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Hi folks, I'm writing to see if anyone else has experienced this (photos included below).

My brother-in-law leaned up against the car and the rusted section buckled revealing the damage. Looks like the paint is bubbling on the passenger side as well. Any way to fix this without completely replacing the side panel?

Cheers,
Ian

2012 Ford Focus SE - Rear Driver Side (Close-up)
Tire Wheel Car Hood Automotive tire



2012 Ford Focus SE - Rear Driver Side (Wide)
Wheel Tire Vehicle Car Automotive tire



2012 Ford Focus SE - Rear Passenger Side (Wide)
Tire Wheel Automotive tire Vehicle Car



2012 Ford Focus SE - Rear Passenger Side (Close-up)
Wheel Tire Land vehicle Vehicle Motor vehicle
 

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That's pretty bad. It's possible you can box in a repair panel, but doing it right would involve stripping it down, cutting out the cancer, replacing the parts you've removed, then prep and paint of the whole panel on both sides. I'd also wager if the rear quarters of this are that bad the rockers are also bad. This might be a "live with it until you can afford a new car" scenario unless you want to spend thousands repairing this car.
 

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You could try to spot weld on a patch just to close it off.

It will look terrible - but if you just want something there, grit blast or angle grind back to sound metal, make a cardboard template, cut some steel sheet and weld away.

I've seen plenty of cars like your in upstate NY with DIY patches just good enough to pass inspection.
 
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