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by Tim Beissmann

Ford Australia has recalled more than 16,000 Ford Ranger utes to repair a defect with the vehicles’ factory-fitted tow bar.

A total of 16,287 Ford Ranger XLT and Wildtrak models from the previous two generations (PJ and PK model codes) sold in Australia between September 18, 2006 and June 17, 2011 are affected by the recall. The all-new PX Ford Ranger that launched in Australia in the second half of 2011 is not affected.

The official recall notice published on the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) website explains:

“The tow bar assembly fitted to affected vehicles may develop weld fracturing around the towbar tongue.

“Fracturing of the tow bar tongue welding can affect safe operation and handling when an affected vehicle is towing, presenting a potential traffic hazard to the driver and/or other road users.”

Ford Australia’s Neil McDonald confirmed the defect was first reported by an owner in Queensland and was subsequently investigated by the manufacturer’s engineers. No accidents or injuries have been reported in relation to the defect.

McDonald explained the recall service would take half a day to complete, and would see a new tow bar fitted and additional reinforcement added. The original rear-step bumper and tow ball will be retained.

Ford Australia says owners of affected vehicles should not use their tow bars until the recall is completed.

Owners are advised to contact their Ford dealership to organise the service, and are encouraged to contact Ford customer service on 1800 503 672 for further information.




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