Ford To Recall Ranger Over Safety Issue
Ford Motor Company will issue a recall on 2002 Rangers equipped with the optional FX4 package. The recall (02S32) applies to all models when equipped with a manual transmission. BlueOvalNews first reported the problem existed on 31 January 2002.
The recalled Rangers include all 2002 models with the FX4 package built at the Edison plant from 3 May 2001 through 28 January 2002 and at Twin Cities from 15 May 2001 through 09 January 2002.
BlueOvalNews obtained a memo from Ford to the U.S. government which stated that "The rear axle differential case may fracture under a high torque event such as when customers accelerate rapidly from a stop or when a spinning tire suddenly gains traction. The vehicle may exhibit a clunk or grinding noise indicating a possible rear axle differential fracture. Differential fractures may potentially result in wheel lock-up." Ford Motor Company is aware of three specific rear axle failures in FX4 Ranger models.
Ford will recall all Rangers as specified above and install an entire new rear axle assembly. Ford made significant changes to the 2003 Ranger's axle; therefore, no 2002 parts are interchangeable.
Ford claims that the supplier of the differential case implemented a change to the design, which increased the 'window' size in the casting. The change to the casting results in insufficient strength to withstand the impact loading delivered by the manual transmission application to the rear axle. The supplier did notify Ford of the change until after the reports of fractures on vehicles in service.