If you own one of these bad boys, your truck should be in the shop now.
Takata-branded airbag shrapnel embedded in the body of a customer is a nightmare scenario for any automaker, which is why the response to the infamous airbag scandal resulted in the largest recall in the history of the auto industry. On the other hand, Ford has a good reason for handling the recall of one particular batch of airbag inflators with an even higher degree of urgency. According to Auto Guide, the latest NHTSA recall related to faulty Takata inflators is for a very specific set of Ford Ranger models built in 2006.
Approximately 3,000 of these 2006 Rangers are affected, and the situation is so dire that Ford has asked these owners to quit driving their trucks entirely. While many customers affected by the Takata recall have yet to turn up to the dealership to get the free repair, Ford so badly wants these customers to get their Ranger airbags replaced that it has offered to pick up the vehicles directly from customers for repairs and provide a free vehicle loan in the meantime. So what is it about these Rangers that's making Ford act so swiftly? That would be the fact that The Blue Oval seems to have narrowed in on a particularly lethal batch of airbags that caused two separate fatalities for 2006 Ranger drivers.
The first fatality linked to the airbag recall was reported to Ford in January of 2016, but it's been compounded by a July 2017 crash that was determined to have been caused by a faulty airbag inflator when Ford conduced a secondary investigation. The real kicker? Both faulty airbags were built on the same day. Perhaps it's coincidence, but just to be safe Ford is recalling 2006 model year Rangers built at Ford's Twin Cities Assembly Plant between August 10th, 2005 and December 15th, 2005. At least Ford is stamping out this problem before it grows and puts a stain on the upcoming Ranger revival.