Isuzu Rodeo Frame Rust

gurlzyllagurlzylla Member Posts: 8
Our 2001 Rodeo has really bad frame rust. There are holes in the rear frame (some several inches long) and the rear trailing arm broke loose from the frame!

I called NHTSA about it, but outside of their website I don't hear much talk about it.

Has anyone else heard about this problem?


  • rock25rock25 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 Rodeo that my daughter was driving on the Mass Pike. While driving 65 mph, the left rear trailing arm and bracket broke from the frame(due to rust), causing the vehicle to shake violently. Somehow she was able to slow down and come to a stop after grazing the gaurdrails on the right side of the road.

    I believe Isuzu or any company that insures a Isuzu Rodeo/Honda Passport has an obligation to notify owners of this potentially disastrous condition.
  • murtoseiromurtoseiro Member Posts: 2
    1999 rodeo lse just had frame welded(mechanic cut part of it that was rusted made an extension some how welded it and it runs great, even at 85 mph car did not shake or move at all and it only cost me 800 dollars,all this after a towing co. had told me to junk it cause it could not be repaired.BUT IT IS OBVIOUS THAT THESE VEHICLES HAVE THE SAME CHRONIC PROBLEM
  • howardruhowardru Member Posts: 155

    This just happened today to my wifes 2002 Axiom. Same exact chassis system as the Rodeo. The rear drivers-side traction bar in front of the tire rusted completely off the frame. The frame is rusted through and nowhere to re-attach that is solid. Just had it towed to the Midway in Framingham.

    What did you find out?? I'm thinking this is going to be very expensive.

  • howardruhowardru Member Posts: 155
    Where is your mechanic located??
  • screwedagainscrewedagain Member Posts: 1
    I have a Honda Passport 2001 and yesterday my local mechanic alerted me to the rotted frame section. Left rear including the trail arm bracket. Just as everyone else has described. Thankfully I wasn't going 65 on the mass pike as someone else had said. I am on the Mass south coast and have checked a few salvage yards for the frame section but no luck. Can anyone suggest a repair shop capable of fixing this problem?
  • murtoseiromurtoseiro Member Posts: 2
    had my 99 rodeo fixed for that problem for 800 dollars at DASILVA'S AUTO in naugatuck rides better than ever
  • howardruhowardru Member Posts: 155
    Thanks Murtoseiro,

    Naugatuck is a bit of a drive from Worcester, especially for a tow truck cost.

    Good news is that insurance came in and totaled the car so now I can get some money towards a new one. Now need to see what they decide to give me.
  • gurlzyllagurlzylla Member Posts: 8
    Before you fix your frame, check out the NHTSA website.

    A preliminary invesigation has been opened -only 2 weeks ago- to look into whether or not a RECALL is warranted.

    You may want to report the frame problems you are having to NHTSA, as structural rust is considered a safety issue.
  • howardruhowardru Member Posts: 155

    Yes, already found that and added my car to the list of 21 to make it 22.

    Car is totaled and no need to have it fixed. Besides, it will be 2 years before Isuzu may consider doing anything.
  • rodeostinksrodeostinks Member Posts: 2
    Please don't waste your money patching the Rodeo frame!! I did and the next year the whole frame was like swiss cheese anyway and un-inspectable. 1997 with 84000 miles and it is just sitting outside because I don't have the heart to get rid of it for $200 at a scrap yard. I already made a complaint to NHTSA. Took tons of pictures and considered going to the local media.
  • hbriggshbriggs Member Posts: 8
    I have a 2001 Isuzu rodeo 54,000 miles. The entire under body of my vehicle is rotted and is not fixable! My rear torque bar completely rotted off and fell off while I was driving which made my car sway out of control...thankfully I was not driving at a fast speed or my family and I would be dead! I also filed a complaint w/ the NHTSA. I am hoping that they will recall these vehicles since looking at other complaints made (which all seem to be within the same Massachusetts area) there obviously have been many others w/ the same problem. Other than the rot the vehicle is in perfect condition! I would hate to junk it or sell for parts if eventually they do a recall!
  • cdnoverhaulcdnoverhaul Member Posts: 1
    I would like to know if you could suggest a source of supply for the front frame cross member for a 1997 Isuzu rodeo. The Rad support went, and the front cross member seems "crispy" and in need of replacement by welding in a new one if practical. Who could provide a new one?

