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The lock mechanism is likely bent because the latch has become rusted or plugged with dirt. Lift the handle and spray lots of WD40 in the centre of the lock mechanism (under the fibreglass piece). You will need to manually open the lock with a long screwdriver. Look to the right of the latch mechanism you will see something that looks like a C. Use the screwdriver to lift that piece up. That should unlock it so that you can open the tailgate. When it's open, you'll have to use a torx screwdriver to unscrew the outside two torx bolts and then remove the plastic bevel which surrounds the latch handle. There will also be two plastic pins holding the bevel onto the tailgate. You may have to gently pry those pins loose with a screwdriver. When the bevel is off, the lock will come with it. Check the lock to see that the little metal lever is at a straight right angle. If it is bent you will have to straighten it with pliers and then reattach the bevel. If the metal lever is broken, you will need a new lock.
check the tailgate lock rods behind the handle. The bezel around the handle pops off, and the mechanism is behind there. The rods that go to each side of the tailgate may be stuck inward. A little wd-40 or lubricant should work them loose again
I have the solution to every one out there with tailgate lock problems......I had the very same problem but wasnt interested in getting a power lock.......Here goes.....it costs you some wd40 or liquid wrench.....nothing else......open the tail gate.....you will see the screws that hold the handle in place.....take off the two outer screws only....then pop off the handle cover....yes it does come off without breaking.....you will see something shaped like a "C".....it should move back and forth.....with the tailgate closed you should be able to move that "C" back and forth...it swivels on a pivot you can see in the opening above the tailgate handle.......this is the lock mechanism.....mine was seized up.....anyways......with the tailgate still closed squirt some wd40 or liquid wrench in the area directly above the tailgate handle........that "C" thing will move again and your problem is over...email me if you figured it out........
I was delighted with the fix.....and it's so easy to do.....then put everything back in its place......tell everyone you know....