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I'm able to open the hood two ways: 1) ask someone to hold onto the lever inside the car while you try to lift the hood to the point where you can use the unlatch button and open the hood fully.
2) Pull the lever completely open in the car and try to find a thick screwdriver or some thick paper folded up to wedge next to the lever to hold it open while you get out and try to lift the hood to the point where you can use the unlatch button and open the hood completely.
Other than this finding a service manual or tutorial online about how to pull out whatever trim or interior covers you would need to replace the cable fully. There should be a specific replacement guide for this item since I'm sure it happens to car's at least semi-regularly
The lever on the latch assembly (the one that gets pulled by the cable) is stuck. Happens all the time.....All you have to do is lube the hood latch assembly with some WD-40 or Sea Foam or a similar lubricant. Sometimes you can see the lever and move it back and forth a few times by reaching in with a screwdriver. Then close and open the hood a few times just to make sure everything is loosened up.
Under the car: You will be able to open the hood if you pull off your splash guard and use a long long flat head screwdriver or something like that. You'll see the hood latch in front of the radiator with the cable attached to it at the top near the hood, put it on the drivers side edge of the bottom of the latch and pry to the passenger side, the lever moves from the drivers side to the passengers side, the cable basically pulls the top of it to achieve this. so your doing the same thing on the bottom with the screwdriver.
Release the latch from underneath by the lever that you have to pry towards the passenger side. Then open the hood, and replace the safety release mechanism broken part.
Depending upon how familiar you might be with the location of the under-hood release, you may be able to access it through the small opening between the hood and grill that follows opening the bonnet by pulling the lever under the steering wheel. A long narrow standard head screwdriver and a good light may be all that is required. That is exactly how the mechanic at the VW garage will release the hood latch.
If your not at all familiar with the hood latch, it might be useful to view the mechanism in another Passat so that you know how it functions. Less than a 5 minute job, but the dealer will likely charge about $65 to perform the task, substantially more to replace the broken mechanism.
It is more likely the cable that runs from the handle inside is broken, either on the handle end or where it connects to the release under the hood.
If it is inside, you're in luck; grab the end of the cable with a pair of vice grips and pull to open.
If it broken under the hood, you may be able to look up to the top of the hood through the grille or from under the front of the car and see where the locking bar fastens to the holder. If you can, you may be able to take a long screwdriver or flat iron and push on it to release it. But make sure you have a replacement part for it first so you don't have to go through the whole thing again. And realize that it will be hard to push on it enough to open it.