By on January 11, 2018

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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34 Comments on “Ford Seeking Group of Ranger Owners With Extremely Dangerous Trucks...”

  • avatar

    Something confusing about that last sentence, unless “worldwide” doesn’t include the US.

    • 0 avatar
      Jeremiah Mckenna

      This is what should have been typed… “Through various announcements, the recall has tripled in size over the past year. It is expected that the inflator recall will impact more than 42 million vehicles in the U.S., with the total number of airbags being between 65 and 70 million.”


  • avatar

    “Given the age of the vehicles, it’s likely many have gone to the crusher or scrapyard.”

    2006 pickup trucks – 11 years old?

    I don’t have any stats but my perception would be just the opposite…those things stick around forever, moving down the owner food chain over time.

    • 0 avatar
      Jeremiah Mckenna

      Or have been sold to various wholesale dealers and have been sent to Mexico and other Central and South American countries.

    • 0 avatar
      Dy-no-mite Jay

      “Many”, not “all”.

      Also, when you start looking a base model, 4 cylinder versions of this truck, “many” of them become pretty disposable at that age.

    • 0 avatar

      I agree, I still see 1980s 4 cylinder base models running around. Maybe not in the salt belt, but there are many older Rangers (and S10s and Japanese trucks) still in use. 11 years old is not that old for a truck of any kind/make.

    • 0 avatar

      11 years is the ave age of registered vehicle in the US last I had heard. So that would mean about half are still around. I think retail trucks tend to last longer than cars, but fleet ones get burned up pretty quick, so that may well balance out.

      • 0 avatar

        They fall off the map after the 2nd or 3rd owner, as far as manufacturers are concerned, even when they don’t get exported. I know of one Ranger of the era in question, it gets passed around like a cigarette by a group of brothers and friends, long expired tags, no one cares. It’s a manual trans XLT supercab so it’ll be around for a long while.

    • 0 avatar

      Yeah last I heard 11.6 years was the average age of a vehicle in the US. In general trucks last longer and the Ranger has a very high value in most areas, parts are cheap, being BOF makes a lot of things a bolt off/bolt on procedure, so they are not as likely to totaled out and if the are highly likely to be picked up at the salvage auction, repaired, and put back on the road.

      So certainly some have gone to the crusher but probably less than the average vehicle that age.

    • 0 avatar
      The Ghost of Buckshot Jones

      2006 Rangers dude. They’re not even worth scrap value by now.

    • 0 avatar

      I realize I’m an exception, but I’ve got a ’99 4.0L XLT King Cab w/5 spd and 313,000 miles. I drive the hell out of it still. I will NEVER let go of this truck. It has been pretty much bullet-proof.

  • avatar

    We will never know the real numbers of injuries and fatalities due to Takata airbags. If a car accident is severe enough to cause death in the first place, death caused by exploding airbag may not easily reveal itself in combination with other wounds.

    The numbers are almost certainly higher, and likely significantly higher. I hate that I have one of these Claymore mines waiting to explode in my front passenger airbag position and no resolution on when it will be replaced.

  • avatar

    When I saw the headline I thought it was in reference to the Ranger’s handling and “Extremely Dangerous Trucks” would be all of them.

  • avatar

    Considering the incessant recalls of nearly impossible numbers of vehicles overall, the most efficient, cheapest and reliable ‘fix’ for these Takata airbags is to simply remove them… period. Not replace them.

    Sure, they may have saved some lives but clearly they are as dangerous installed as they would be with no airbags installed. I’ve been a seat belt user all my life and I have never once been popped in the face by an airbag and honestly don’t want to be popped in the face by one now. Better they be removed than risk more lives with them.

  • avatar

    I miss these small trucks. I wish they still made them.

    • 0 avatar

      Rumor has it, we’ll be seeing them again soon. The compact truck market may heat up again. Of course, they’ll never be as small as they were.

      • 0 avatar

        In the old days, you could cut down a station wagon, like GM and Ford did to make the El Camino and Ranchero. Now they don’t make many small wagons, and most are FWD. Maybe an old Subaru Outback, but that’s AWD. For that, I’ll wait for the Wrangler-based pickup.

    • 0 avatar

      I came into this thread just to comment on how nice and clean and purposeful the styling is on this Ranger. Accessible bedsides to boot! I actually truly used my little ’97 RWD Ranger last summer to do a pretty substantial patio project. Lumber, loads of pavers that had me near the bump-stops, loads of gravel, bags of cement, some rental equipment, etc. I can’t imagine doing some of the things like loading and unloading a compactor and masonry saw out of the bed of any modern midsizer aside from the Frontier, to say nothing of a modern 4wd half-ton.

      • 0 avatar

        You can do it, if you know four burly guys who can be paid off in beer. It’s either that or rent a compact fork lift and tow it behind you.

        A guy across the street runs a landscaping business out of a F150. He has a homemade ramp, and loads and unloads equipment in front of the nearest fireplug, the only place he has room for the ramp.

        He used to have a beat-up Ranger and Bonneville sedan, now he has the 4 door F150 to do both jobs.

  • avatar

    The US generally doesn’t get recalls taken care of, this isn’t just the airbags or lack of parts. Get your damn cars fixed.

  • avatar

    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.

  • avatar

    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 ? :)

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