Introduction: Fix Toyota Tarago/Previa Jammed Rear-door Latch (with Door Closed)

Recently we had our rear window of our Tarago (also known as Previa) replaced because one morning we found it mysteriously shattered.

All was good until about a week later when the rear-door wouldn't open anymore... oh no!! I climbed in the back and had a look. Since the door was effectively locked shut then everything is nasty and difficult.

I was certain of the cause... glass in the latch mechanism. How to get that out?!  I tried lots of stuff for many hours and here is a summary (with success!)

Step 1: Check the Easy Stuff...

First I checked the easy stuff... pull the plastic lining from the door (easiest way is to get your fingers under the plastic at the top, near the window and yank). It will be "stuck" around the inside door handle (bottom-left inside of door) unless you can either remove the handle or break the plastic (I didn't do either - you can still get to everything inside the door).

The latch and electric locking mechanism is at the bottom centre of the door and has a cable running to the door handle

Try locking/unlocking the car. The white piece of plastic on the latch mechanism moves up when locked and down when unlocked. No problems with that for me.

Get someone to squeeze the outside handle - the cable should pull a lever on the latch/lock to the right. Try pushing it directly to see whether it can move further (the cable could be stretched or not attached properly). Again nothing so simple for me.

The picture of the lock/latch mechanism was taken much later when I finally got the door open.

Step 2: The Door Latch

Next thing to attack is the door latch itself

I tried breaking the black plastic on the latch and then shoving in a bit of wire. I hoped to dislodge the glass but that was a fail. I couldn't see inside the latch - I didn't know where the glass was nor the internals of the latch. Better try something else (2 hrs later!).

Step 3: Break Some Plastic

So lets get a better look at the latch... rip out the bit of plastic under the door. It should crack behind the latch (since the latch protrudes through a hole)

Step 4: The U-bolt

Now you can see the U-bolt and door latch really well. If we can undo that somehow then the door should open...

Arrrgg it's attached with countersunk heads... luckily there is a toothed-washer underneath each of them so there's enough to grip with some long nose pliers with nice sharp teeth (I tried screw driver bits but they were much to long to fit in the gap)

Grip hard and turn!

Step 5: And Push

Hmmm I hoped the door would pop open but it didn't. It needed lots of pushing and wiggling to scrape open - see the marks in the picture.

Now you can remove the latch & lock mechanism from the door (undo 3x 10mm bolts) and inspect. I actually undid the latch bolts before opening the door (since they were easy to undo and I hoped that the door would somehow open without attacking the U-bolt screws) but I think I needn't have.

The other 2 photos were taken once the U-bolt was freed from the latch

Step 6: Fixed!

Here's the mechanism and sure enough a piece of glass was stopping the release from releasing! Once that was sorted then the latch could open and the U-bolt was freed. The picture shows the latch after the glass was removed.

Sucked out all the glass fragments remaining in the bottom of door (duct-taped a piece of poly-pipe to the vacuum cleaner)  and put everything back together. What a relief, all is good!

If it was broken, I think the order code is 69350-28110