Class Action Lawsuit: Ford Pickup Tailgates Fly Open While Driving

A class-action lawsuit filed last week alleges that Ford F-250, F-350, and F-450 Super Duty power tailgates fly open while driving. This is after a 2018 NHTSA investigation into the issue. Based on that, Ford was ordered to recall the trucks at the end of 2019. It affects Super Duty pickups made between 2017-2019.

How many Ford Super Duty trucks are affected?

Ford Super Duty Truck
A Ford F-450 XL Super Duty Truck | Ford

That recall took in over 231,000 of the trucks according to CarComplaints. At the time, Ford said, “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.”

While the NHTSA closed the tailgate investigation in January 2020, it announced a year later that owners were still having unintentional tailgate openings after the dealer fix. That fix was to add jumper pigtails so that the tailgate release control circuits were isolated. Dealers were also advised to replace the handle release switches with new ones.

With the recall query open, how many trucks are affected now?

2021 Ford F-250 Super Duty
2021 Ford F-250 Super Duty | Ford

Now the recall query is open and potentially affecting 300,000 Ford trucks with the power tailgate. The class-action lawsuit states that not only did the recall not fix the issue but that it didn’t include all Super Duty trucks affected. It should have included 2020 and 2021 Super Duty trucks. 

Owners of those model year Super Duty trucks are also experiencing unintended tailgate openings when the trucks are being driven. The tailgates should only be activated when a key fob button is depressed. The button is located above the emergency brake release switch and also on the tailgate. 

In the lawsuit, two plaintiffs say there are wiring issues and that the tailgate latch isn’t strong enough to keep the tailgates closed. They also claim that some owners were charged for tailgate repairs and the dealers didn’t tell the owners about the recall. Some of the repairs have cost several thousand dollars according to the lawsuit. 

This class-action lawsuit follows two other Super Duty lawsuits from May 2021

2021 Ford F-250 Super Duty white fleet truck
2021 Ford F-250 Super Duty | Ford

This class-action lawsuit comes on the heels of one filed in May over Ford Super Duty trucks having wheels fall off of their trucks. And also in May, another class-action lawsuit over incorrect F-350 labeling of tire pressures and acceptable payloads. Both can be critical to truck stability when towing or carrying heavy payloads. 

So for the F-350 alone, there have been three class-action lawsuits filed against Ford within the last three weeks. Of course, this latest one takes in F-250 and F-450 Super Duty trucks, also.