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

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The logo of Mitsubishi Motors is displayed its headquarters in Tokyo on May 12, 2016. Nissan Motor confirmed May 12, 2016 that it was in capital tie-up talks with scandal-hit Mitsubishi Motors, as local media reported that the deal would be an effective acquisition. / AFP / KAZUHIRO NOGI

DETROIT — 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.