Rust underneath backseat on 2015 Corolla

I purchased a new 2015 Toyota Corolla this last June. While installing car seat covers this weekend, I lifted up the backseat and saw a good deal of rust on the hinges and bar that’s bolted to the floor. The bolts are shiny and look new. I’m waiting for a call back from the dealership, but wanted to know if this is normal or whether it has happened to anyone else. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

You might have a leak…or someone spilled a drink and it pooled there. Ever see what a painted object looks like after it’s been submerged in Coca-Cola.

Thanks for the reply MikeInNH. There isn’t any discoloration on the foam or the seat fabric, and the rust is on both of the hinges (right side and left side of backseat as well as on the bar). As far as I know, nothing has been spilled, but it could be caused by a leak? I was a little thrown off by how much rust there is and that the bolts aren’t rusted at all.

Looks like the rusty part wasn’t finished correctly. I’d ask that it either be removed, cleaned, and painted, or replaced.

What part of the country do you live in? By the seashore?

I live on the coast in far north California. I’ve had issues with rust in the past, but not so quickly. If it wasn’t finished correctly that could be a reason.

How hard would it be for them to remove the part?

I doesn’t look like it would be too hard (but honestly, I don’t know. There’s 2 bolts that I saw that look pretty east to unscrew. I can’t remember if there are welds as well). When I called the dealership to set up an appointment, I requested to look at other Corollas to see if there’s a similar issue with other cars on the lot.

I agree, ask the dealer to replace those parts.

edit: very lucky you found this before the warrantee runs out, or the seats collapsed.

Will do. Thanks everyone.

I don’t think it’s a safety issue at this point. It looks like surface rust, though I might be seeing that top part wrong. If it were an old car I’d clean it and spray rust converter on it and move on, but being so new, I agree with the others - this should not be that rusty at this stage unless something significant happened to it, and I think you’d know if a spill that big happened in your new car.

I’d want the dealership to replace it.

That is a side impact cross bar. The replacement will be unpainted, none of them are painted. You could sand and paint it.

“The replacement will be unpainted, none of them are painted”

This is on a new car… with that rate of rusting, how is it expected to last 10 years?

This is not normal and IMHO requires not only warranty repair but also further investigation. I suggest you look up the complaint protocols that came with your owner’s manual and forward photos to Toyota.


that should not be there. Have the dealer find a leak. Might not be big but its there.

That seems excessive to me for a 2015 car. The bolts are probably zinc plated so they will stand up longer to water but the other part looks pretty horrid at such a young age.

What about taking a look at few more similar 2015 models and see if they’re rusting to oblivion also?

I think someone left a window open in the rain. The foam cushion will stay damp for a week or more.

bumper to bumper repair my thought

Is it possible your car came from a dealer’s lot in the midwestmidwest? We have had a lot of rain from April through July, and a lot of flooding. Dealers send cars back and forth and your Toyota may have come from a flooded dealer’s lot.

I’m not sure the provenance/history of the vehicle. I bought it from a Toyota dealership in Eureka, CA, but I don’t know if it came directly from the manufacturer or another Toyota dealership. I haven’t heard back from the dealership yet, but that’s a good question to ask. I’m sure it sounds naive, but I would hate to think a dealership would sell a flooded car. I’ve also contacted Toyota about the problem and am waiting to hear back.

There doesn’t seem to be any water damage stains, or mold smell. The trunk are (where the spare tire is) also doesn’t appear to have any rust. Here’s a picture of the other hinge on the opposite side as well as the bar and underside of the seat.