I'm no expert in materials science, but a quick google search on surface rust got me this:
"Surface rust is flaky and friable, and provides no protection to the underlying iron, unlike the formation of patina on copper surfaces."
and Steel is made of:
"Steel is an alloy made by combining iron and other elements, the most common of these being carbon."
So is surface rust on steel actually protective??
Originally Posted by BavarianFanatic
Rust will only develop if the metal is subjected to extended periods of time of high humidity/salinity. It's develops more rapidly at elevated ambient temperatures. A little known fact is that surface rust is actually protective for most alloys. Once it develops, it never goes any deeper. In this case, the only way you'll see an extensive bloom is if you park the car for months at a time with water sitting in the footwells or are close to an ocean. I'm guessing what we've seen up to this point developed while the cars were enroute on a very humid ship. Be careful tossing the word fact around. There are a million variables at play that can affect the outcome. I don't think anyone can definitively say what the affected cars have/have not been subjected to.
Regarding the claims of a health hazard, I'd love to see references to inhalation of rust particles leading to cancer (short of occupational exposure over extended periods). Regardless, the only way you'll ever be exposed to airborne rust particles is if you've mechanically disturbed it. There's nothing to motivate it to jump into the air otherwise. There are far worse hazards that you'll encounter during your day that should concern you more than rusty seat pans.
I'm not looking to pick a fight, I'm just trying to keep this in perspective. If anyone attempts to get help from their dealer making claims such as these they'll have an uphill battle for sure. You need to be rational and have reasonable expectations. I AGREE that it really shouldn't be there and that it should be addressed. But I also don't think it's the end of the world. It's a cosmetic issue, nothing more. Your opinion may vary.
I happen to like rusty BMWs: