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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Folks:
I've had my VW EOS since they rolled off the floor in early 2008, having ordered one in late 2007. Like most others, I've loved the car. Although I don't get to put the top down much, I appreciate the option.

Several months ago I noticed rust on the visible bolts and latches in the trunk. I failed to mention it to the dealer at the time. Over the next several months, it became more prominent and was now clearly a problem. The top failed to open, triggering a top fault. Rust was found throughout the metal roof parts. It would travel down to where the motor gear(?) hit the rust, stopped with the fault code.

Having exceeded the warranty, I asked the dealer if there were other options. They mentioned that it might be covered under my insurance. It also might be covered by the factory rust and corrosion policy. That was a few weeks ago. Both have now responded that the damage is not covered by either. They estimate the repairs at $US 6,000.

Any reports of similar occurrences and recommendations would be appreciated. Otherwise, I now have a permanent VW Sedan.
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If you have VW's after sales insurance it certainly doesn't cover any seals which is why I personally think it is worthless.

However, it should cover mechanical parts including the roof pump. That is an expensive item so i would look carefully at your policy if it is of the extended warranty type.

As for the trunk seals, you MUST get those sorted out first and probably at your own expense. We are talking about the large seal going around the trunk, and in particular its contact at the back of the trunk lid and those rear corners where there is some work done to form the gulleys.

Water coming down off the roof at the rear falls into an open channel. If the channel exits on the left and right are blocked it will back up and water will spill over into the trunk if there is no contact with the seal.

Remove the ski panel my friend, line the trunk floor with dry newspaper, get a good flashlight inside the trunk and have somebody play outside with a hosepipe while you peer inside the trunk.

Corrosion warranty is pretty useless also unless you have the car inspected (and pay!) yearly according to their terms. Then it only covers quite severe corrosion after it has ocurred and not bad seals causing the problem. Careful owners should always look for cabin misting and dampness and get leaks sorted asap, not leave to destroy the car.

When you want to find out if something is or isn't covered by a warranty it is best to look at the policy yourself first. The dealer will only make a phone call to the insurers help desk. You bundled the roof motor, seals and corrosion in the same enquiry. Of course they would run a mile! If you get the roof motor replaced that's a win. Add in some corrosion repair work (IF it meets their criteria of 'perforation') then that is the best you can do. Pay for the seal work yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Voxmagna
Thanks for your quick response. It is greatly appreciated.

Since my VW warranty expired years ago, I was pleased to learn there was a Corrosion Warranty that might cover the damage. Feedback from the dealer, after they purportedly submitted a claim, was less than positive. Turns out, they submitted a work order, which covered their effort in collecting data (pictures, description of damage, etc.) to send to a VW field representative. They suggested I call VW to pursue it further, which I’ve not yet done. The dealer rep indicated that the warranty primarily covers damage to the body, not the components, and as explained to me was ‘external’ damage. The owner’s manual has the same language.

I’ve been asking various sources to explain it (the rust).

In January, 2014, I did spill some latex paint in the trunk. I rinsed it out with a hose, the water flowing down the tire well. Nothing since.

One gentleman indicated that the trunk is ’a perfect environment for rust to grow’ and there is evidence of moisture inside. He suggested leaving the trunk open and to using a heater to dry it out. He felt there was some chemical process going on. I don’t feel any moisture at all in the trunk, however. Clearly, though, there is evidence of rust throughout the trunk, possibly, as you say, coming from the seals. I am still at a loss as to what caused the problem in the first place. We don’t get much rain here, and the car is always in the garage I don’t live on the beach, nor do we have snow/salt on the roads in Orange County, California.

It appears that the bolts and latches were affected first, and is spreading to the iron/steel components, like a virus, even behind the felt barriers. A curious manifestation of the problem is that, on the inside of the tire repair kit, the tire iron (bolt removal tool) is rusted from the top. Point being, in my view. there is no way water could have gotten in to it. There is also evidence of minor rust under the spare tire, and on the wheel.

Is it possible that the iron bars and hardware could have been from other than non-corrosive metal?

