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The power liftgate, once reserved for luxury cars, it’s now a common low-cost option, if not a standard feature, on most vehicles equipped with hatch doors. I kid, power liftgates are cool, and really useful for the disabled, or someone simply trying to open the trunk with full hands. It’s a great option!

Power liftgates are incredibly practical, that is, until they try to maim you. Last week on TikTok, videos of failing power liftgates from two completely different manufacturers went viral. One involved a GMC while a Subaru was the focus of another, and both videos show the liftgates closing unexpectedly and suddenly. It’s funny, but also terrifying.

In one video from user screwie_louie, this early GMC Acadia’s liftgate starts out functioning normally, then goes haywire. The liftgate slams shut quickly and aggressively, with the lift and latch mechanism noisily engaging after the door has closed. I watch too many horror movies; this thing could’ve been the next big on-screen Final Destination death.

@screwie_louie

Power liftgate is a little too powerful on this GMC Acadia #mechanic #carsales

♬ original sound – Louie

Not to be outdone, a failed power liftgate on this Subaru Forester, went viral about a day later. The liftgate mechanism slowly lifted the door up, only to fiercely slam itself shut, threatening to turn its owner into a real-life human time-out doll. Yikes.

At least for the Subaru, this seems to be a somewhat common problem on Foresters model years 2013 and up. Some Forester owners report that the bolts that hold the hatch door struts tend to rust out or break off, often unexpectedly, leading to the results in the Tik Tok. If you watch the Forester video again, you’ll notice that there are no gas struts supporting the hatchback door. 

Similar to the Subaru issues, weak liftgate support struts are the culprits for the droopy and potentially maiming hatch door seen on the GMC. The repair is simple and essentially amounts to two steps: Take the old struts off and replace them with new ones. Replacement struts should turn your Forester or Acadia from Christine back into a normal lovable crossover. At least, until the timing chain on the Acadia stretches, or the Forester eats a head gasket, or both eat transmissions.

Now that we’ve applied a little logic, calmness, and research to these alarming scenes, you can rest assured that no evil spirits are possessing these not-so-old crossovers with intentions to add new minions into their fleet of the damned. Still, watch your heads, folks!

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