Question about 2001 Volkswagen Passat

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Passat trunk stuck shut - 3 repair men have not been able to fix! Please Help!!

I have a 2001 AWD Passat with a trunk that has been stuck shut for over a year. Three different repair men have tried to fix it but they can't get into the trunk because they cannot remove the back seats or fold them down. One wanted to cut a hole into the car behind my license plate to get into it! I can hear the motor that usually releases the trunk but it doesn't open by the key or the switch. Can anyone offer me suggestions to get this fixed once and for all.... Thanks!

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  • jrod3462 Jul 17, 2008

    First, thank you for your response - I do have have a compartment that will open to the trunk between the back seats (it's a ski compartment) and I was able to squeeze my head and shoulders through it and pull the emergency release but that still didn't work. And yes my spare is in a horizontal well making it nearly impossible to access it from underneath. I think my only option is to somehow remaive the back seat. But I can't even figure out how to fold down the rear seats. Argh!!! In my owner's manual it shows a release lever to do this but doesn't show where the lever is. Is it in the trunk? I swear I have looked all over the back seat and cannot find it. Do you think calling a locksmith would help?

  • Anonymous Mar 22, 2014

    how to fold down back seat from inside the trunk of 2004 wolkswagen passat



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Same problem for me. I was able to open the trunk by shaking the lid while a friend repeatedly hit the trunk release button. The problem(s) consisted of a seized trunk lock cylinder making the key ineffective, and a maladjusted trunk servo release rod.

Posted on Aug 22, 2008

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On my 2001 Passat the release levers for the rear seats are on the top of the seatbacks, by the head restraints.

Posted on Jul 28, 2008

  • lachaga Oct 07, 2014

    The earlier 4motion models did not have folding rear seats.


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I have an ugly feeling that the adustment for the latch mechanism slipped so that the stationary part is now moving with the mobile part.
I would almost bet that you can lift the trunk lid a little.

Is there no access whatsoever through the floor of the trunk?
On most vehicles there are holes under the mat that allow access to places not accessible from outside.
If your spare is in a horizontal well, then it really isn't likely that you could reach the latch assembly even if you have plugged holes.
You might check your owner's manual to see if your car is equipped with an emergency release for children trapped in the trunk by accident.
If there is, you may be able to reach it by drilling a smaller hole behind the lower seat cushion which should be removable even if the upper one is not.

I confess to being very curious about the potential cure for this problem.
If you solve it, you might post it back for the benefit of others.

Posted on Jul 17, 2008

  • Steve Allison
    Steve Allison Jul 17, 2008

    Those clever Germans! Hiding the release lever - jeez.

    I'm sorry, on the location of the release lever I can't help you.

    I would give the advice I do others when their owner's 'manual' doesn't work too well, buy an aftermarket service manual from Haynes or Chilton and will make themselves useful often.

    They are <$20 and available in any chain auto parts store and no, I don't own stock in either.

    They are often located concealed in the crack betwen the lower cushions.

    Since we Subaru owners may not be too bright, ours are easy to find ;-)


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