Ford Authority

NHTSA Investigating Ford Super Duty Tailgate Recall

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.

We’ll have more on this as soon as it’s available, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for the latest Ford F-Series news, Ford Super Duty news, and 24/7 Ford news coverage.

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

Subscribe to Ford Authority

For around-the-clock Ford news coverage

We'll send you one email per day with the latest Ford updates. It's totally free.


  1. Albert RODRIGUES

    Well my SuperDuty is safe. I couldn’t afford one with an electronic tailgate release.

  2. John Begin

    I also had a recall on my 2017 F150 Lariat for my tailgate opening by itself.

  3. Victor

    Recall the “Deathwobble”!!!

  4. T Ebert

    Yeah how about a DEATH WOBBLE recall!

  5. Hammer

    HOW ABOUT THE DEATH WOBBLE!!!! Extremely Dangerous. Every 9-16,000 miles the front end needs $$ in parts to make it safe to drive. I have many videos of it happening and a few friends with f250, f350 with the same issues. Most Dealers don’t care and blow you off. Call Ford corporate and they are so nice to just call the dealership and tell them. So next time they harass you when you go in. My gate opened 3xs 1st 2 lost a few hundred in chains and gas cans with gas and diesel in them. And they were before the gate handle was replaced when they were working on my front end sir to death wobble. Third was a week ago lost a few bags of salt and snow shovels.

  6. Sup

    Didn’t have any issues with mine before the fix. But it was repaired as was required at the time of the recall. Hopefully it will be fine. I would hate to lose my cargo. I think I will add a spreader bar across the back for good measure. At the very least, if the gate opens while moving, nothing can fall out.

  7. Chad

    I don’t understand why Ford hasn’t recalled the DeathWabble

  8. Kris Tabor

    Just wanted everyone to know that we purchased a new 2022 Ford F-350 on 8/10/21 and the tailgate has come down while we were driving three times since then. Obviously, Ford has not fixed this problem!

  9. M. Dyer

    I keep hearing a “click” in tailgate area 4-5 minutes apart when my F-250 Superduty is stationary… this resulted in both my batteries being totally drained (non-functioning) after 10 days of non-operation… got new batteries and the click is still there only louder now.

  10. Karla Reyes

    Our tailgate dropped while having a trailer connected and damaged it. We paid for the repairs, how do we get reimbursed for that?


Leave a comment