    Any help or ideas would be very much appreciated.. I have the 1997 and we shipped a 2001 overseas. I like the 1997 with its off road capibility and especially handling like a car in a turn hands down over the 2001. I think Isusz got it right when they made the 1997/96 improvements especially with the lower centre of gravity and leaf sprigs for handing and off road. Producing the new body style to be like everyone else was a mistake and I believe there is still a lot of potential in the 96/97 with some of the later improvements that would not effect the 97 body style.

    I don’t think having Rodeos under GM to effectively compete with their small Jimmy s and blazers did the Rodeo future plans any favor and it seems to make more sense to have Isuzu to go back to the 97 body style that worked rather go to another body style and then drop it entirely. Good products die when management is not watching & thinking (doing both at the same time but no gum allowed!)

    Also from the armoured vehicle world/up armoured, the Ford chassis (F 550) are liked for their handling (as used on the Gurkha), but the Rodeo and Isuzu in general while nice could use heavier members in the otherwise. No, the Rodeo is not meant to be a F550- class by any stretch of the imagination nor is my 97 Rodeo, but my point is that a more substantial frame in the 97 body style would make one hell of a general purpose truck /SUV/off road on the civilian market .

    Making a “baby Gurkha” by Armet, would be well one hell of a vehicle in a smaller more practical class in the market out there.

    Any die hard Isuzu re-builders out there, or military vehicle re builders with some ideas?

    By the way, I saw a great picture. The Chinese military industry had taken a newer Rodeo that they liked, cut a hole in the roof and mounted a ring mount with a PKM machine gun (beats a sun roof any day, great for traffic jams and keeping the squirrels out of the bird feeder)!

    All the best!


    P.S .I buying a replacement rad support. Are there good ones and bad ones out there?
  • bru75bru75 Member Posts: 1
    me and my wife bought a 2001 isuzu rodeo 4 years ago last year i brought to a mech 4 the front bearing to be fixed when on the lift i noticed the rear stabalizer bar on drivers side had completly rotted off.then we inspected the whole frame and the whole frame was junk.still have a year of payments left on this pos.sad because the car only has 85.000miles and the rest of it pretty much flawless.havent driven since last year oct 2008.and welding company said only way to fix is find another piece of the rear frame.only if isuzu was like toyota and owned up to thier mistakes. toyota had same probs so they bought back all 1996 to 200? tacomas because of thier bad weld jobs on the frames.just like the isuzu.yhanks 4 listening 2 my probs
  • howardruhowardru Member Posts: 155
    See my post on the Isuzu Axiom message board here. They use the same frame.
  • marinakymarinaky Member Posts: 64
    ATTENTION ALL HONDA PASSPORT OWNERS, THERE IS NOW AN FEDERAL INVESTIGATION OPEN INTO OUR PROBLEM. If you have not received this e-mail from Mr. Rinehardt, then copy this letter, answer the questions and send photos and mail it to him. I am doing certified mail to ensure receipt of this. If you go further into the carcomplaints site, you will see the letter actually mailed to Isuzu and Honda. They are investigating with a possible recall for this vehicles. YES, WE HAVE BEEN HEARD!!
    Please do this asap, as the more info Mr. Rinehardt gets, the better our case is for a recall for these Rodeos and Passports. Contact me if you have questions. M

    Dear Mr. L......,

    My name is Derek Rinehardt. I am a federal investigator with the
    Department of Transportation in Washington, D.C. We are conducting a
    formal investigation of 1998 through 2002 model year Isuzu Rodeo / Honda
    Passport vehicles for a potential safety related defect involving the
    rear suspension lower link components separating from the frame due to

    Thank you for filing a complaint with us in April. It is helpful to our
    investigation. As we gather more details it is sometimes necessary to
    contact the complainants for additional information.

