There are many kinds of stainless steel and it can rust for several reasons. Hopefully they have a good source for their stainless - impurities in the metal can cause it. Passivation of stainless is crucial, and I have seen it rust on parts where the passivation process couldn't get to because it was mounted or sitting on another surface. There are also different kinds of passivation, citric is not very good, but some local laws won't allow nitric. Hopefully they replace the part and you are good to go. Luckily it's not the kettle. Cheers!