Ford is recalling nearly 100,000 2004-2006 Ranger pickups. The automaker has to inspect the vehicles to see if technicians correctly completed a previous recall repair related to the model’s Takata airbags. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, technicians may have improperly installed the passenger-side inflator in some of the fixed trucks, which may not allow the airbag to deploy in the event of a crash.
Ford initiated an investigation into the airbags in November, identifying seven vehicles with improperly installed inflators. In January, technicians who had incorrectly installed the part told the automaker they did not review the instructions before working on the affected trucks. This prompted Ford to change its service kits and add an instruction sheet illustrating correct and incorrect installations.
The automaker has already repaired the seven vehicles with faulty inflators that it had identified. It says it’s not aware of any reports of accidents or injuries related to an improperly installed inflator in the Ranger.
Automakers began recalling vehicles with Takata airbags in 2013. Over the next few years, automakers issued several in an effort to replace all the potentially faulty airbags. The inflator units could rupture, sending shrapnel into the passenger compartment and causing injuries and deaths. The defective airbags have killed at least 22 people in the US, including at least three who were driving Ranger pickups. The original Takata airbag recall affected tens of millions of cars worldwide from nearly every automaker. Vehicles with dangerous airbags are still on the road, and they are still causing deaths.
Ford will notify the 98,550 Ranger owners about the new recall later this month when the automaker sends out notification letters. The automaker will ask owners to take their vehicle to a Ford or Lincoln dealer. A service technician will inspect the previously replaced front passenger airbag and properly reinstall it if necessary.
The fix is free to owners. Ford has struggled to limit recalls over the last few years, issuing the most in 2022. Check to see if you own an affected car here.