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08 Highlander
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My 2008 HL is rusting. Front drivers side wheel well on the portion of the fender that bends over into the wheel well. Pictures to come. Unacceptable. Enough Said.
 

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08 Highlander
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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
I have owned the vehicle since November of 2008. No damage to the vehicle...not even a door ding. Take a look, let me know what you think, advice, etc.

I am meeting with the service manager at the dealership I bought it from tomorrow. He will determine if it is a warranty issue or not...it better be! I will let you know how things turn out. In the second picture the HL isn't scratched/dented...just dirty!



 

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Toyota Traitor
15 RDX, 09 TACOMA
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WOW, thats a lot of rust for a car that's only a year old (MAXIMUM)!!!



That was the only rust spot on my 2002 and it was driven in the salt and snow and left outside!

The fender looks painted, the same with the splash guards.. I have a silver sport and the splash guards are black plastic.. It looks like there is paint on the plastic inside the fender..
 

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Premium Member
2008 Highlander Base
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35,703 Posts
homeskillet, it's hard to tell from photographs but it looks like the inside of your wheel well has taken lots and lots of rock impacts. What kind of terrain or roads are you driving over...what are the driving conditions?

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15 RDX, 09 TACOMA
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homeskillet, it's hard to tell from photographs but it looks like the inside of your wheel well has taken lots and lots of rock impacts. What kind of terrain or roads are you driving over...what are the driving conditions?

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Looks like he needs some new tires too!
 

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08 Highlander
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52 Posts
Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
TrailDust - I only drive blacktops. I am yet to be on gravel with it. We have a fair amount of sand on the roads here in Minnesota during the winter, but that consists of fairly small granuels.

AXMACD - Indeed new tires are coming soon. My mudguards are color keyed (ordered that way) and I agree that there seems like there is paint overspray in the wheel well.
 

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Trailduster - I only drive blacktops. I am yet to be on gravel with it. We have a fair amount of sand on the roads here in Minnesota during the winter, but that consists of fairly small granuels.

AXMACD - Indeed new tires are coming soon. My mudguards are color keyed (ordered that way) and I agree that there seems like there is paint overspray in the wheel well.

I would have thought the body panels would have been painted before being put on the car at the factory?
 

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08 Highlander LMT
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76 Posts
Was the vehicle purchased pre-owned, or new in November? How many miles are on your Highlander? All warranties I have heard of require perforation of the metal before a valid claim. Good luck and keep us posted!
 

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JimT
08 Highlander Sport
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72 Posts
That's BS. I would freak out. I don't care where you're driving, that is not acceptable. Maybe the fender was painted. I wouldn't put it past a dealer. My dealer damaged my bumper when changing out the tail lights to the sport version. (it was shipped with the limited lights instead of the sport lights) Anyway, they offered to paint it for me. I said no way and they took a bumper off of another black one on the lot and told me they would replace it with mine once it was painted.
 

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I agree...who knows! You guys think they will fight me on this being a warranty issue? I have a bad feeling for some reason.
I actually had another paint problem with my old Highlander, the paint bubbled on the door trim/moulding. I took it to the dealer (I think it had like 50,000KM at the time) and they said in order for the corrosion warranty to be valid the rust must have perforated through the body and since the piece was plastic, I was SOL and a new piece would be $170. I opted for the paint pen.

I had the leather crack on the drivers seat of my old Highlander too and Toyota said it wasn't covered under warranty because it was wear and tear. I had to take the car back to the dealer I bought it from and they replaced the seat bottom under some Toyota "good will" program? Maybe Toyota will fix it for you because it doesn't look good having a brand new model with rust already?
 

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2008 Highlander Base
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TrailDust - I only drive blacktops. I am yet to be on gravel with it. We have a fair amount of sand on the roads here in Minnesota during the winter, but that consists of fairly small granuels.

AXMACD - Indeed new tires are coming soon. My mudguards are color keyed (ordered that way) and I agree that there seems like there is paint overspray in the wheel well.
Okay, just checking. I thought perhaps there was some nasty gravel or rock salt and whatnot you were driving over. You guys know how much I thrash my Highlander off-road, but my wheel well liners and panel trim line looks much better than the picture. I feel for you man! If that was my Highlander I'd cry.
 

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Wow! I really feel for you. I would be so steamed if that was my truck. Definitely something suspicious with the over spray on the inside of the wheel well. That SHOULD NOT be there on a new vehicle.

I would go beyond painting the panel....I would ask for a brand spanking new one!!