My primary focus, now that there is little or no possibility of coverage by the factory or the dealer, is how to mitigate damages. They maintain that the whole system needs to be replaced, at a cost of about $6,000.

The dealer stated that the motor ( in the wheel well?) hung up at the point where it traveled to where the motor engaged, then stopped with the top fault. I pryed back the rubber top but saw little appearance of water damage, altho there was a little rust around the screws.

Lesson learned, I would suggest that one should keep an eye out for rust on the latches, the bolts, the hydraulic pumps (?) visible in the trunk. As I previously noted, I noticed the rust at the previous service but failed to bring it the attention of the dealer’s service dept.
I’ve taken some pictures, but access is difficult/incomplete since I’ve not yet figured out how to remove the screws.( I’ve done this before but not on this website.)

I’m looking for an expert that can possibly shed some light on the source of the problem. and repair it.

If I have it repaired, a reoccurrence would not be good.
 

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A couple of observations from afar that may or may not be relevant:

1. I have experienced ongoing problems with internal rusting of water-based paint tin lids after being opened and then closed for storage presumably due to breakdown/catalysing of the paint present near the joint from exposure to air diffusing through the joint between the tin and lid. I have since switched to decanting tinned water-based paints into plastic pails for long-term storage to avoid this problem. The latex paint residues may not have been fully removed by your wash-down procedure and fumes from the paint residues as they dried may have been corrosive resulting in the rust and the nature of occurrence.

2. Corrosion of cars from marine atmospheres whilst being shipped between continents is a perennial concern and most shippers take preventative measures to prevent moisture condensation in transit. It is possible your car may not have been fully protected for some reason however proving this will be very difficult if not impossible.

3. Early Eos models [MY07/MY08] were prone to water leaks especially around the boot[trunk] and roof. It is possible water leaked into your car if it was stored outdoors in the factory holding yard or in open wharf-side storage yards before/after shipment to the USA. You may have some redress if this is a possible explanation as VW replaced many seals on MY07/MY08 cars with the modified seals fitted to later models under warranty. It may be arguable the dry Southern California climate should have quickly dried out any water in the car before it caused serious rusting however, if the water was marine condensation, this would make the condensation more corrosive.

My initial opinion is fumes from the spilt paint is the most likely cause of the corrosion but the other possibilities are also arguable causes. I suspect VW may not be motivated to offer ex-gratia warranty due to the imminent demise of the Eos unless they can see a likely spillover into damaging the corporate VW customer relations image. Success may well be determined by your persistence and use of media if you can reasonably argue your claim.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
silvershadow:

I ordered the car in November, 2007, after their initial release and took delivery in March. My assumption was that the slack time/delay took place due to a backlog of orders for upgraded cars such as mine, rather than staging dockside.

Your conclusion fits in with the timing and the characteristics of the paint spill, I think. I just find it hard to believe that a small spill of one can of paint triggered the problem.


I know from experience with developing manufacturing process planning software that there are differences in metals, materials handling and plating processes that make some more susceptible than others to corrosion. (heat treating, plating processes, etc.) Any chance this could be the case and would it matter where it was manufactured. i.e., Portugal, rather than Germany. Also, engineering specs specify the underlying material characteristics required and the Manufacturing plans specify the material actually used.

My thought is that in the hurry to expedite production that a material more susceptible to corrosion might have been utilized, rather than a more hardy grade of steel or a different plating process which may have been in short supply. (A long shot, given the recent development of the infection.) I,e, why is the rust continuing to infest other metals and components? Your gaseous explanation seems to fit the scenario.

My contact ('John" ) that I alluded to in my previous message indicated in his experience he had to apply an electrical charge to the part in a fish tank to stop the growth of rust, which was instructive, but in my case, not very doable as a fix.
 

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We bought our 2007 in 2010 having gone over the car with a digital multimeter checking all the carpets for low resistance (<1 Megohm) and stains. Having identified areas in the trunk, evidence of surface corrosion on tools in the tire well, and wetness up front we agreed to leave a deposit on condition seals were replaced and all leaks remedied. No fix = No sale and deposit returned.

