2018 Ford F-150 San Diego – Tailgate Could Unexpectedly Open

2018 Ford F-150 San Diego – Tailgate Could Unexpectedly Open

Ford Motor Company (Ford) will contact owners of select 2018 F-150 pickups equipped with manual and power release tailgates to inform them that the tailgate latches on their trucks may unlatch unexpectedly while driving.

Ford’s Critical Concern Review Group was alerted about a problem with tailgate latches on some 2018 Model Year F-150 pickups in September 2021. The affected vehicles had a tailgate latch that might unlatch under certain loading situations, allowing the tailgate to open unintentionally while the vehicle was moving.

The problematic tailgate latch design has a latch pawl that is perpendicular to the catch mechanism, according to the defect notice. Under certain dynamic loading situations in this tailgate application, this latch design is subject to pawl walkout (unlatching). 

An unintentional tailgate opening without the awareness of the vehicle operator could result in the loss of unsecured cargo, increasing the risk of a collision. An operator will only notice an unintentional tailgate opening if they notice it before entering the vehicle.

Owners will be alerted by letter and instructed to have both the left-hand and right-hand tailgate latches replaced at a Ford or Lincoln dealer. Tailgate latches with a different latch pawl design will be substituted for the recalled tailgate latches (JL3A-9943150-AC and JL3A-9943150-BC) (5L3Z-9943150-A).

Dearborn Truck Plant was restored to the original latch design in April 2018. Vehicles that aren’t part of the recall have locks that use a different latch pawl design. The Ford recall number is 21S53, and the NHTSA campaign number is 21V-983.

Tagged tailgate unexpectedly opens, automotive safety defect, a manufacturing defect.


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