    Your complaint suggests that your vehicle may have experienced the
    condition we are investigating. If you wouldn't mind, please answer the
    questions below (even if you no longer the vehicle) to supplement the
    information you have already provided us. The questions may seem trivial
    and some may be redundant to your complaint but are very important to

    1. If you did not provide the VIN of your vehicle with your
    complaint please do so.

    2. Are you the original owner?

    a) When was the vehicle purchased?

    b) Has the vehicle been primarily driven in you current state of

    3. What was the date of the incident?

    4. Were you the driver of the vehicle when the incident occurred?

    a) Were there other passengers in the vehicle at the time of the

    5. Please describe in detail the specific occurrence when you
    became aware that the lower link failed in your vehicle.

    6. Please also answer the following to supplement the prior
    information you have provided.

    a) Approximately what time did the incident occur?

    b) What were the weather conditions at the time of the incident?

    c) Warning Signs:

    i) Were there any warning signs alerting you to an impending issue
    with your vehicle?

    ii) If there were warning signs please describe the warning signs.
    (i.e. noise, etc.)

    iii) How long prior to the failure did you notice the warning signs?

    d) Which component failed (right or left)?

    e) How many miles were on your vehicle at the time of the failure?

    f) How fast were you traveling when the failure occurred?

    g) What type of road were you traveling on (i.e. two lane road,
    highway, residential street, etc)?

    i) If you recall the exact location please provide that information
    (for example the intersection of ABC Street and XYZ lane)

    h) What were the traffic conditions? (light, moderate, heavy)

    i) Were you able to maneuver the vehicle to the side of the road?

    i) Was your vehicle stranded in a lane of traffic?

    j) If the vehicle was left inoperable did the vehicle require

    i) How long did it take for a tow truck to arrive? Where was the
    vehicle towed?

    k) At the time of the incident were you using your vehicle to tow a
    boat, trailer, etc.?

    7. Has the issue been corrected on your vehicle? If so how was it

    8. Did you report the issue to Isuzu / Honda? If so what did Isuzu
    / Honda say in their response to you?

    Also, please feel free to add any additional relevant information
    (including pictures). Thank you again for filing your complaint and
    contributing to our investigation.

    Best Regards,

    Derek L. Rinehardt
    Safety Defects Engineer / Federal Investigator
    U.S Department of Transportation
    National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
    Office of Defects Investigation, Vehicle Controls Division
    1200 New Jersey Ave, SE
    W48-219, NVS-213
    Washington, DC 20590
    Office: (202) 366-3642, (877) 536-8368 x63642
    Fax: (202) 366-1767
  • howardruhowardru Member Posts: 155
    Exactly how did you receive this letter/Email?

    I have sumitted a complant to Isuzu and NHTSA and they have all my information to contact me and have not.

    How did you receive this notice?
  • marinakymarinaky Member Posts: 64
    Resubmit your info to NHTSA. I had to do it 2 times before I received a response/claim #. That was months before I received this e-mail letter. You also have to open a case with Isuzu or Honda, whichever vehicle you own. Actual case #, not just a phone call to them. File a complaint with the car company. Read my info on - 1998 Honda Passport, go to body/paint, click on body. I have been pursuing Honda America since January 2009. I am just trying to get as many Rodeo/Passport owners out there to contact Mr. Rinehardt so we can push the automakers to do the right thing. So far, I have been one small voice against Honda. They have ridiculed me, and treated me like I was nothing, but I dogged after Honda anyway. So, I am celebrating just that fact that this is going forward, where ever it goes.
  • marinakymarinaky Member Posts: 64
    Log back on to this web page, I have posted the letter we have received from the federal investigator into this issue. Cut and paste, fill out the info, send it to Mr. Rinehardt. M
  • howardruhowardru Member Posts: 155
    Thanks Marinaky,

    I already have a Isuzu Case # and NHSTA Case # from whent his happened last month. Still never got anything from NHTSA.

