— A Ford truck tailgate recall has satisfied federal safety regulators who opened an investigation in October 2018 following complaints about electric tailgates that suddenly opened.
The investigation opened by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) included electric tailgate problems in 2017-2019 Ford F-250, F-350 and F-450 Super Duty trucks.
Ford truck owners complained about tailgates that opened without them knowing it while the trucks were on the roads. This allowed cargo to fly out of the beds, causing NHTSA to investigate warranty claims, complaints and any possible design changes to the tailgates.
Data from Ford showed water could enter the electrical wiring system and cause a short-circuit that resulted in the tailgate unintentionally opening.
It was also determined the 2017-2019 Ford F-250, F-350 and F-450 Super Duty trucks suffered from more unintended tailgate openings compared to non-electric tailgates. In response to the federal investigation, Ford issued a recall of the trucks in December 2019.
About 233,000 trucks are recalled in the U.S. for dealerships to modify the wiring harnesses by adding jumper pigtails to isolate the tailgate release control circuits. This will allegedly fix the problem of water entering the wiring systems and activating the switches that release the tailgate latches.
Additionally, Ford technicians will also install new tailgate handle release switches.
NHTSA says additional use of agency resources would likely be a waste of time, but Ford's tailgate recall will be monitored to confirm the repairs have fixed the problem. NHTSA further says monitoring is required because it's possible other models or model years may need repairs.