Back in December of 2019, Ford issued a recall for select 2017-2019 Ford Super Duty trucks after it was discovered that models produced in that date range had an issue where the tailgate could open unintentionally. To rectify the issue, Ford dealers modified the tailgate frame wiring harness by adding jumper pigtails to isolate the tailgate release control circuits and installed a new tailgate handle release switch. However, this Super Duty tailgate recall fix may not be working as intended.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has, to date, received 11 complaints claiming that the Super Duty tailgate fix hasn’t rectified the issue, and has now launched an investigation into the matter. It’s possible that the NHTSA investigation could lead to another recall to correct the defect.
The Ford Super Duty tailgate recall affected 261,617 F-250, F-350, and F-450 models (231,664 vehicles in the U.S. and federal territories and 29,953 in Canada) that were all built at the Ford Kentucky Truck Plant from October 8th, 2015 through November 3rd, 2019.
The problem was caused by a short-circuited tailgate release switch that could lead to the tailgate opening unintentionally and the possibility of unsecured cargo falling out of the truck and an increased risk of a crash.
For vehicles with an electric tailgate latch release switch mounted in the tailgate handle, water entering the electrical wiring system caused a short circuit resulting in the unintended switch activation and release of the tailgate latches. This could cause the unintended opening of the tailgate, either when the vehicle is not moving or is in motion.
Ford began incorporating an updated tailgate release switch and wiring harness jumper effective with the 2020 model year beginning on November 4th, 2019.