Laguna Hills, CA – July 26, 2019 – Ford Motor Company is recalling thousands of 2019 Ford Rangers from the marketplace after discovering that the front seat belt may malfunction when in use. The issue appears to have originated during the assembly process. Given that buckling up is a primary law in most states and the inherent safety risks associated with not using a seat belt, Ford is coordinating with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to ensure that these vehicles are fixed.
Owners can expect to receive an official notification pertaining to this recall starting July 29. Motorists are urged to take their trucks back to the dealer so the problem can be assessed and ameliorated.
According to NHTSA and Ford, approximately 7,579 2019 Ford Rangers – one of the more popular passenger trucks in the world – may contain seat belts containing flaws that render the restraint system inoperable. The issue concerns the assembly’s poke yoke fixture, which was not installed correctly in the front passenger-side unit, as opposed to the driver’s side. The component manufacturer is based in Mexico, but it’s unclear if the problem originated there with the parts itself or during the actual assembly.
If passengers can’t buckle or the latch fails at some point while traveling, a crash dramatically increases the risk of injury or death. Ford believes that this issue is confined to only those 2019 Ranger models with the SuperCab body style. There’s a good chance that the belts are fine, as safety officials believe 1% of the total recalled include the defect. Nevertheless, Ford is making the move out of an abundance of caution.
Timeline of Events
In late June, the Critical Concern Review Group at Ford was alerted to a warranty claim made by a Ranger SuperCab owner, who noted that the passenger side belt buckle wasn’t latching. The quality control team followed up on this alert and discovered that the glitch may be related to the unit’s anchor and the routing method used. A more thorough inspection determined that it was an installation problem affecting the poke yoke, which is a seat belt unit fixture. CCRG followed up with the supplier and concluded that all poke yokes installed prior to June 19 may be vulnerable.
Thanks in part to traffic safety campaigns like “Click It or Ticket,” seat belts are worn by the vast majority of Americans today. Motorists are required to use them in 49 of 50 states and in those that have primary laws on the books – totaling 20 in addition to the District of Columbia – motorists can be pulled over and fined if they’re not buckled.
Tragically, thousands have died in recent years due to not wearing a seat belt. Based on the most recent statistics available from NHTSA, 10,428 passengers in the U.S. were killed in 2016 from injuries they sustained in crashes.
Neither Ford nor NHTSA is aware of any accidents stemming from this recall, with none reported as of July 10.
Ford knows how to fix this issue and seeks to inform 2019 SuperCab owners starting July 29, via first-class mail. Dealers have already been notified. Motorists can take their vehicle to any Ford dealer, where upon examination, the right front seatbelt assembly will be swapped out for one that works. This repair will come at no charge. All parties are expected to be notified no later than August 3.
For more information on this recall and to see if you or someone you know is affected, visit MotorSafety.org. You’ll need the VIN of the car to know for sure.