Question about 1999 Toyota Sienna

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Rear Door Handle Broken

I have a 1999 Toyota Sienna XLE. The plastic handle used to open the back door broke. How do I replace that piece so the back door will open? Is there another way to open the back door? I removed one of the license plate lights and saw a screw which may have held the opener in place, but couldn't get to it due to an awkward angle. The remote control which came with the car only opens the sliding side door. No back door release on it. No handles on the inside of the vehicle to release the door either.

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  • Anonymous Nov 24, 2008

    Thank you for your reply: There is no other way to open the back door from the exterior. You need to remove the rear trim panel on the hatch and manually release the latch.

    How do I remove the rear trim panel on the hatch? Have looked for screws to remove the panel, and couldn't find any. Once I get the panel removed, how do I release the door?

    Thanks for your input.

  • cardoofus Nov 27, 2008

    I had the same problem, and repaired the handle per instructions given on this website. Worked great ---- but then a week later it stopped working again. This time, the repair is still working, but the handle will not release the door latch. Opened the panel and tried to do it manually, but I couldn't get the door latch to release. Any advice?????

  • velvet_spark Dec 15, 2008

    I have a '99 Sienna LE with the same problem. The van was locked before we shut the back door - when he went to shut it, he remembered he left something in and tried to grab the handle before it shut. Instead it latched at the same time he grabbed it and the latch mechanism broke.

  • Anonymous Apr 01, 2009

    I have a 2001 Toyota Sienna CE, I removed the inside panel just so I can open up the back door. I tried to take off the handle from the inside but was unable to reconnect the plastic part. So now I have to open up the back door from the inside and don't have the back panel on, looks ugly but I can open it up. What the heck is wrong with this?

  • Toyota Ed May 11, 2010

    Remove the pull handle, if it has one.

    Starting at the bottom, pull inward to release the plastic clips that holds the panel to the body. Once the panel bottom and sides are loose, pull the panel up towards to release the clamp at the meeting point between the glass and the panel. After the panel is removed, pull on the wire that or the pivot that leads to the latch.

  • Toyota Ed May 11, 2010

    There is no other way to open the back door from the exterior. You need to remove the rear trim panel on the hatch and manually release the latch.



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I had the same problem, and here is the solution:

It includes step-by-step instructions and photos. I printed it and headed to the garage. I while later (hours actually) it was fixed. I did end up going to the hardware store and buying the EXACT size screw they recommend. I went with a screw rather than a nut and bolt. Worked fine.

Posted on Dec 26, 2008


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