Good luck!
 

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Could have been damaged during shipping or storage, or even during a test drive, and repaired. If so, it should not have been sold as new.
 

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2007 Camry XLE
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Look at page 10 of your Warranty book

Corrosion Perforation Warranty

This warranty covers repair or replacement of any original body panel that develops perforation from corrosion (rust-through), subject to exceptions indicated under "What is Not Covered" on pages 11-12.

Coverage is for 60 months, regardless of mileage

And in the page 11 ah S#@%t exclusions...Airborne Chemicals, tree sap, Road debris (including stone chips), rail dust, salt, hail, floods, lightning and other environmental conditions.
Will be interesting to see how much finger pointing occurs (Toyota..it is obviously caused by stone chips..you it was caused by a bad paint job)

If Toyota values it's customers it will cover the costs under Customer Goodwill no matter what the cause.

Good luck..let us know what the dealer says/does
 

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08 Highlander
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Discussion Starter #17
Hey guys. I appreciate all the enthusiasm and support! I will give you a little more background and an update as I met with the service manager today after work.

I bought my HL in November of 2008. I purchased it as a "Toyota Certified Used" with 24,000 miles on it; I have since put roughly 6,000 miles on it. I swore up and down that I would never buy a used car (insert current situation as to why!!!) but the fact that it was $6k less than a comparable new, in conjunction with the extended warranties, etc. it was too good of a deal to pass up. My car was a one owner car prior to my purchasing it. The CARFAX report said this car was 100% clean/accident free. For all intensive purposes, this HL is in mint/new condition. I am a car freak and I really looked this car over and gave it a lot of thought before purchasing it. Now, the fact that it was a "Certified Used" might be what ends up saving me in this situation. The rust literally appeared over night this week, I kid you not. I was walking to my car after work and the smaller/lower rust spot caught my attention. Keep in mind I wash this vehicle by hand frequently and have never noticed this until yesterday.

Update: Service manager looked over the rust and took the car to a neighboring body shop. He was gone for about 25 minutes while I waited at the dealership. Once he got back he explained to me that he really had no idea what could cause this situation outside of someone hitting that area with something. He said they reran the CARFAX report and the vehicle still is 100% accident/incident free. He took pictures of the rust and emailed them to his District Toyota Rep who will make the decision on whether it is a warranty issue or not. I am supposed to find out on Monday or Tuesday of next week. Other than that, the service manager really didn't tip his hand much one way or the other. Time will tell.

Back to the possibility that the “Certified Used” may be my saving grace here. Last night I re-read through all the 160 points of inspection a Certified Used has to go through and pass before it can be Certified. One of the points of certification states "Vehicle is free of improper paint repairs or mismatched color." I don't know about you guys but I am chalking up my fender rust to an improper paint repair. I have no idea who did the half-hearted touch up job; could have been the previous owner for all I know!

All that said I hope Toyota steps up to the plate. The car is barely one calendar year old. There is absolutely NO damage to this car whatsoever anywhere else. I will keep those of you interested posted.
 

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I hope you get your problem resolved to your satisfaction. Let me give you my experience with Carfax. I traded a Buick (bought used) which I suspected (after I bought it) was in an accident. When I bought it the Carfax was clean. The day I traded, the Carfax was still clean. The used car manager ran another report (sorry, the I can't remember the name) which showed the car had been in an accident in FL (where the car came from originally), had been undriveable after the accident due to severe rear end damage. So now I put very little faith in Carfax. I was in sales and management in the car business for 6 years and knew the used car manager so I know this was no scam on his part. This other report ( I wish I could remember the name!) was not available when I was in the business (1999). So, it is possible your car was in an accident and had shoddy repair work done that was not caught in the Cert Inspection. Toyota should make it right.
 

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I crashed my Accord in 2005 after I got it. I went in the ditch and the side-curtian airbag on the passenger side deployed and the doors were dented. I had the parts replaced and I paid for them myself and had the work done at a good body shop. The Carfax on my Accord is clean and that was 4 years ago.

A lot can happen in 24,000 miles (1000KM for me :p) You never know how the car was treated or what happened to it. Carfax can't be trusted! I hope you get on well with Toyota, they really should fix this problem!!!
 

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2007 Camry XLE
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If nothing else the dealer/Toyota should fix it as part of Toyota "Customer Good Will" if the value you as a future customer.

Don't be afraid to ask for it.

In the past I have and success getting the costs split between me and the dealer on things that are after warranty but should not have failed.
 
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