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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I noticed late last year that the underside of my hatch looked a little funny. It appeared that the seam sealer over the sheetmetal crimp was a little bit uneven, but it didn't look too bad. Now about a month ago, I noticed that it had split open, and was rusty inside.

I was busy with work and school for a few more weeks, and looked again - things got even uglier. Now it has split and cracked off the paint in one spot, and is significantly bubbled. It is also beginning to bubble the outside of the hatch. I did a quick inspection and found something like this starting on both the leading and trailing edges of the hood as well.

Now, this car is a 2014 - three years old , with 73k miles on it. I maintain it meticulously; it is driven 60-70 miles a day, but it is garage kept and well ventilated, washed and dried thoroughly once a week, and I never let road salt or dirt sit on it. No 3-year old car should be rusting at all, much less one that is cared for. I've owned 11 cars, many of them quite a bit older, and not a single one of them has rusted. It's needless to say that this is concerning. No, the hatch drain holes did not have the stickers blocking drainage.

I took it in to my dealer last Saturday, and they took some pictures to submit to Ford for warranty coverage. On Monday, Ford responded that they denied the claim, even though the rustproofing warranty is supposed to be for 5 years/unlimited miles.

I love this car, and it does everything I need it to. However, I don't want to be stuck with either a giant bill to replace panels that shouldn't have rusted, or stuck with a car that's worth nothing. This was my first venture into an American car, after 6 BMWs, several Toyotas, and more, and up until now I've been very happy to tell anyone how good it is. Now I'm not sure what to do.

TL;DR: car is too young to be this rusty, and Ford denied coverage.

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Hooooly F how? Are you extra hard on your hatch somehow? Mine looks literally NOTHING like that so maybe Ford denied it for excess wear and tear or something? That's bad. I'd cry. Try another dealership maybe?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Not even a little bit. I rarely carry stuff, and when I do it's never sticking out. Literally, this has not been abused even a little.

It's also not rubbing on the bumper - everything fits like it should.

:(
 

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Not even a little bit. I rarely carry stuff, and when I do it's never sticking out. Literally, this has not been abused even a little.

It's also not rubbing on the bumper - everything fits like it should.

:(
Buy it used or new? If new, and you didn't abuse it at all, then it must have been a serious paint mistake on that lip of the hatch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Buy it used or new? If new, and you didn't abuse it at all, then it must have been a serious paint mistake on that lip of the hatch.
I bought it used, one year old. There was no damage, and no sign of any issues or previous paintwork. This has literally split along the seam sealed crimp line, which it's doing under the hood as well. I'll get pics of that.
 

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I bought it used, one year old. There was no damage, and no sign of any issues or previous paintwork. This has literally split along the seam sealed crimp line, which it's doing under the hood as well. I'll get pics of that.
Do you commonly let the car sit with salt on it? That's the only way I could see this happening without excess wear. Maybe the water that pools in those areas sits there and gets salt on the edges where it stays for a while and eats it? That's scary and has me wanting to go double check that my 2014 isn't even TRYING to do that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Do you commonly let the car sit with salt on it? That's the only way I could see this happening without excess wear. Maybe the water that pools in those areas sits there and gets salt on the edges where it stays for a while and eats it? That's scary and has me wanting to go double check that my 2014 isn't even TRYING to do that.
No way. As I said in the post, the car never sits with salt or dirt for long at all. I'm no newbie to maintaining a car in the midwest.
 

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If it's anything like the mustang hoods ford claims they couldn't get all the cleaner before painting out of the seams and causes the paint to bubble. My family members mustang had to be painted twice and still was doing it when they traded it in.
 

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Wow, that's the opposite of my experience with a 2012 SE (even my Mazda didn't have that happen and my early 80s Subarus took ten years to get close to it and that was the lower doors). I know you said the drain holes aren't covered, but that definitely looks like water was somehow getting inside to rust it from within. Maybe you can find a Kona blue hatch in good shape from a wreck somewhere—fixing that wouldn't be worth the trouble and I suspect it would come back. That's pretty bull**** that Ford isn't covering it, but usually "rust warranties" only cover full rust-through holes and still have all kinds of bull**** caveats and hoops they can step through to deny coverage. Even if you neglected the car, that would still be unreasonable unless you regularly transported salt water gear that would rest against the hatch lip. Barring that or other bizarre scenario or poor crash repair, I can't think of a way you could be at fault for that.
 

