US probes Ford pickup tailgates opening unexpectedly

Ford F-150 pickup trucks are offered for sale at a dealership on September 6, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. Ford has announced a recall of about 2 million of the trucks because of a seatbelt problem that could result in a fire. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

DETROIT — U.S. safety regulators are trying to figure out why the power tailgates on some Ford F-Series pickup trucks can open unexpectedly while the trucks are moving.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened an investigation into F-250 and F-350 Super Duty trucks from the 2017 model year.

The agency says In documents posted Wednesday that it has five complaints from owners about the problem. It says unsecured loads could spill onto the road. The documents show that Ford sent a service bulletin to dealers last year saying that the problem is caused by water getting into electrical wiring.

Investigators will determine how widespread the problem is and whether a recall is needed.

Ford says it’s cooperating with NHTSA and will move quickly to recall vehicles if data reveals safety issues.