Is Toyota's "rust warranty" void in Wisconsin due to salty winter roads?

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Sep 01, 1997

Dear Tom and Ray:

I'm going to buy a new car -- a black Toyota Camry for use in Wisconsin.
The dealer says the Toyota rust warranty is "essentially void" in Wisconsin
because we use salt on the roads in the winter. Is he correct? -- Rob

TOM: No. He's full of baloney, Rob. Many states still use salt on their
roads to improve traction. And while it's true that the salt does speed up
the corrosion process, it does not void any manufacturer's warranty that we
know of.

RAY: What he probably meant to say was that the warranty is "essentially
useless." That's true. Most manufacturers offer a six-year or longer "rust
through" warranty. That doesn't mean that they'll fix the car if it rusts.
It only means they'll fix any part of the car that actually rusts THROUGH
-- i.e., where rust makes an actual hole right through the body.

TOM: So your car could have surface rust from bumper to bumper. You could
have paint blistering all over the hood and a roof with the complexion of a
2-day-old pizza, and the warranty wouldn't help you one bit -- until the
actual holes appeared.

RAY: So if you expect to take advantage of the rust-through warranty, Rob,
at the first sign of rust, you might have to start SPRINKLING salt on those
spots on a daily basis. And if you add a little sulfuric acid and a few
well-placed nail holes, you might be able to get the thing to rust all the
way through before the warranty runs out -- but I wouldn't count on it.

TOM: Toyota's lawyers, please note that the aforementioned comments were
made by my brother, Raymond Magliozzi ...
R-A-Y-M-O-N-D M-A-G-L-I-O-Z-Z-I. His Social Security number and home
address are available upon request.

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