Don't assume that replacing a seal is just a plug and play job. Many of the seals have to be hand worked at their joins with Butyl rubber and hot iron melting techniques.

The car spent 6 weeks in the workshop having had all the interior stripped, new seals fitted AND all the carpets replaced. We have only had 1 leak problem recently which I fixed by re adjusting the front door glasses. When we got the car back I gave the trunk tools a quick wipe over with WD40 and no surface corrosion on the plating has been seen since.

I still think if you are seeing corrosion effects on the surface of plating, the catalyst is airborn and that would be moisture, or moisture with an acid content from your foreign liquid spill.

In the boat world we use sacrifical zinc anodes on metal parts which are totally immersed in salt water, but I really don't think that is a solution here and you still need to find out how they treat their steel. Perhaps talk to a VW body repair shop.

I really don't believe there is any magic to your corrosion problem. If the trunk metal and carpets are absolutely moisture free and all leaks have been stopped you should not see a problem. Our EOS still has a trunk that looks like new from the factory. It sits outside in all weathers, gets Krytoxed twice a year and care is taken clearing leaves and seeds from drain channels.

These car carpets are nylon with a hard backing. Any water getting on them wicks through and stays as a water layer between the carpet backing and metal in contact. You may not see actual water, but there is sufficient to cause condensation between the warm interior and the cold metal body. Therefore you have to be absolutely pedantic about finding and curing any water leaks then pull away the carpets, get everything absolutely dry and retest with an ohmeter.

The weakest link in the trunk seal is the forward section up against the black plastic channel. If the car is parked up hill during a very bad storm, water falling back from the roof can soon fill up the channel even with clear right and left drains. Once the channel is over full, any gap in the trunk lid seal allows loads of water to fall inside the trunk. I know this because I once left our EOS up on front ramps for a couple of days.

On your warranty claims, I think your car is getting too old now to be on their radar. Most corrosion warranties have specific criteria regarding what is considered corrosion and how bad it is (perforation). A wise owner should never rely on corrosion warranty but resolve issues in their early stages and not wait until rust holes appear and the car is structurally weakened.

Here are some clues as to water leak issues, too late for you but helpful to others:

1. You go out to the car early in the morning after the sun has been on the roof and find all the windows misted up ON THE INSIDE.

2. The rear heated screen is frequently misted over on the inside. Eventually the fine heater wires will corrode and break leaving areas of the screen which will not demist.

3. Tools in the spare wheel well have surface corrosion 'fuzz' on their plating.

4. Resistances measured lower than about 1megohm measured on the floor and trunk carpets and in corners of footwells.

5. Dry newspaper laid over the floor areas, car closed up and tested with a hosepipe for patches due to water leaks.

After keeping an eye on these things there are a couple of things you can do once the source of a water leak has been found.

Carpets need to be pulled back away from contact with body work. Sit a small domestic dehumidifier on a front seat, let down the ski panel to open up the trunk and leave the dehumidifier running a few hours or until no more water drips into the collector bin.

Repeat the ohmeter carpet testing. Leave the ski panel down in dry weather to allow more air to circulate in the trunk.

Avoid lowering and storing the roof when it is wet.

Buy a cheap electronic humidity meter off Fleabay and leave it in the trunk or the cabin. Unless you are in a particularly high humidity area, start looking for problems if humidity readings are consistently around 75% or higher. Leave the top down more often on dry days to keep the car ventilated.

In U.K during the damp Winter it gets difficult to keep the car dry when most water can be brought on on cloths and feet. I dehumidify if the windows start misting up, may be each month until Spring arrives and the top is down more often. I look at how much water is pulled out and will investigate if it seems more than a couple of cc.

I think VW use a special coating on their steel panels which is why they offer the long corrosion warranty. I don't know what that coating is metallurgically, but any foreign chemical coming into contact with it could either remove it, or produce the opposite reaction. Water or moisture will always be a catalyst particularly if it has a salt or acid component.

Cars are being made with thinner metals now to reduce weight and special anti corrosive treatments may be a way of using thinner metal. If that is the case, then once their coating is damaged rust could spread more quickly. In the old days I would be using compounds like phosphoric acid to treat and passivate rusting steel. But I really would not advise using anything without some knowledge first of what treatments VW use.
 

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See my comments below:

silvershadow:

..........................................................................
Your conclusion fits in with the timing and the characteristics of the paint spill, I think. I just find it hard to believe that a small spill of one can of paint triggered the problem.

You would be surprised how little contaminant is required to start a corrosion problem and how extensive it can develop in a relatively small space of time especially if the surrounding environment is right.

I know from experience with developing manufacturing process planning software that there are differences in metals, materials handling and plating processes that make some more susceptible than others to corrosion. (heat treating, plating processes, etc.) Any chance this could be the case and would it matter where it was manufactured. i.e., Portugal, rather than Germany. Also, engineering specs specify the underlying material characteristics required and the Manufacturing plans specify the material actually used.

As far as I am aware, the Eos was only made in the Portugal plant for world-wide distribution.

My thought is that in the hurry to expedite production that a material more susceptible to corrosion might have been utilized, rather than a more hardy grade of steel or a different plating process which may have been in short supply. (A long shot, given the recent development of the infection.) I,e, why is the rust continuing to infest other metals and components? Your gaseous explanation seems to fit the scenario.

Highly improbable in my experience [I was a professional metallurgist specialising in alloy, stainless and tool steels and had extensively contact with the Australian automotive industry] and any change would most likely involve retooling or additional set-up procedures, the most likely explanation associated with manufacture would be water penetration during yard storage or shipment between manufacture and delivery to you.

My contact ('John" ) that I alluded to in my previous message indicated in his experience he had to apply an electrical charge to the part in a fish tank to stop the growth of rust, which was instructive, but in my case, not very doable as a fix.

All corrosion is the result of an electrochemical reaction, in some applications this electrochemical reaction can be stopped by imposing an external electrical current to the corrosion sites through sacrificial anodes as detailed by voxmagna above or the use of an external power source as detailed by your friend. Some time ago, some opportunists tried to sell an automotive corrrosion prevention system based on an applied electrical current to the vehicle, this was "snake oil salesmanship" of the first degree as there was no way of getting consistent protection in the places where it was needed most.

In your case, the best form of protection is to eliminate all sources of water penetration/contact and keeping the interior as dry as possible [this should be relatively simple in your climate by opening the roof/boot[trunk] on a sunny day to heat the interior and allow air circulation to remove any moisture-laden air. The worst situation would be where the moisture-laden air is not removed from the car and it recondenses on every cool surface when the car cools overnight giving the warning signs also described above by voxmagna.
 

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At least our cars are not like the Vauxhall Victor rust buckets for those old enough to remember them.:eek:

You could get some litmus paper or better still find a friend with a Hot tub/Spa/swimming pool and beg some pH tablets. These will allow you to test the metal surfaces and see if they are acidic, which would increase the rate of corrosion. Red color is acidic and blue is neutral.

Acidic would be a good result for you because it proves your problem is coming from a foreign chemical. You can neutralise that with sodium carbonate (washing soda) solution, dry everything out then retest until neutral. At least you should slow down the cancer spread.

Looks like the 'experts' are right on your doorstep:

http://blackoxideindustries.com/en/
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I did Silvershadow's #1 test this morning. No mist on the inside of the window.

I dropped by to see a neighbor (Walt) with a pool to pick up a ph tablet. He doesn’t test for ph but suggested a pool supply store. He’s also a long-time VW/Audi owner. Told him my tale of woe. His take was that there should not be any rust with a VW this new, and I should pursue the issue with VW, the sooner the better, and escalate as required. He also recommended a local independent VW repair facility he's gone to for years. I’ll pay them a visit tomorrow,
 

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What he said about newness is fair on a 6 year old car - but it won't be long before it is 10 years old! It would help your case if you could do some constructive DIY chemistry first and if that firm I gave you the link for is close by, you may get another take on it to put in your story to VW.

