Mitsubishi recalls 50K SUVs; Rear hatches can fall on people

FILE - In an April 9, 2009 file photo, the Mitsubishi Outlander GT is introduced at the 2009 New York International Auto Show. Mitsubishi is recalling two SUV models to fix problems that could cause the windshield wipers to malfunction. The first recall covers about 100,000 Outlanders from the 2007 to 2013 model years. Mitsubishi says water can get between the hood and windshield and cause a ball joint to rust. That can knock out the wipers. Dealers will replace a rubber boot on the joint to keep water out.(AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

DETROIT (AP) – Mitsubishi is recalling more than 50,000 Outlander Sport SUVs because the rear hatch lift gate can suddenly fall on people.

The company says in documents posted Friday by U.S. safety regulators that the recall covers certain SUVs from the 2011, 2012 and 2016 model years.

Mitsubishi says the outer tube on the lift gate supports may not have been treated properly to prevent rust. That can make the tube corrode when exposed to road salt and water and allow the gas that holds up the hatch to leak out. It was unclear if anyone was injured by a falling hatch.

Mitsubishi will notify owners and dealers will replace the lift gate supports for free. The company didn’t say in the documents when the recall would begin.