Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Toyota Sequoia Rear Hatch Door Problems



  • I have a 2001 and I am replacing mine for a 2nd time tomorrow. Problem is my window doesn't work at the time so I have to tear into it with the door down and window up( not much room to move around). It's a pain but doing it yourself is far less painful than a $500 replacement bill. I got a replacement latch for under $25 on line and it appears to be as well made as the one I bought from the dealer last time. Also by tearing into it myself maybe I can figure out the problem with the window and save even more cash.
  • i ended up pulling out that broken black plastic mechanism that was attached to the lift latch with a pair of pliers , then i unlocked doors to vehicle the i inserted a phillips head srew drinder into hole where i removed the plastic piece o felt around until it seemed like i was on top of something then i pulled crew driver handle upwards towards me doing this made the head of the screw driver to descend dodownward deepressing onto a button or something inside that allw the door to open , i repeated 5- 6 times for practice i even had my 16 yr old son do it repeatedly n now we have access to rear compartment , although u have to have a screw driver readily available it works thats all what matters for now until i gather funds to repair this problem, my rear window and wiper stopped working on my truck 4 yrs ago , the sequoia is a nice driving vehicle but its plagued with lil thing s that can inconvenience the hell out of you also my driver side window wont roll down all the way i believe its off the track again , this is the 2nd time it happened , i secured it the first time with epoxy 2 part adhesive , but someone told me i should use a black epoxy adhesive because its stronger, my door handle on driver side on indside broke off , toyota repaired it free of charge and this was in 2004 , by the way i have an 02 sequoia and now my passenger side inside pull door opener is broken , currently the passenger would have to roll window down to open door from outside handle , also my button to check the temp and gaseline mileage thats located above near eyeglass holder broke so i called toyota service dept they wanted $700 to replave the whole electronic mechanism , i ended up taking it apart i got to the housing where the broke button was , ended up going to lowes and buying an assorted small spring bag, i looked for the right sixe to fit into button housing , i inserted spring into housing in order that the spring will push downwards on the button and i crewed everything back together and it worked fine since i save myself $696.47 .
  • showemrightshowemright Posts: 2
    edited February 2010
    im thinking about sketching that broken plastic piece thats attached to the metal pullup handle of back door onto some old scrap metal sheets i have lying around perhaps this old washing machine i have downstairs in basement , i will cut out what i sketched using some cutters they use in auto body repair, repeat the cut 2-3 times to gain thickness as the plastic , ill use epoxy 2 part adhesive to adhere together what i just cut out , making sure to leave about an 3/4 of an inch extra metal at the end where the plastic was attached to the metal pullup handle i will bend the metal into a L shape in order that i can screw the cut out piece onto the pullup handle using self threading screws, this would make this door opener mechanism stronger , because metal is stronger than plastic.
  • blown7blown7 Posts: 8
    When I bought this vehicle the rear door would open & close by pressing, either the button on the dash or the button on the key fob.
    Now when I press any rear door button the system beeps twice and then...nothing.

    Any insights?


  • ldbjrldbjr Posts: 2
    I went to open my rear hatch and heard a click now the handle just moves back and forth without engaging the mechanism to open the door. I noticed that the driver side of the hatch seemed to be miss aligned before this happened and opened the hatch and closed it after ensuring nothing was impeding the hatch on closure. After I tried to open it again (without much force on the handle at all) it clicked. Does anyone have any idea how to open the hatch? The dealer said to bring it in but being unemployed for 9 months I hesitate to bend over for this BS defect. Any info/advice. appreciated is my email. I can not believe there isn't an alternate override latch inside incase you were trapped you know?
  • how did the repair go?
    i have 2002 SR5 on which the rear latch and window do not work. wondering where you got the part?
    how you got to the rear latch. i don't see any access points??
    i would appreciate any insights, thanks
  • maspietamaspieta Posts: 2
    Update on the Sequoia rear latch. After calling Toyota to see if there was a recall on the latch and receiving a negative response; I bought the part thinking I would fix it on my own upon reading how expensive it was to replace. I was wrong. I was able to have the part replaced by the local dealer for $100 plus the part which was around $100. I checked on having the window replaced and it will be $450...this will have to happen at a later date. I cannot help but think that some form of moisture is what is causing the issues with the latch and the window. I need support, but seriously doubt I will get that from the dealer. I believe there is a fault in the design. Can we please speak to the engineer? :-]
  • Well my 2003 Sequoia's rear latch broke and my power rear window works intermittently. I figured I would warn folks that it was not the easiest repair to replace this latch, but I guess since I purchased the latch on for $23 including shipping I did save myself at least $175 to $375 depending on hearing that the dealer wants between $200 and $500 for the repair. Hope you have skinny arms and don't mind holding your arms over your head for most of the repair. Here is how I did the repair:

    First, you have to climb in the back of your Sequoia since you can't open the hatch. Take a flashlight, a 10 mm socket and some patients back there with you. a box fan sitting in the backseat blowing some air on you helps too if Sequoia is in a hot location. There is a pulldown strap that has to be removed first. Slide the plastic cover "up" to reveal the 10mm/phillips bolt that needs to be removed to get the inside plastic cover off. Then you will have to take ALL the plastic molding off to get this cover off. Start with the top molding in the center ABOVE the window. It pops off and comes off first. Then take the molding on the left and right sides of the window. It pops off too. Now you can remove the large plastic panel covering the lower half of the hatch. Squeeze your fingers into the window area and pull "UP" on the large getting the top section of the cover over the metal frame at the bottom of the window. Once over this pull "OUT" on the cover since the lower sections snap on.

