@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.