    Either way, I already completed the paperwork, answered the questions and attached detailed photos of the rusted control arm. Already FAXed to him tonight and have a hard copy going out in the mail tomorrow.

    Thanks for the heads up. That's 2 voices now!
  • howardruhowardru Member Posts: 155
    Better yet, why wait for the U.S. Postal Service to lose your letter to Derek L. Rinehardt. Here is his email address so that you can email him your letter and photos!
  • bbrown55bbrown55 Member Posts: 16
    Well, I contact Isuzu in California and was told it was not a "big problem" and that i was virtually the only complaint they had about frame rust and rot. We were told the car (2001) was totalled with 80,000 miles on it. So, we did have it fixed as the insurance told us it was not there problem and Isuzu told us it was not there problem and we owed $ on this car. It looks brand new....

    Any ideas??/

  • jonjagjonjag Member Posts: 1
    I just got my 2001 Honda Passport inspected today. Great news it passed inspection with needing nothing done to it. BUT I was in shock when my mechanic told me that the vehicle has a bad corrosion problem with the frame and it will pass for now but come next inspection it will most likely need some replacement welding done to it and down the road it will just get worse. I couldn't believe has only 58,000 miles on it! I was wondering, should I still file a complaint even though nothing has broke on the frame yet? -Jon
  • howardruhowardru Member Posts: 155
    That is a bunch of BS!

    I made the same call when my Axiom rusted through almost 2 months ago and he said, he never heard of it. Maybe this guy didn't but I even gave him the NTSB open report referencing this problem and he said he never heard of that either.

    Plausible deniability is their modus operandi. I even called out the NTSB open investigation into the problem and the guy told me the same thing....that he never heard of that. Isuzu is claiming ignorance but they'll be paying the price soon enough.

    At least I got mine totalled and got a bit of money.
  • howardruhowardru Member Posts: 155
    Dude, you are riding a death trap.

    The car will be totalled once it rusts through. File a complant with the NTSB (see my earlier posts on the PE Action #.). File a complaint with Isuzu north America.....and finally....ditch the car in the Cash for Clunkers program because you'll be buying a new car soon enough...

    You've been warned!
  • marinakymarinaky Member Posts: 64
    Follow my earlier posts and use the letter from Derek Rinehardt and file a complaint with him. I sent my info certified, photos and all info and even posts off of the internet showing how many people are having this issue. And it is a big issue. I haven't contacted Honda lately, but I am sure that they and Isuzu are getting hot under the collar about this. Others on this website have just copied and pasted the letter or you can print it off and fill it out and send it to him. Make sure you include photos if you have them.
    Cash for clunkers would be a wonderful thing. Unfortunately, after owning and insuring for 11 years, we dropped the insurance on the passport 4 months ago, so we are screwed in that department. I wasn't comfortable driving it, even though the frame was welded, so we parked it, I'm driving my husband's car and he is driving a Tercel. Talk about SOL. Hopefully the recall will come through with something good for all of us involved in this matter.
  • moz2moz2 Member Posts: 1
    I just came on to edmunds in hope to find that I wasnt the only one who had a mint 2001 Isuzu rodeo sport that in an instant was totaled due to a rotted frame the right rear wheel control rotted right away from my car on route8 highway luckily I made it to shoulder then to shop to get the disappointing news That you get 9 yrs from your new car!!! Looking to see what kind of actions to take? Any input would be greatlly appreciated.
  • bbrown55bbrown55 Member Posts: 16
    Follow the link to the above situation - and speak with Derek Rinehardt at the National Transportation Bureau ASAP. Send a letter to ISUZU at the California address, call them at the California address (be sure to cc both ISUZU and the NTSB - FAX a copy and send a copy certified mail. I spoke with Mr. Rinehardt last week - TAKE PICTURES - LOTS of PICTURES OF THE UNDERSIDE OF THE CAR - get statements from the professional who diagnosed the situation. The more materials on this issue THE BETTER! We had pictures and letters from the person who did the welding - we still owed a large sum of money on this car and had to have it repaired.....NIGHTMARE situaiton. But they are working on it and the more people who are pro active and help out - the quicker this will reach recall or resolution status - PLEASE DO NOT IGNORE THIS PROBLEM - or assume the loss - it may take a while - but I Believe what he told me and I think that with pressure from the NTSB and the public - it will be a positive result,.
  • howardruhowardru Member Posts: 155
    GO back and read my messages about this same problem 2 months ago.