The problem is garages are just not that scientific in their thinking and all they will do is discuss words, terms, conditions of warranties and costs. You are potentially looking at such huge expense that spending some dollars on getting an expert opinion and repair estimates would probably not be money wasted. I would urge caution getting a 3rd party garage who does not have EOS roof trained technicians doing any work.

I know you would like to think that VW Corporate will just step forward and agree your claim, but having an independent expert report or some facts is hard evidence that big companies would not like to see made public. Of course by now you should have taken lots of photographs to help with your case. Forget the dealer and escalate to your VW area office customer services.

My experience with these kind of issues is you have to prepare your case well with plenty of supporting evidence, because you may only get one chance. As I hinted, you may not get everything or may have to pay part of the costs but winning corrosion repair and a pump plus all the labor would be a big win.

I'm in U.K but it appears as though you are only 15km from the sea? Salt air and water is always bad for cars. Have any of your buddies had corrosion issues on their cars?

Good luck- Vox
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
OK re the expert analysis. I'll continue in that vein. Re the sea moisture, we're about 15 miles from the ocean, in the hills, and with an average temp of about 10 degrees higher. Phyllis's sister lives in Newport Beach on the water. It is not unusual for her to experience fog while we experience considerable heat and considerably less humidity. 'We also get the 'Santa Ana's' off the desert to the East, which dries us out considerably. The car is parked in the garage as well.

Re Black Oxide Industries, I'll talk to them, but I get the impression that they deal with large government contracts, including Boeing, (from which I retired after 32 years.) My thought was that they seemed a logical alternative to the dealer and factory. They're just down the road apiece. I'm suspecting they won't have a clue as to how to gain access to any components beyond those few in the trunk.

I have taken photographs, but just of the limited areas I have access to. I'll post them in the next day or two.

In April, 2012, with 62,000 miles on the odometer, I experienced a top fault when I attempted to put the top down. The Advisor first claimed there was nothing to be done but for me to pay the repairs, which were primarily to replace the bad hydraulic pump, which caused the trunk lid to be ajar. My advisor volunteered to talk to the factory rep. After some discussions (a week or so) he indicated they would help me out with the replacement of the pump. They split the cost 70% Warranty/ 30% Customer, which I accepted gratefully.

The first line on the statement (for the pump) refers to ‘55WZ.’ Could this refer to a valid warranty/recall code?

Can I assume that when the manufacturer agrees to cover the repairs, they specify it as Warranty, even with over 60,000 miles on the vehicle and out of warranty?

My recollection is that the top fault error manifested itself the same way in both instances. The sunroof opened fully, then the top fault occurred.

Curious

Voxmagna: Is 'washing soda' same as 'baking soda?
 

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Voxmagna: Is 'washing soda' same as 'baking soda?
Both will work. Incidentally, if you mix some into a paste with water, apply it to any of those rust areas and see it fizzing, then you have acid there. But remember, once you have treated the metal and neutralised any acid you lose the evidence from an expert opinion if you need it.

I am not aware of a warranty recall for the pump. My 2007 is still oem. There are website firms around now that 're-condition' cabriolet roof pumps. If I had trouble with mine out of warranty, I might consider that a cheaper option. My concern and suspicion is the pump over temperature cutout can be made to operate easily. If the cutout temperature is correct for the motor then it must be poorly cooled and overun to get so hot after a couple of minutes of operation.

I don't know the firms in your local, but it was just an idea that somebody in the metal corrosion business in your local atmosphere could give you an expert independent report and remedy if it was affordable.

Even with access to VW service information, roof work is quite tricky unless they have done it before. You can easily end up with more problems if they are learning their way on your EOS.

EOS roof work requires technicians who are fully trained and understand the system. If somebody read a fault code in 2012 and just replaced the pump motor without further investigation, they didn't do good job for you.

