Ford Seeking Group of Ranger Owners With Extremely Dangerous Trucks

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
ford seeking group of ranger owners with extremely dangerous trucks

Some 2,900 Ford Ranger pickups from the 2006 model year pose such a high risk to their owners, Ford Motor Company wants those people to stop driving them immediately. So great is the concern, Ford is recalling vehicles already named in an earlier recall, just so it can identify who the owners are.

Of the 21 deaths and hundreds of injuries reported from exploding Takata airbags, only two fatalities occurred in vehicles not built by Honda. A Ranger airbag explosion in 2015 killed a female driver. Now, the automaker claims it has discovered the July 2017 death of a West Virginia driver was also the result of a Takata inflator — and that both victims’ inflators were manufactured on the same day.

In 2016, Ford recalled 391,000 2004-2006 Rangers to remove potentially deadly Takata airbag inflators. Of that group, the new recall affects 2,700 2006 Rangers in the U.S. and 200 in Canada. Given the age of the vehicles, it’s likely many have gone to the crusher or scrapyard. Still, extreme danger exists in those still left on the road.

Takata inflators, composed of volatile ammonium nitrate (the same material used in truck bombs), can degrade over the passage of time, leading to instability. The inflator can then detonate with too much force in the event of an accident, sending metal shrapnel into the face and torso of the victim. High heat and humidity are known to speed up the chemical’s breakdown.

These 2,900 vehicles represent the model’s highest risk pool. The situation is similar to an urgent notice sent out in 2016 for a group of 2001-2003 Honda vehicles, all of which were determined to have a 50-percent chance of airbag detonation.

Meanwhile, Mazda said Thursday it would conduct its own recall of 2006 B-Series trucks containing the same inflator.

“It is extremely important that all high-risk air bags are tracked down and replaced immediately,” National Highway Traffic Safety Administration spokeswoman Karen Aldana said in a statement.

Ford says it will tow any impacted owner’s vehicle to a dealer to fix the issue, or send a mobile team to the owner’s home for on-site repairs. Free loaners can be had, if needed.

The Takata scandal led to the largest automotive safety recall in history and forced the company to file for bankruptcy protection last year (as well as pay $1 billion in penalties). Some 25 million vehicles will be recalled worldwide by 2019, more than 60 million of them in the United States.

[Image: Ford Motor Company]

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  • CaptainObvious CaptainObvious on Jan 12, 2018

    Ford is handling the whole airbag recall terribly. I have a 2008 Fusion - I just got ANOTHER letter from Ford telling me my car is subject to the airbag recall - but this one went on to tell me to not let anyone ride in the front passenger seat until the airbag gets replaced. And when will that happen? Ford doesn't know. I contacted Ford about this asking for a loaner or SOMETHING - and they have no plans in place. The dealer's hands are tied by Ford. What do you do if you have to carry passengers every day? If you only have this one car? Put them all in danger?? Thanks Ford - for absolutely nothing.

  • Broo Broo on Jan 12, 2018

    I own a 2006 Ranger 2WD longbed. Both airbags were recalled in 2016 and both times (as they did it one at a time) it took an awfully long time between receiving the recall notice and the replacement parts being available. I hope I don't get a new recall notice telling me not to have any passenger sit in the front row, because the front row is all I have (single cab). Hey Ford, instead of a loaner why not give us a 2019 Ranger for free to replace this deathtrap to prove your goodwill ? :)

  • Jim Bonham Thanks.
  • Luke42 I just bought a 3-row Tesla Model Y.If Toyota made a similar vehicle, I would have bought that instead. I'm former Prius owner, and would have bought a Prius-like EV if it were available.Toyota hasn't tried to compete with the Model Y. GM made the Bolt EUV, and Ford made the Mach-E. Tesla beat them all fair and square, but Toyota didn't even try.[Shrug]
  • RHD Toyota is trying to hedge their bets, and have something for everyone. They also may be farther behind in developing electric vehicles than they care to admit. Japanese corporations sometimes come up with cutting-edge products, such as the Sony Walkman. Large corporations (and not just Japanese corporations) tend to be like GM, though - too many voices just don't get heard, to the long-term detriment of the entity.
  • Randy in rocklin The Japanese can be so smart and yet so dumb. I'm America-Japanese and they really can be dumb sometimes like their masking paranoia.
  • Bunkie The Flying Flea has a fascinating story and served, inadvertently, to broaden the understanding of aircraft design. The crash described in the article is only part of the tale.
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