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The rear door lock actuator has failed in the door locking unit this is a common problem you can manually unlock the door to replace the latch if you didn't have the deadlocking on if you cant try pressing the locking button twice so when the car is locked the flashing red light is not blinking ie off on the drivers. Doing this usually causes the faulty lock to release the dead locking so you can pull the inside handle to unlock the door.
Sounds like something came loose on inside of door. People who lock there keys in thier car always try to unlock the doors with coat hangers and all kinds of stuff. Sometimes it knocks the clips loose inside the door and causes handle to not open door. Sometime they just wear out. I believe your going to have to take the inside door panel off to fix it..
My 1998 passat done the left rear and drivers side then all.Take out the drivers side lock barrel, open door and undo 1 torx screw until it stops(it cant be removed fully) and then pull the handle lightly half way and wiggle the barrel out.Spray wd40 onto the inner bits and try get it into the plastic slot area(operates the sensors that cause this problem) . Put back and tighten up and then do this to all doors.Lubricate all door lock catches by spraying wd40 into every hole or orfice you see and that should help.
Heat will not help and can damage the door lock mechanism further.
You can try lubing the door lock, but I do not thing it will help. I think there may be something wrong with the mechanism, or you will get the same problem from outside and inside.
If the door is opening from the inside , then the door lock mechanism My still be working. On VW the outer handle is connected to the lock by a steel wire, or by a metal shaft.
To access the door lock you need to remove the internal door panel.
The door panel is held by hidden screws located on handles and by a set of clips located behind the panel near to the panel border.
I have service manual for several VW models, I will see if I can find the manual for 1995-1997 Passat and I will eventually send the diagrams to undo the door and access the lock.
Call me 1-336-835-2180 10am-11pm 7 days a week eastern. Ask for R.C. and I'll be glad to tell you what all it takes. If you look at the other doors that will open you will notice a lever on the side of the latch it will release the latch. with the door open flip the latch and open it so you can see how it works. Also you can take the door panel partly loose. You will not get all the screws out. You can get enough out to pull the door panel out and reach into the door, pull the rod from the door handle and open it. Once the door is open there is a torque bit screw in the end of the door that holds the outside door handle on take it out, pull the door handle out and you will find a pin out or broke in the door handle. Take a handle on the door that works so you can see the difference. To do the back door on a 4 door you have to take out the interior panel that the top holder of the seat belt goes through to get to the screws in the end of the door panel just to get the interior door panel off to reach in. You can replace the rool pin with a screw, but be sure it's tight because it will back itself out and you'll have to do it all again. Been there and done that. Ha Ha. If you need more than this just call. I'm in North Carolina.
this is not the dead lock? if i am right in thinkin that this is a centrally locked car then the sensor in the door isd set too low mybe slipped as only has to be out a little to cause this, more of an antitheft system than a dead lock.