— A Ford class action lawsuit alleges a Super Duty truck power tailgate recall failed to repair the tailgates that may suddenly open while driving, losing anything in the beds of the trucks.
The Ford power tailgate lawsuit includes 2017-2021 Ford F-250, F-350 and Ford F-450 Super Duty trucks equipped with electronic tailgate latch release switches.
In December 2019, a Ford power tailgate recall was ordered for more than 231,000 model year 2017-2019 Ford F-250, F-350 and F-450 Super Duty trucks. Ford said the power tailgates could suddenly open while driving.
"Water entering the electrical wiring system may cause a short circuit resulting in the unintended switch activation and release of the tailgate latches. This could cause unintended opening of the tailgate either when the vehicle is not moving or is in motion." — Ford
Ford also said “inspection of the complaint vehicle parts found evidence of water in various electrical components, including wiring harness connectors, eyelets, splices or the tailgate switch.”
Ford dealerships were told to add jumper pigtails to isolate the tailgate release control circuits and to install new handle release switches.
The Ford power tailgate recall followed a 2018 federal investigation into model year 2017 Ford F-250 and F-350 Super Duty tailgates that unintentionally opened.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) closed its tailgate investigation in January 2020 based on Ford's power tailgate recall.
However, NHTSA announced in January 2021 that Super Duty truck owners continued to report their power tailgates suddenly opened even though the trucks were allegedly repaired during the Ford power tailgate recall.
The "recall query" remains open and includes about 300,000 model year 2017-2020 Ford F-250, F-350 and F-450 Super Duty trucks with power tailgates.
Ford Owners Claim Tailgate Recall Was Useless
According to the class action lawsuit, it's obvious the Ford tailgate recall didn't succeed and the recall didn't even include all the affected Super Duty trucks. The lawsuit alleges Ford ignored model year 2020-2021 Super Duty trucks even though owners complain the power tailgates open while driving.
The power tailgate should open only when a customer engages the tailgate latch release switch which can be activated by depressing a button on the key fob, in the cab of the truck above the emergency brake release switch or on the tailgate itself.
The two plaintiffs who filed the class action lawsuit allege in addition to water causing problems, there may be wiring system flaws, or the tailgate latch may not be strong enough to prevent the tailgates from mistakenly opening.
One of the plaintiff's also alleges Ford didn't let them know their truck had been recalled. Additionally, the automaker failed to reimburse Super Duty owners for power tailgate repairs which can allegedly cost thousands of dollars.
The Ford power tailgate class action lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan: Cunningham, et al., v. Ford Motor Company.
The plaintiffs are represented by the Miller Law Firm PC, Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C., and DiCello Levitt Gutzler LLC.