I've just Googled a bit and found there's a similar type of pump system on the Audi A4. It won't be exactly the same, but it has a similar flavor. Shops who know about the Audi A4 roof system may have the edge over those that know nothing! The same with a roof pump recon firm. The A4 diagram has lots of hydraulic inlet/outlets just like the EOS.

You probably are not into DIY pump repair. My suspicion for most 'failures' would be along the lines of 1. Faulty thermal cutout. 2. Bad brushes 3. Water damage to any control electronics. I would put hydraulic faults a way down the list.

http://www.autoelectron.co.uk/files/Download/Audi a4 roof motor removal guide.pdf

Here's a link to one U.K web reconditioner, but you must have your own:
http://roofmotors.co.uk/index.php?route=product/search&search=eos

They want £350 for the pump AND motor and £50 refund on return of the old unit.

Repair costs at VW labor rates are usually huge and often far exceed parts costs (which they can discount to themselves).

From what you have said it doesn't sound as if anything is now warranty and it is of no concern what they want to call it (don't ask!) as long as you know and agree to what they are willing to offer (parts, labor and full details of work) and what contribution if any you are expected to pay to get your car back with no further faults.

If I am reading your story correctly (my words), you had a roof operation fault in 2012 when VW agreed to part fund a replacement pump. Whilst the the trunk lid was not sealing properly, the trunk has been getting water inside which you had not noticed and now you have metal corrosion and a dead roof pump? :(

If you think those faults in 2012 have come back, they should be visible in VW diagnostics. Every moving part in the roof system is monitored with 12 or 13 Hall sensors. If parts do not get to the correct place in the time the software thinks they should, then fault codes are stored. I cannot believe that a part open trunk did not log a fault code or roof fault alert. One scenario is the pump motor temperature overload cut out before the the roof cycle completed. But warnings should have been given and fault codes logged.

Putting aside the mysterious cancerous corrosion arguments for a moment, ANY leakage of water into the cabin or trunk is mostly bad news on the EOS or any car. Problems caused by 'consequential damage' can be very expensive if leaks are not remedied early. There are posts here about roof pump water damage so we should assume it is located in a vulnerable position and water has to be kept out of the trunk.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
I picked up the litmus paper today. I have to read up on how to test with it.

I stopped by Black Oxide Inc., which is about four blocks away from where I bought the litmus paper. He was appreciative that he was recommended from across the pond.

I explained what I was attempting to achieve, and showed the rep the rust in the trunk of the car. He was pretty much at a loss as to how he could contribute to solving or even providing input as to what caused the problem. He did make a couple recommendations regarding which rust treatment to use, however.

Since one of the independent repair facilities was on the way, I stopped by. I met the owner and Josh, his chief analyst/shop foreman. I showed both of them the pix. Josh was immediately very interested in the locations of the rust, especially that it was on the rear latch, on the side panels and down the side rails, which seemed to him to be contrary to my explanation of the paint spill.

Josh stated he would swear to the smoking gun being the opening in the seams and the trail of rust along the tracks. He also said he had not seen this problem before.

The repairs should be covered by the corrosion policy as well, especially as verified by removal of the trunk lid.

I asked the owner if any of his people had the expertise to do the repairs, given the complexity of the top mechanism. He checked with his go-to guy ( main mechanic,) who stated he was not comfortable undertaking the repairs. Their recommendation was another (different) VW dealer, working with the factory.
 

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Images follow.
Yikes! That's the worst case of internal rust I've ever seen. It's like your car has been submerged in the old briny.

Admittedly, I used to live by the coast and I know what salt air can do to a car's bodywork, but that is just crazy.
 

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Images follow. Hopefully size won't be a problem

The baking soda test produced no fizz.

The extent and appearance of the corrosion is consistent with what I have seen on unprotected steel exposed to acid fumes [especially Hydrochloric Acid] or humid salt air close to the ocean.

The images tend to confirm my initial belief that the corrosion is associated with the paint spill if the car has not been left with the boot/trunk open in a marine environment.
 

