No one time rust proofing either at the factory or after market will help you long term. It’s a regular maintenance item. It you crawl under your car, you should see surface rust EVERYWHERE.

Unfortunate. But conditions vary widely, no way GM could ‘time’ it.

Marnet, For What It’s Worth, Not That It Changes Anything, Warranty Coverage Begins At A Car’s “In-Service” Date (Usually The Original Owner’s Purchase Date).

Model-Year 2007 Impalas probably began being manufactured in about July/2006 and so the in-service date could not be prior to the car being built. That makes even the “oldest” 2007 Impalas less than 7 years old. Those oldest vehicles won’t celebrate 7 years until July/2013, the “youngest” ones, a year later in 2014.

Perhaps you inadvertently wrote 7 years when you meant 6 years ? Your warranty could be 7 years though, they change coverage with different model-years. The Rust-Through warranty on our newest Impalas runs 6 years/100,000 miles. Bumper-to-Bumper coverage runs 36 months/36,000 miles and Drivetrain coverage is 60 months/100,000 miles.


I wish I lived somewhere rust could be prevented. If you drive a car in the Buffalo NY area your car will get a salt bath almost every day for 5 months of the year. It even gets inside perfectly goog tail light housings with intact gaskets and it eats everything. You can’t have a car with alloy wheels here for more than6 years before it starts leaking air around the tire bead where it seals against the rim.
This is one reason I have never used synthetic oil, there is no way my cars will outlast the engines.

@CSA – It is a 2007 model I purchased Nov 11, 2006. I’d have to dig back through paperwork but I believe documentation indicated it was manufactured sometime after July 2006. I always got advance notice emailed from GM about approaching expiration of warranties and they dated them to expire based on my purchase date. So, yes, I wrote seven years of ownership in error. I’ve had it just over 6 years but have only 50,000 miles on it so far.

@dagosa – As to maintaining the exterior, I keep it washed regularly, including in the winter and especially whenever there has been any salt on the roads. I also keep it waxed. Like any car, it has picked up a few small paint chips from rocks.

This area uses some salt in the winters but not nearly like up in the “rust belt” climate zone. Some winters hardly see any salt down on the roads.

Location of the corrosion – picture the rear bumper and how it wraps around to the sides of the car. There is a seam where the top of that wrapped around portion of the rear bumper meets the bottom of the rear quater panel. It is on that bottom edge of the rear quarter panel, on both sides, along that seam where suddenly I see where paint has bubbled away and rust beginning. It is quite tiny and barely noticeable. I noticed it when filling the gas tank so took a closer look and discovered it matching on both sides.

Since someone so very kindly backed into the car in a parking lot a couple days ago and left a quite small but noticeable crease in the back bumper, guess it is off to the body shop I go to have both the rust and dent repaired along with making sure any paint chips are touched up before they can rust.

As I want to drive this car for many more years/miles it is, as you point out, important I maintain the body of the car as carefully as I do the mechanical parts. Dents and chips I expect. Rusting along seams this early irritates me highly. None of our previous cars, a mixture of Oldsmobiles and the one Toyota and some company cars Dad had that were Chevies and Fords ever showed rust until well after a dozen years with the exception of the 1973 Toyota Hamster…I mean Corolla… that began by 10 years. :slight_smile:

So right below the gas filler?

@texases – Yes, sir. However, I am careful about cleaning up any gasoline that may spill onto the car when filling the tank, as sometimes a few drops dribble out of the hose nozzle when removing it from the car. Apparently I shall need to be more vigilant about doing so!

Also, note that identical corrosion has popped along the identical seam on the other side of the car, albeit less so than below the gas cap side.

I’m going to go over the entire car in good lighting to examine all the seams and see if the same problem is anywhere else. I’ve noticed that paint is chipping off the edge of the doors, including the back doors which get very little use as I mostly place parcels in the trunk.

I don’t think it has anything to do with gas dripping, I was just trying to locate it.

Ah. Well, yes, you are correct it is that seam that runs along below the gas filler cap but on both sides of the car.

Am I correct that if it were a problem with dribbled gas that it would have affected all the paint underneath that was dribbled on and not just the bottom side of the quarter panel along the seam?

It might, but I’ve not seen paint damaged by occasional dribbled gas.

Oh well, in the greater scheme of life, this is a minor irritation, although likely to be expensive. But not a fraction of the cost to fix now as opposed to waiting for it to get worse. Guess I’m feeling grumpy over combination of the recent hassle over needing new struts and tires and wheel bearing courtesy of that road hazard I hit back in September along with some other non-car issues in life. At least glad I’ve caught it now rather than when it is worse!

This is one reason I have never used synthetic oil, there is no way my cars will outlast the engines. - See more at:

Buy different cars…My Sister lives in Pulaski NY…which averages more then twice the amount of snow Buffalo gets…and they don’t have any problem keeping cars 12-15 years. Some vehicles are just more prone to rust then others.

Next time I probably will buy a different make of car. But as my income is limited I can’t afford to replace this one for some time yet if I can keep it in good safe working order. The 1973 Corolla lasted until sold in 1989. The 1987 Olds Cierra is still being driven by my nephew. So this 2007 Impala I bought in Nov 2006 is barely broken in yet! :slight_smile: