Will modern cars rust?

I saw the tailend of a show on cable the other day that alluded to the idea that cars made after 1997 won’t rust.

I thought this may be inaccurate since cars are still made of steel. However, with all of the plastic carmakers use now, I wouldn’t be surprised if this was true.

Is there some sort of steel/plastic hybrid substance which carmakers use now which prevents modern cars from rusting?

Well, aluminum won’t rust, and neither will fiberglas, so those parts are cars that contain them won’t rust. Maybe the show was basing this on advances in paint and other coatings? Making it more scratch-resistant, thus keep away rust?

No plastic steel hybrid that I am aware of. However the engineers are taking steps to ensure that cars don’t rust.
At my company during a new car launch the statement was made that the life of the body should not be the limiting factor in a cars life.
Currently 85% of the steel used in the bodies of our cars is galvinized using one of three different processes. That coupled with Moden primers and undercoating goes a long way to defeat rust.
I don’t know if this could be a blanket statement for all cars, but for at least some cars rust is no longer the issue it once was.

That’s not true. Aluminum will corrode if exposed to water for extended periods of time. I’ve seen aluminum bicycle frames destroyed by corrosion. (Well, not personally but I’ve read many such accounts and seen pictures.)

Aluminum forms a very thin layer of rust immediately, which shields the rest of the metal from the oxygen in the air. It will rust eventually, and also aluminum’s got some stress problems. A few years back, people used carabiners (for mountain climbing, hang gliding, rescue operations) made of aluminum, but after some nasty incidents in which they suddenly broke in half with no warning, sometimes under very light loads, stainless steel became preferable. Some hang gliding parks do not allow the use of aluminum carabiners.

But normally, aluminum forms a layer of aluminum oxide on the surface, which protects the underlying aluminum from farther damage. Of course, iron oxide isn’t nearly as tough as aluminum oxide, that why it flakes off.