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I agree that your rust problem is abnormal. I am amazed you left it to go that long. One clue is the tool tray because it looks like liquid (salty rain water) has pooled in there and stayed, unless you are in an industrial area vulnerable to acid rain?:confused:

I'm still with the original trunk seal leak/part open trunk theory. Once you get water containing salt lying in crevices, evaporation in that confined space during summer will attack the metal parts. I think you will find that parts with a decent paint or powder coating have stayed clean, but electroplated parts will be attacked more severely. That supports the fact that after something got in your trunk, it was atmosphere that caused the surface corrosion to spread,

One thing I think we can say is there seems little opportunity for natural ventilation to circulate around the EOS trunk. This is poor design because people do lower and store the roof when it is wet - something most should avoid. There are some hatch cars that had this problem and they incorporate air grills at the bottom of the hatch lid to get air below the trunk space cover and into the trunk. In fact on one car I actually cut 3 or 4 rectangular holes in the cover about 120mm X 30mm and fitted black plastic vent grills. I haven't looked that close at the cover behind the headrests, but that might be doable on the EOS.

O.K it seems you haven't found acid so now look for salt. The chemistry way is silver chloride solution turning white. Personally I'm an old guy who has been exposed to most things and lived, so I would just put a tiny sample on my tongue to taste, then quickly rinse it away, but others do it at their own risk!

You got good advice on trying to get repairs done. VW require masses of paperwork for warranty work with to and fro communication on every single item, supported by reports and photographs. You are best letting a VW franchise dealership handle it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
update to post

atl/ I know this, there is no moisture off the ocean where I live that reaches us. See previous posts.

Voxmagna
I think You were pretty close to Josh’s theory with your water runoff down the channel and down the trunk theory, except with Josh’s theory, it didn’t go over the top of the channel, it went into the top of the trunk lid where the corners of the lid meet the water channel. The fact that Josh could put a piece of folded paper into the seam should be sufficient proof. The rest of the proof is that everywhere that there is an opening in the trunk lid, there is rust immediately below it, and down the metal components.

I discovered something else. Where the trunk latch on the rear connects from the trunk lid latching mechanism, there is just as much rust as in the most severely rusted parts, to the point that they appear to be disintegrating. There is no way, in my view, because of the height and separation from the main trunk that the paint spill would cause this kind of damage.


As to the silver chloride test, doesn’t sound like my idea of fun.

Doesn’t the results of the acid test disprove the paint/acid theory?
I tried the litmus test with blue paper. I wetted the part and laid the paper on it. It turned pink, then back to blue as it dried.

I called VW today. They filed a claim and will visit the dealer, review the pix and get back to me by close of business tomorrow. If they don’t handle it properly, I guess I can always call Mr. Daimler himself.
 

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You should use distilled water. First dip it in the water and it should be 'neutral' - half way between acid (red) and alkali (blue). there is often a chart on the pack but neutral is yellow and ideally what you want to see.

Coat a badly rusted surface like the tool tray with distilled water and a perfectly clean swab. Then dip the litmus in it. If pink to red it is acidic if green to blue it is alkaline. Litmus is a fairly crude test for neutrality, but shows up extremes well. If the color on the rusty areas when wet is the same as dipping in distilled water you have neutrality, if any other color it is something else.

http://www.rotfel.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Litmus-paper-ROTFEL.jpg

Good luck with your complaint to VW. It looks like extensive work to replace all those rusty parts and determine what has happened.

Incidentally, you can use a thin sheet of paper like a post-It note to move around seals and feel for some friction. You should be able to do that on the trunk lid seal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Pix of clamping mechanism at rear of trunk

These are pictures of the clamping mechanism, which is protected by plastic/composite vertical enclosures. There is no way, in my view, that moisture could reach this area other than from the top / trunk lid, down thru the clamping mechanism in the trunk lid. Note the severe damage.

(the first pic should be rotated 90 degrees to the left. Sorry) .

The object in the pic on the right is a board inserted just to keep the enclosure open in order to take the picture of the interior components. It is normally closed, of course.

No response yet from VW but that's OK; I prefer they take their time and get it , but I'm really afraid that they won't.

How long would you expect it would take to realize this kind of damage?
 

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