By on November 26, 2019

2019 Ford Ranger at MAP - Image: Ford

Ford announced Monday that it will recall 72,718 Ranger pickups over taillight malfunctions. This one is pretty cut and dried, without the mystique that make most recall notices so appealing. There’s no fire risk, no chance of the vehicle veering wildly out of control, and no reported accidents stemming from the issue.

Barring some inattentive motorist slamming into your backside, not realizing you were attempting to stop, the range of hypothetical dangers are pretty limited. Basically, someone forgot to crimp and plug the applicable terminals at the factory and Ford needs to give these 2019MY Rangers another look — something it seems to be doing rather often. 

From Ford:

In affected vehicles, the inline electrical connector terminals for the tail lamps may be misaligned or not properly seated. Misaligned or improperly seated terminals can result in intermittent or inoperative tail lamps. Intermittent or inoperative tail lamps can result in loss of stop, turn, rear position, and reverse lamps, which can reduce the vehicle’s visibility and may not fully alert other drivers that the vehicle is braking, turning, or reversing, increasing the risk of a crash. The high-mounted center stop lamp is not affected.

This wouldn’t even be worth mentioning if the midsize pickup hadn’t been subjected to a few recalls already. Ford recalled around 18,000 2019 Rangers in October over a clearance issue with the HVAC system’s electrical terminal, which posed a potential fire hazard. A handful of trucks were also recalled earlier in the year over a suspected rollaway risk that also affected 270,000 Fusion sedans.

While recalls on brand new models are hardly new, the quick succession in which Ford’s newest pickup is having to deal with them is slightly bothersome. The T6 Ranger was already on sale in other parts of the world and had to be redone for the North American market. Some of the issues it suffers from may stem from the regional changes made, but it also causes one to wonder about the quality control taking place in Wayne, Michigan.

The manufacturer says the models with the bad connections were built at the Michigan Assembly Plant between June 2018 and August 2019. As always, you can check your VIN with the NHTSA or wait for the automaker to issue its recall notice.

[Image: Ford]

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19 Comments on “Ford Recalling 72,000 Rangers Over Taillight Troubles...”

  • avatar

    So, to recap…here’s a list of stuff Ford is doing wrong:

    1) It can’t build cars with working transmissions, and can’t fix the problem without a class-action lawsuit.
    2) It has to manufacture Explorers and Aviators twice, at two separate plants.
    3) It can’t build truck seatbacks on trucks that actually stay up.
    4) And now they can’t build a truck with working taillights.

    And this is just a partial list.

    Forget all the silly “I’m SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO triggered” bleatings over the electric Mustang – if they can’t do this stuff on vehicles they have a LONG history of making, what kinds of problems can we expect on a radical new design full of tech they have zero experience with?

    People say they won’t buy the electric Mustang because it soils the sacred Mustang name, or some such bulls**t – I won’t buy it because I have zero confidence that Ford can actually build an electric Mustang that won’t self-destruct around me.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Non-functional tailights are a pretty serious safety concern, and it looks like it applies to nearly every Ranger built so far (until August, anyway).

  • avatar

    Typical Ford.

    A truck that they have been making since 2012 should have zero issues. Yet here we are, another recall.

    Where is JohnnyTaurus to tell us how this recall is the greatest thing Ford ever did?

  • avatar
    Polka King

    OOH! They’re making cars in color again !!

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    I like the truck but I would wait a couple of more years for Ford to iron out the rest of the bugs. I agree that this is not a new product since it is basically the Global Ranger but it is new to the Michigan Assembly Plant. Seems Ford needs to go back to “Quality is Job One”. An office furniture CEO does not equal a good Auto CEO. Hackett should go back to credenzas.

  • avatar

    The new Ranger seems to be a bit of a turd. Both Car and Driver and Savagegeese ripped it apart, and I have to say it seems like a really lazy effort against rivals that are ~15 years old. How does a truck this new lose to interior packaging against much older trucks? Why is the dash such a lazy effort? Why are the controls so bad?

  • avatar

    I don’t have a huge issue with this recall and I’m not going to pile onto Ford based on this announcement.

    From reading the Ford statement above, it seems like more ‘snapping’ and less ‘crimping’ – not sure how much crimping happens these days at line speed (and personally I almost always get out the soldering iron rather than crimp anything, but my jobs-per-hour rate is one or less [and I’m probably doing something other than the stock wiring configuration]).

    I don’t think the vehicle would have made it out of the plant with inoperative brake lights – this is checked somewhere close to end of line.

    To me, it sounds more like “intermittent” (from the statement) which might then turn into “inoperative”.

    “the inline electrical connector terminals for the tail lamps may be misaligned or not properly seated”
    Likely culprit – spec change or supplier change on one or both snap connectors. Could be plastics related (“seated”), could be metal internal terminal related (“misaligned”). (*Could* be line worker issue, but poka-yoke [mistake-proofing] for a basic snap connector *should* be relatively straightforward.)
    More basic root cause – the relentless supplier grind and cost engineering which most players have adopted.

    More specific likely causation on this model: Taking a ‘global’ vehicle and adopting it for US market and US production is going to entail all sorts of homologation and supplier base changes. So if the ‘new’ taillamp snap connector doesn’t exactly mate with the ‘old’ body harness snap connector, don’t be too terribly surprised.

    • 0 avatar

      To me it sounds like the terminals were not consistently pushed in until it is fully seated and the retaining tang clicks into place. So yeah it might make contact when first connected and then due to vibration it may work its way back out of the connector becoming intermittent on its way to being non-op.

      While I don’t know about the Ranger specifically, but Ford has been know to outsource many of its wiring harnesses.

    • 0 avatar

      Come on…there are literally scores of “global” vehicles sold in the U.S. that have working taillights. If there was a problem with the wiring harnesses or what-not, it should have been ironed out LONG before the first vehicle rolled off the line.

      • 0 avatar


        Yes, absolutely. But remember that in 2019, in the areas which should be responsible for ensuring such things:
        – The strongest contributors are being asked to do three jobs
        – The timing is smashed to nothing in some phases
        – The budget is half of what it used to be
        – And a third of the people are on their phone

  • avatar

    Recalls? I’ve owned six Ford products. Two have had recalls.

    One had something to do with a warning sticker on the visor coming loose. I guess the glue wasn’t good enough to last 20 years. I didn’t take it in for service. I’d rather the darn sticker come off anyway.

    The other (recent) had to do with a spring in the interior part of the door handle. I guess under some strange circumstances, it could pop out and the door wouldn’t open. Took the car in for an oil change one day ($40 for six quarts of synthetic and a tire rotation). Oil change to an extra 30 minutes, as they fixed the issue.

    Let’s not get too excited.

    • 0 avatar

      “People today have attention spans that can only be measured in nanoseconds” Its been Ford lately(cwutididthur), but I’m sure we’ll hear from the *insert car company here* excuse/hater crowd when their time comes, and it will.

  • avatar

    I think Ford should introduce a new vehicle and call it the Ford Recall

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    How about the Ford Fungus, the new Ford that will grow on you. A fleet would be called the Fungi.

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