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Discussion Starter #1
I've noticed (what I believe to be) a pretty signficant flaw in design/manufacturing of the new RAV4:

On at least 3 different models I saw on the lot (2 Sports and 1 Base) in the rear wheel-wells there appeared to be the end of a shiny bolt sticking through the rubberized weather coating. It's hard to describe without pictures, but I'll try - if you're looking straight on at the wheel/tire, it would be visible just above the tire and to towards the rear of the RAV4. It looks as though whatever bolt was used to fasten something to the other side was overtightened and punched through the coating. There is even a little flap of the weather coating still attached.

I was just wondering if anyone else has noticed this and what everyone thinks of it? Do you think it could lead to rust and/or leakage problems down the road?
 

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Are you talking about the bolt that is located behind the tire at position 12 o'clock as you face the rear tire?

If so, I justed checked my RAV 4 and while I can see the impression of a bolt, the metal is not visible and the weathercoating is intact.
 

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v6 LTD 4x4

I have that on my v6 LTD 4x4, the end of the bolt protrudes far enough through, that it caused the weatherproofing to flap back.
 
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Ditto on mine, I wonder if that bolt is installed after the undercoating is sprayed on at the factory and pops the coating loose? I think I'm going to respray mine to touch it up.
 

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I checked and there's not even a hint of this on mine. Wheel well above both rear tires are smooth, not even a hint of a bolt poking thru. Would love to see a pic so I can ensure I was looking in the same place.
Could I4 vs V6 make a diff? I noticed the other posters said they were V6, mine's a 4.
 

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Both sides have the bolts poking out on mine too.

What can I use to touch that up :?:
 

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My poking bolt repair

I had the same thing on my Rav. On one side, the undercoating / soundproofing had come off where the bolt was installed on the other side, it was loose but not off. I pulled the loose stuff off on that side and made sure everything was clean and dry. I then primed both spots with a good rust-proofing primer. I used flat black. I let that dry for 24 hours. I then filled the spot where the undercoating / soundproofing was with black RTV gasket maker material (it was actually silver-black). I smoothed it over so it was even. I let that dry for 24 hours and gave it a second coat. I let that dry for 24 hours and gave it a coat of semi gloss black paint to match the undercoating / soundproofing. I know this means the vehicle sits for a couple of days, but this wasn’t a problem for me. If you stay out of the rain, I think you should be o.k.

Check to see it the undercoating / soundproofing is loose on your vehicle. If it’s loose, pull it off. It’s probably worse if it is loose, because if it traps grit and salt or? Behind the loose undercoating / soundproofing, it won’t get flushed out when you wash the vehicle. With it off, you can at least clean the spot.
 

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I have the 4WD V6 Sport, and I too have the bolts "breaking" through the protective barrier. I'm going to do what flyingn said.
 

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I've got this on my 2008 I4

Has anyone taken this up with the dealer? I don't want this rusted through in 5 years because of a stupid oversight.

I'm pretty handy with cars, but I DO NOT want to put out the effort some have mentioned for a vehicle that doesn't even have 20k on the odo. My 85 BMW, yes; but not this car.
 
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