Ford Puts Out $1,000 Bounty on 2006 Rangers Equipped With Faulty Airbags
The program is meant to motivate dealers to review every single Ranger they encounter.
Ford is offering $1,000 to its network of U.S dealerships for every Ford Ranger they find that's included in the Takata airbag recall list that was issued earlier this year. The basically emergency-status list urges drivers of affected vehicles to stop driving them immediately and contact their local dealership.
The Drive has learned that the reward program began earlier this week and that it only covers the 2006 Ford Ranger. Furthermore, the vehicles must be fully repaired per the recall guidelines in order for the dealership to receive the $1,000 reward. It's not clear if others will eventually be added to the list, but so far 2006 is the only year model listed in the "Do Not Drive" memorandum issued by the automaker in February of this year.
Dealerships are typically reimbursed by the manufacturer for the cost of parts and labor of recall- or warranty-related issues, so Ford expects that the reward, which in theory can be seen as pure profit, will motivate dealers to clean up the remaining 25 percent of midsize pickup trucks that have yet to be repaired.
"We take the safety of our customers very seriously and continue to use a wide variety of tools to reach and inform our customers of the Takata recalls to repair vehicles," Ford spokesperson Elizabeth Weigandt told The Drive. "Within these recalls, of particular urgency is finding and repairing the remaining 2006 Ford Rangers included in the 'Do Not Drive' recall that are equipped with Takata inflators that have a higher risk of rupturing in a crash."
"Our latest action includes offering $1,000 per vehicle to our dealers to take additional unprecedented measures to locate, account for and/or repair the remaining 2006 Rangers as soon as possible," Weigandt concluded.
According to figures released by Ford earlier this year, approximately 36,000 2006 Rangers built at the now-defunct Twin Cities Assembly Plant between August and December 2005 may be equipped with faulty Takata airbags, which could suddenly release and injure vehicle occupants. This means that up to 9,000 vehicles with defective components could still be roaming the streets.