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my 1995 Saturn has less rust than that and I live in Missouri and get snow and salt.

My '16 Focus ST already has tiny bubbles on just the driver side front and back door crimp.... Pretty upset, 3,000 miles, never driven in snow, salt. Driven in rain twice. Washed and waxed weekly or biweekly.

Not looking forward to making Ford fix it.
 

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my 1995 Saturn has less rust than that and I live in Missouri and get snow and salt.

My '16 Focus ST already has tiny bubbles on just the driver side front and back door crimp.... Pretty upset, 3,000 miles, never driven in snow, salt. Driven in rain twice. Washed and waxed weekly or biweekly.

Not looking forward to making Ford fix it.
Just saying, but Saturns were built so that they don't rust (i.e. plastic panels or something similar), so I hope that you don't run into a similar issue with that. Lol.

To the OP: Something is wrong with your car. I'd be a little more persistent and maybe try another dealership. I'm the original owner of my '13 ST and I've never even thought of worrying about it, let alone seeing it and seeing it this bad. If anything, maybe you could do some investigation into the hatch of your car to see if there is any way that water is able to pool in there. Maybe crack open the plastic panels on the interior of the hatch?
 

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Just saying, but Saturns were built so that they don't rust (i.e. plastic panels or something similar), so I hope that you don't run into a similar issue with that. Lol.

To the OP: Something is wrong with your car. I'd be a little more persistent and maybe try another dealership. I'm the original owner of my '13 ST and I've never even thought of worrying about it, let alone seeing it and seeing it this bad. If anything, maybe you could do some investigation into the hatch of your car to see if there is any way that water is able to pool in there. Maybe crack open the plastic panels on the interior of the hatch?
the saturn still has metal hood, roof, , doors and trunk, just the door skins are plastic, bumpers, and fender on the old ones.

I'm saying my saturns trunk lid has less rust.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
To the OP: Something is wrong with your car. I'd be a little more persistent and maybe try another dealership. I'm the original owner of my '13 ST and I've never even thought of worrying about it, let alone seeing it and seeing it this bad. If anything, maybe you could do some investigation into the hatch of your car to see if there is any way that water is able to pool in there. Maybe crack open the plastic panels on the interior of the hatch?
I had a chat with the service manager yesterday, and he has said the word came down from Ford corporate. They won't do anything if Ford won't agree to pay the claim, understandably. I'm sure no dealer would do it on speculation.

I've looked at the hatch, and nothing is allowing water into the car. It's just getting in between the inner and outer panels, and going out the drain holes as designed; something is clearly wrong with the original coating or panel treatment.
 

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That's ridiculous they won't cover it, I'd ask to speak to whomever at Ford corporate about it. Also, I wonder if it's possible to drill a couple more drain holes to aid in water evacuation?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
It's getting worse, fast :(

The previous pics were taken 3/29. These I took tonight.

You can clearly see the rust is coming from within the factory crimp line and seam sealant. This isn't some environmental issue. You can also see how much it's bubbling under the paint that is still there in the reflection shots.

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This is the driver's side of the hood, towards the windshield
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This is the passenger side of the hood, towards the windshield
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This is the leading edge of the hood, driver's side
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We bought a used 2012 Focus SE last Fall in the (near?) same metallic blue paint color and it too had similar paint seam issues on the front lip of the hood.

We negotiated with the dealer to fix it as a condition of sale, and while the fix is not perfect on the engine side of the hood, the exterior looks factory fresh and it still looks the same after this Maine winter -- and the car is parked outside all the time, infrequently washed and driven daily.

We have bought three cars from this dealer over the past three years and so we have a good relationship with the dealer and our salesperson, who let me know the paint repair to the hood cost a little over $200.

You have nothing to lose escalating with @FordService, but once there is perforation like I think I see on the hatch, that's a much harder repair to make and at that point you might be better off getting a replacement hatch if you intend to keep the car for several years.

Hope that helps,
Mark
 
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