Isuzu Motors is issuing a recall of 1998 to 2001 models of their Amigo SUVs and 2002 models of the Rodeo Sport SUV vehicles due to a rear suspension issue that increase crash risks. The Tokyo-based car and truck manufacturer's recall is expected to affect 11,221 sport utility vehicles (SUVs) across 21 states and the District of Columbia.
States affected by the Isuzu SUV recall include Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri and Kentucky.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says the vehicles are being recalled in regions where salt is used to clear the roads of ice and snow. Vehicles in these areas may suffer from excessive corrosion of the forward mounting point bracket for the left or right rear suspension lower link.
In the case of such corrosion, these suspension brackets can become detached from the vehicle's frame, affecting handling and increasing the risk of a crash.
Isuzu will notify owners by mail, and start the recall either in late July or early August, according to a company spokesperson. The NHTSA acknowledged the recall in a letter to Isuzu on Friday.
At the dealership, inspections and repairs will be free of charge, as long as the affected SUV is no more than 10 years old. Special restrictions and rules may apply to vehicles older than ten years.
Vehicles will be inspected for signs of corrosion. If little or no corrosion is found, the area will be treated with an anti-corrosive compound. For vehicles with corrosion that has damaged the rear suspension lower link bracket and hindered the connection to the vehicle frame, a reinforcement bracket will installed.
If the damage is beyond repair, Isuzu will offer to repurchase the vehicle based on the Kelley Blue Book “Private Party” price.
Isuzu is known in the US mainly for its line of mid-sized sport utility vehicles. The company is also one of the largest producers of large trucks, specializing in trucks with diesel engines. Isuzu products are sold in 100 countries worldwide, and overseas sales account for more than 65 percent of its business. Due to financial troubles, however, the company stopped selling new pickups and SUVs in the region in North America. Isuzu now only sells commercial vehicles in the US, earning 72.1 billion yen in the 2012 fiscal year so far.
This is a relatively small recall for the auto industry. Recalls that involve hundreds of thousands, and occasionally millions, of vehicles are not at all uncommon. The biggest on record in the US came in 2008 and 2009, when Ford recalled over 14 million vehicles because of a cruise control malfunction.