    Perhaps you can get your car "totaled" if you follow my guidance. Look in this forum and the Axiom Forum (which uses the same frame).

    Follow the last instructions for compiling info and filing a complaint with NHSTA etc...
  • howardruhowardru Member Posts: 155
    Here is my guidance and what worked for me...
  • gurlzyllagurlzylla Member Posts: 8
    What you are suggesting in your post is insurance fraud! No thanks- I'll stick with reporting the defect to NHTSA and keeping my nose clean.
  • marinakymarinaky Member Posts: 64
    I have to agree with gurlzylla. Although it will take a while for the recall to go through, I will wait. This way, I know Honda/Isuzu will realize they shouldn't treat consumers like they have been. The product is defective and warrants a recall, not a false call to the insurance company. It is an matter of being able to look myself in the mirror each morning. Besides, I am pretty sure if a whole bunch of passports and rodeos suddenly have pot hole frame damage, the insurance companies will get a bit suspicious and do their own investigations.
  • lboydlboyd Member Posts: 8
    We purchased our Isuzu Rodeo from a very trusted friend less than one year ago. When he bought this vehicle he also purchased a lifetime undercoating, and proceeded to have it done yearly, so rust, was the least of our concerns with this truck. Boy were we wrong. While driving with our two children, the steady bar broke free from the frame of our truck, behind the drivers side rear wheel. We lost complete control of the vehicle, but somehow managed to get to the shoulder! Thankfully we were on a quiet residential road, we could have easily been killed should this have happened on the highway!!! Not to mention perhaps others as well... This truck in a 2001, less than 9 years old!!! I see others here have had this problem as well, I'm wondering if because I am in Canada, will I have any luck in trying to rectify this problem. It really bites that we are now out the price of a New to us vehilce, but what really terrifies me, is the thousands of others still on the road with these vehicles!!! Ours was impeccably cared for, what about the others that weren't? From the years of the models that are having these problems, I'm thinking there are about to be many accidents on Isuzus hands!!! Please help in any way that you can..
  • tidestertidester Member Posts: 10,059
    the steady bar broke free from the frame of our truck

    Just to be clear, are you saying the mount broke due to rusting?

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • lboydlboyd Member Posts: 8
  • tidestertidester Member Posts: 10,059
    That's utterly amazing and simply should not happen in any vehicle. Have you spoken with anyone from Isuzu?

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • lboydlboyd Member Posts: 8
    Not yet, made complaints to both Canadian and US Dept. of Trans. Need to file a formal complaint with Isuzu tomorrow. I know, I'm very worried for others on the road with these vehicles. We had the exact problem that they are investigation, so hopefully we won't be simply out thousands of dollars, and they will warn others of this danger! I can't imagine what could have happened had we been on the highway!
  • tidestertidester Member Posts: 10,059
    Please keep us updated on what you find out and what happens.

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • lboydlboyd Member Posts: 8
    Absolutely, if it hadn't been for this site I would have never known this was going on! Thank you..
  • lboydlboyd Member Posts: 8
    Has anyone ever gone to the Media, I still can't stop thinking about other incidents like this that are about to happen???
  • howardruhowardru Member Posts: 155

    Read the messages on the Rodeo board and Axiom board. Immaculate and pampered cars rusting underneath.

