VW Passat drivers door unable to open

  • 2WD
  • 200,000 MILES

I have a 1997 VW passat and the drivers door will not open, I have to get in nearside and get over gear stick to drive.
The car locks and opens with key either from boot or nearside door. The drivers door will not open even from inside car with door latch. Latch brings button up, but door will not open.

Do you
have the same problem?
Monday, April 4th, 2011 AT 4:08 PM

1 Reply


This is going to be "fun" to fix. The latch mechanism rods have most likely become disconnected inside the door. You will need to remove the door panel to access these. You should be able to open the door by rolling down the window and reaching in with something with which to grab the linkage and pull.
Get a flashlight, roll down the passenger door window and observe the operation of the latch release mechanism as you open the door. Find the lever on the latch itself that is pulled by the rods when you actuate the door handles. Then, locate the same lever on the driver door.

The door panel will most likely have at least 3 screws securing it to the door, 2 in the armrest and one in the door release handle. You will then need to carefully pull the clips from around the door panel. Inside that will be a plastic water shield which you need to remove carefully. Then you can reattach the actuator rods. You may need to replace the small plastic clips that secure the rods to each other and the actuator arms.

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Monday, July 4th, 2011 AT 4:07 PM

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