Disengaged Tailgate Latch Handle

The tailgate latch handle may become disengaged from the tailgate (Fig. 11) on some 2019-2021 Silverado 1500, Sierra 1500; 2022 Silverado 1500 LTD, Sierra 1500 Limited; and 2022 Silverado 1500 and Sierra 1500 models.

Fig. 11

The tailgate latch handle may disengage if forces, applied to a certain area of the tailgate inner panel, are transferred through the standoff brackets to the tailgate handle bracket. (Fig. 12)

Fig. 12

To correct the disengaged tailgate latch handle condition, remove part of the standoff brackets. Removing the standoff brackets does not hinder the durability or performance of the tailgate.

Follow the service procedure outlined in #PIT5886A to remove the standoff brackets. The procedure requires using an oscillating or similar tool to cut through each standoff bracket. (Fig. 13) Do not use an air chisel or similar tool that could bend or deform the brackets. It’s not necessary to disconnect the handle electrical connectors. Hold the wiring out of the way while performing the repair.

Fig. 13

Each spot weld that attaches the brackets to the inner panel should be drilled out. There is only one spot weld per bracket. The bracket also may be twisted/rocked back and forth to break the spot weld, instead of drilling the spot weld.

Once the brackets are removed, any metal debris should be removed and tape should be applied to the standoff brackets. (Fig. 14)

Fig. 14

The aluminum tailgate will not require any rust protection with the brackets removed. Shown in the finished repair with the brackets removed. (Fig. 15)

Fig. 15

For complete repair procedure information, refer to #PIT5886A.

– Thanks to Jim Will

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