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Hi, we just bought a 2020 Ascent Touring and absolutely love it. The problem we have is we have two dogs and want to know how to override the the auto tailgate opening feature. Our Toyota Highlander limited Had a switch to lock out the auto opening. When my husband puts the keys in is pocket, some times the auto button gets hit on the fob, the tailgate will open. This could be a disaster if it opens and the dogs get out.
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There is a programming option the dealer can set which disables the tailgate remote operation. It's covered under Technical Service Bulletin TSB07-173-20.

Setting the opening height might work but it's not that hard to physically open the door further. Your dogs may be able to push their heads through the gap and open it enough to get out.
 

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2019 Ascent Touring (CWP)
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Merely hitting the button on the fob will not open the gate. It has to be held down for a couple of seconds before it initiates opening. A silicone cover helps to prevent this the majority of the time, but if you're still concerned, setting the memory as was mentioned is one solution, although it has it's issues, too, with normal functionality when you want it.
 
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