Why Ford is paying dealers $1,000 for each old Ranger fixed under recall

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The affected Ranger pickups were built with potentially defective Takata airbag inflators. Photo credit: Reuters

Ford Motor Co. is offering its U.S. dealers $ 1,000 for every 2006 Ranger covered by a “do not drive” warning that they find and fix, a company spokeswoman said Tuesday.

The affected vehicles were built with potentially defective Takata Corp. airbag inflators. Ford in February expanded the “do not drive” warning to include 36,330 of the pickups, although the number was later revised to 33,320.

Ford spokeswoman Elizabeth Weigandt said the automaker has accounted for or repaired about 75 percent of the recalled Rangers and decided to take “additional, unprecedented measures” by offering dealers incentives to find the remaining trucks. Ford told retailers they can earn $ 1,000 for each Ranger they locate and repair.

“We want to get to these vehicles as quickly as we can,” she told Automotive News. “We just don’t want our customers driving these vehicles at all.”

The affected Rangers were built from August through December 2005 at Ford’s now-shuttered Twin Cities Assembly Plant in St. Paul, Minn.

The defective inflators can explode with excessive force, unleashing metal shrapnel inside vehicles. The problem led to the largest automotive recall in history and forced Takata to file for bankruptcy protection in June 2017.

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