    Isuzu doesn't give a dam and they are prepared to do nothing until the government forces them. As for Canada, I haven't seen anything happening in your government, so you are probably SOL.

    I posted a lengthy "What to do" on the Axiom (rusted frame thread) board and it's how I was able to get my car totaled and money from my insurance company.
  • marinakymarinaky Member Posts: 64
    I have tried to go the to media, we have a trouble shooter on one of our local TV stations as we have several stations in Louisville, but she didn't want to bother with it. I have tried several times.
  • marinakymarinaky Member Posts: 64
    Your situation is similar to so many, except you have the proof of the undercoating which I know I do not have. If you follow the earlier posts, I have the letter received from Derek Rinehardt who is a federal investigator into this Passport/Rodeo situation. Please read the letter, answer the questions and send your responses along with photos to him. If there was a police report, send that too. I am thankful your family was not hurt. My incident was very similar, on a long empty driveway to a warehouse and "boom" that was the end of my Passport. I usually drive 55 mph home and to work, and if I hadn't been running an errand at lunchtime, this would have happened on a busy curvy road. My husband and I had gone to Gatlinburg TN the weekend before, up and down mountains, 70+ on the interstate for 4 hours driving back and forth, so I was very fortunate this occurred when it did. Keep up updated. M
  • lboydlboyd Member Posts: 8
    Well, I just wrote a letter to the media as well, you can't get the attention until you try..... Hopefully someone out there will listen. Thanks for all your advise.
  • 530ir1150r530ir1150r Member Posts: 263
    What exactly rusts, the frame, the control arm, the bracket that connects the control arm to the frame, the bolts that hold the control arm to the bracket, the bolts that hold the bracket to the frame or(?)? We have looked at my sons 2001 LS with 100k miles and do not see any rust. I am not sure I am looking at the right location.
  • wlbrown9wlbrown9 Member Posts: 867
    Well, I don't think the manufacturers actually recommend undercoating. It can trap salt, etc and lead to more corrosion. You might actually have as good a case against the company that sold the package to your friend as against Isuzu.
  • lboydlboyd Member Posts: 8
    I can send you some pictures, email me @ [email protected]
  • hbriggshbriggs Member Posts: 8
    Has anyone heard anymore on whether or not they are going to recall these vehicles? I filed a complaint w/ the NHTSA about a year ago and still have not heard anything!! I still have my vehicle sitting in my driveway 50,000 miles and it's just rotting away....
  • marinakymarinaky Member Posts: 64
    I had to file with the NHTSA twice before I received a response from them. Did you fill out the info and send it to Derek Rinehardt? The recall will take a while, and my vehicle is also packed in the driveway, hasn't moved for months. My son took the battery out and is using it for his truck, that was kinda sad.
  • bbrown55bbrown55 Member Posts: 16
    I have written to Isuzu, and to Derek said it would take "time", I did get a telephone call from him 6 weeks back. I also feel how much time??? They know Isuzu has a "problem", Isuzu knows they have a problem......what does it take a "death" or terrible accident to get this issue resolved???? Frustrated with the slow process as more people are scammed.
  • hogtied2rodeohogtied2rodeo Member Posts: 2
    I'm in Worcester, MA and unfortunately inherited an Isuzu Rodeo (from a brother that died recently). The Rodeo has the rust problem. It is a 2000 with 90K miles. So I guess I'm just posting this to commiserate with the rest of the posters and just to recap as to the actions I and others have to take:

    1) File a complaint with NHSTA

    2) Try to find a contact number for someone named Derek Reinhardt who is and Isuzu rep of some sort?

    3) Badger my insurance company to try to get the car "totalled"?

    Any other thoughts would be great as it seems I'm added to the list of folks with a 4,000lb. paper weight in the driveway.
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