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typical french car,it has a plastic clip that if someone slams the door it breaks and you need to remove the interior door panel/inner skin(plastic)to get to it (the clips on the door will break off.)the clip runs between the door handle and the operating mechanism.
1) The electronic lock is malfunctioning and forcing the door to lock. From the inside of the car, try forcing the lock to the 'unlocked' position. If you can do this with your had, but it 'snaps' back to 'locked' then it's an electrical problem. Possibly the lock solenoid itself, or the BCM.
2) If you cannot force the lock to the 'unlocked' position, then it's some sort of mechanical problem - maybe the lock is just jammed. Try spraying oil into the locking mechanism from the outside and working the lock until it's free. Otherwise, remove the interior door panel and diagnose the mechanical lock.
Here's what I suspect is happening. The door locks will lock and unlock normally when the key is OUT of the ignition. If the key is IN the ignition, the doors cannot be locked (manually, key fob, or otherwise, if the system is operating as designed - prevents the doors being locked when the key is in the ignition). I've seen this problem before, but on a Santa Fe, not an Accent. The ground signal of the right hand front passenger door was lost, and the doors automatically locked. Perhaps something similar is happening in the circuit between the ETACS module and the right front passenger door lock/unlock actuator. Could be anywhere in the circuit.
These wiring diagrams may be helpful. The relays expecially may help solve this issue. As you can see, these relays are also controled by the ETACS module (Remote Keyless Entry).
depending on how the car is set, the unlock may have to be depressed twice to unlock the passenger door. i'm guessing you have already tried this? if not give it a shot.
if that didn't fix it, then sit in the car and hit the unlock button twice and see if you hear the passenger door unlock/lock mechanism trying to unlock the door. if you can hear it trying to pop the lock, then it may be an issue with the cold. my '99 323 was this way in the cold. if you can't hear it trying to pop the lock, then the module in that door is bad.
also when was the last time BMW replaced the battery in that key?
Your key should work manually (without battery) on at least one door or the trunk/hatch. Otherwise the world would be filled with abandoned hyundais with flat batteries and no way to get in! Try the passenger side door; don't expect to hear the central locking relay, but if you turn the key far enough, that door should open.