Dick Balaska - 1999 Isuzu Rodeo

April 26, 1999

(Note: this report is obviously not complete, but i wanted to get it fed into the search engines so that i can show my good friends at Valenti Motors what bubbles to the top of the list if you are using that world web internet thingy)

The purpose of this web page is to make public our problems with Isuzu, Valenti Motors of Watertown CT, and our Rodeo.  If you are in the market for an SUV and can't decide between a Rodeo and ANYTHING ELSE, go for the anything else.  I sure wish i'd bought the Toyota.
We are looking to hear from other Rodeo owners who suffer from this same air conditioning affliction to perhaps join in a class action law suit to try to rectify the problem.



I never thought i'd spend $30,000 for a car.  But we did when we purchased a cute little red Isuzu Rodeo from Valenti Motors in Watertown Connecticut.
It has two dumb features that are minor, but we really liked the car until we decided it is trying to kill us.
The problem with our lemon lies with the air conditioning system, which spews out mold, mildew, are other noxious fumes.
So, I take the car in for it's first oil change (3000 miles, 1 month) and i talk to the service department's front man, Tony.

"Dude, the air conditioner has this foul smell."
"All car air conditioners smell."
"Excuse me?"  (I'm trying to picture any corporate executives driving with their nose sticking out of an open window.)
"I've owned cars for 20 years and never had one stink."
"You shouldn't have bought a car with an air conditioner."

Tony should not be in customer service, unless of course your corporate policy involves insulting and stupefying your customers.

"Well, just come outside and smell it."
"My nose is shot, i wouldn't smell anything anyway."
"OK.  Perhaps you could sit in it until your eyes water and you faint?"

Tony, happy to remove himself from a situation that involves more than checking the right boxes for an oil change, hands me off to Chris.
Chris is helpful and understanding and does everything in his power within his corporate channels over the next couple of months to help.  But i still have this car.



October x
Isuzu has issued a service bulletin related to this problem.  Chris has ordered the parts.  No, i can not get a copy of the service bulletin.  I'm excited.  I'm thinking that they are going to replace a pan, or a filter, or some duct work.
The "parts" arrive and it is a can of disinfectant that they spray down the vents.  So now for a week we get sprayed back with this Lysol smell.  For a couple of days, the remnants of the disinfectant smell mix with the mold or mildew living in our car.
Valenti Motors will not let me have a copy of the work order since it was warranty work, and there was no charge.


October x
We offered the sales manager $5000 and our car which had less than 4000 miles on it in exchange for another Rodeo.  He he.  He countered by offering me $15000 for the car which i paid $30000 one month prior.


There is nothing like driving on a foggy night.  We can't turn on the defroster because that runs the air conditioning compressor.  So we have our "$30000 towel" to wipe the windshield off when visibility gets low.

Driving in hot weather is difficult too.  Not only can we not turn on the A/C, but this is an SUV; which means it has little in the way of aerodynamics.  Drive with the windows down and one is greeted with THWAP THWAP THWAP.  This is the sound of the airstream going around the car.  It works like this:  the air pressure inside the car is lower than that outside the car (a venturi effect) so the air is diverted into the car.  THWAP (as the air stream crosses the window frame).  Now the air pressure inside the car is higher than outside the car, so the airstream is diverted back outside of the car.  THWAP.  Perhaps we should have paid more than $30000 since it sounds like we're driving a helicopter.


So on a dry night, or an overcast day less than 50°F, the car is great.


April 20
Isuzu has issued a new service bulletin which we have managed to acquire a copy of.  This time, the service tech gets to drill a hole in the evaporator and spray the disinfectant in that.  (Heaven forbid they should replace the bad part).  The bulletin stresses several times that this procedure is not covered by the bumper-to-bumper warranty that we paid for, and should last a couple of months.


 

Dumb features.

Ordinarily, these features would not even be worth mentioning.  However, since i am devoting a page to our Rodeo...
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This page created April 26, 1999. Last touched Monday June 13, 2011 12:39 EDT