Takata Problems Force Recall of Ford Ranger (No, Not That One - the Old One)
Ford is recalling the Ranger. No, not the one they’re likely to show on stage at Detroit in about a month’s time. Rather, they’re calling back nearly 400,000 of the old Rangers. You know, the ones they stopped producing way back in the, uh, wow, 2012 model year.
In fact, the recalled units stem from much further back than that, with the company saying it will replace the airbags in 391,394 units of the 2004 through 2006 model-year Ford Ranger. Yes, Virginia, this is another problem related to Takata airbags.
Plus, we just wanted an excuse to run a photo of the old Ford Ranger.
The recalls cover driver and passenger airbag inflators in a select number of ’04-‘06 Ford Ranger pickups. Mazda B-Series trucks made by Ford are affected as well.
Takata used ammonium nitrate to create the bang to inflate its airbags. The problem with this approach is that the chemical can deteriorate over time. In some cases, the chemical can burn too fast when activated in a crash, blowing apart a metal canister and potentially hurling hot shrapnel in the faces of vehicle occupants.
It’s not the first time these particular trucks have been recalled for this same issue. The pickups were summoned back to dealers in 2015 and 2016 to replace inflators with newer ones as a stopgap measure. Under the latest recalls, inflators will be swapped for ones that don’t use ammonium nitrate.
The recall of 14-year-old pickup trucks bends this author’s brain. Most of these machines have gently returned to the earth in the form of fine iron oxide filings in this part of the country, while many others have simply endured a lifetime of hard work and long been discarded into the unflinching jaws of The Crusher. Of the 391,394 trucks covered in this recall, your humble author would love to know the exact number that actually get shiny new inflators.
Nevertheless, safety considerations reign, as they well should. These trucks are still on the road, particularly in parts of the nation where weather patterns are kinder to the longevity of vehicles. A death in South Carolina relating to this problem in the Ranger has been reported by the NHTSA.
Notifications will be sent later this month to owners of affected Ford Rangers.
[Images: Ford Motor Company]
Matthew buys, sells, fixes, & races cars. As a human index of auto & auction knowledge, he is fond of making money and offering loud opinions.
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