Earlier this week, we reported that the National Highway Traffic Safety administration had conclusively linked a tenth fatality to Takata's poorly designed airbags. The death occurred in a Ford Ranger pickup, making in the ninth in the U.S. and the first to take place in a vehicle not manufactured by Honda.
Accordingly, Ford has expanded its Takata recall list to include more than 391,000 Ford Ranger pickups. Those vehicles will have their driver-side airbags replaced.
In keeping with the far-too-complicated nature of this recall, the Ford Ranger has been involved in several previous Takata-related actions. The company recalled some of those models in June 2014 to replace driver-side devices, but that recall was limited to trucks ever sold or registered in high-humidity areas: "Florida, Puerto Rico, Hawaii and the U.S. Virgin Islands". In May of 2015, some of those same Rangers were recalled a second time to replace passenger-side devices.
Now the Ranger is being recalled again. According to NHTSA, the latest recall is meant to replace driver-side Takata airbags on 2004-2006 Ranger vehicles built in North America between March 24, 2003 and May 4, 2006.
The recall affects a total of 391,394 trucks: 361,692 registered in the U.S., and 29,334 registered in Canada. Ford says that it will mail recall notices to owners no later than March 7, 2016. After receiving those notices, owners will be able to take their Rangers to Ford dealers, who will replace the driver-side airbag inflators at no charge.
If you own one of these vehicles and have questions, you're encouraged to call Ford customer service at 866-436-7332 and ask about recall #16S03. You can also call NHTSA at 888-327-4236 and ask about safety campaign #16V036000.