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Yes, it is annoying that provisioning for roof racks seems to be more decorative than functional. Flush rails are so much less useful than raised rails, so it is strange that when car companies bother to put rails on, they use the much less useful flush rails.
I think you‘re being a bit dramatic. I’ve used racks/rails like this for over 30 years. Including similar loads. No problems. Ever.

You just need to adjust your tie down techniques.
 

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It is not just about the tie downs. Raised rails allow installing the crossbars anywhere along the raised part of the rail, while flush rails used on the Bolt and other GM cars only have fixed points, limiting the flexibility of choosing crossbar locations (e.g. wider apart for long loads, or positioning to be level with each other). Also, crossbar setups for raised rails are more available and generally do not need vehicle-specific connection points or adapters.
OK, fair enough. I was primarily commenting on the "more decorative than functional" wording.

I still believe that with a little out of the box thinking, you should be able to make the current system work. I can think of a few different possibilities - similar to what I've used in the past (shims, front/back tie downs, etc). It probably depends on the specifics of the particular load, and when I've used things like that in the past I think it almost always was out of an overabundance of caution. Not just belt and suspenders, but also a drawstring, long underwear, duct tape...
 

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How would one tie anything down purely using the rails as-is ? I’m trying to avoid buying any additional hardware, because I’ll probably only use it once or twice per year and already have a roofbag that I want to us.
Sorry, I meant the combo of racks on flush rails such as these, or else the racks that are used on “naked” roofs without rails that use towers which hook into the door frames.

Not just rails without racks…
 

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I had a Yakima bike rack on a Civic years ago, using the door frame things, and it got stolen, so don’t have any interest in doing that again ! (No bikes were on them, fortunately !)

I think the long-screws and tie-down thingies will work well for my very-occasional roofbag usage, but just annoying they they didn’t go with raised rails, as it does give you more flexibility, as another person pointed out.
Yeah, I can appreciate that.

I also had the Yakima racks that hooked into the door frame, but I got the locking knobs (extra money). Those things were on solid. I think they were probably at least as secure as racks I’ve had attached to rails. And somebody would have needed some type of saw/etc to get them off…
 
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