    Take a deep breath because there is more covers to take off. Now you will need to take the 10mm socket and remove 8 bolts holding a metal cover over the power window mechanism. This cover has to have to cables unplugged if you want to get it out of your way. I recommend this after I did not do this at first and having this cover hanging by the cables and getting in your way just adds to the frustration if you take a few minutes and unplug it.

    now with this metal cover removed get your flashlight and look in from the drivers side of the power window mechanism. You should see a cable going from the latch (bottom center of hatch) to behind the license plate (where your broken latch is that you have to manually open). There is a clear plastic cover over the latch and cable. Pull this off. Then feel where the cable ends. Assuming the cable is still in the metal latch mechanism, push UP and to the PASSENGER Side of the car with this end of the latch extending the cable and hopefully popping open the hatch.

    If you have made it this far, go in and take a break, relax and regain your calmness. Now, to remove the broken latch you have to first remove your license plate and the screws holding the plate. Then, from the inside of the hatch there is one 10mm bolt holding the key lock mechanism on. Take this bolt off and let the lock down into the hatch. Now for the toughest two nuts to take off. Inside the hatch there are two bolts that are part of the latch that you must remove 10mm nuts from. You can almost see the Driver Side bolt and I took these out with a smaller 1/4" 10mm socket wrench. The nut on the passenger side it really hard to reach. Your forearms get torn up the the large gears for the power rear window, but once you get these two 10mm nuts off the latch from the inside you are almost there. Now with the key lock removed and these two nuts, on the inside of the hatch at the 4 corners of your outer license plate "trim" you will see snap in mounts. I squeezed these from the backside so that the license plate trim comes out. Unless you want to disconnect the power to the license plate lamps, just flip the frame over to remove the broken latch from this frame. There are two phillips head screws holding the latch to the frame. Once you get the old latch off, screw the new latch on. NOTE: Take care to screw the latch on evenly and all the way in or you may have to take it apart again to get the license plate frame to sit flush and snap back in.

    With the new latch installed, replace the license plate frame snapping it in from the outside and then put the 2 10mm bolts on either side of the latch from the inside as well as reinstall the key lock. Don't forget to connect the cable to the new latch. I removed the cable from a tydown block to give me more slack in the cable. Using the flashlight, take the end of the cable and thread the "ball" on the end through the slot on the new latch and press the outer shielding of the cable back as it was original. Replace the clear cover over the latch mechanism. At this point, test your new latch and make sure your license plate frame is snapped back in flush.

    If so, then reinstall the metal cover with the 8 10mm screws. Plug back in the wire harness (though I am still having trouble with my rear power window). Then put the plastic cover and trim back on in reverse order... large plastic cover, left and right window trim and top trim. Then put the pull down strap back on and replace the plastic cover on the strap by sliding it down.

    Hope this helps. I still wish there was a way to get all the power window gear out of the way and give you more access to do this job.
  • Thank you so so much for the information...the rear hatch lever on my 2003 sequoia just broke this evening :(
  • I forgot to ask you if you ended up going with a metal latch or the plastic latch. Will either one work?
  • I am having a problem with the rear hatch door not opening, I can hear it locking
    & unlocking but has only opened a few times and that is only when I have the right back door opened, it's a hit & miss situation. The window operates fine though. Before I take it to the dealer for the cost of an arm & leg I would like to repair it myself. Any Help or direction would be greatly appreciated.
  • jafwojafwo Posts: 1
    edited June 2010
    Not wanting to pay over $500.00 for Toyota to fix my hatch, I put off fixing this DEFECT for about a year, until my mechanic told me that he has fixed quite a bit of these, $190.00 parts and labor, and 3 hours, and it's done.... I also was looking to beef-up the part by replacing the handle or maybe substituting anything that would break easily, but when my mechanic showed me the DEFECTIVE existing part...the handle and the hook are one molded piece... plastic!!!! so it would take some engineering. So if your in Southern California, San Bernadino area, I know where you can get this done cheap.
  • rockbrainrockbrain Posts: 1
    Over the last two weeks I've spent another $2k on my recurring tailgate problem with my 2003 Sequoia. This will be the fifth time it got stuck and wouldn't open. My favorite episode was when it got stuck out in Nevada on an off-road camping trip (getting the gear in and out of the passenger doors was a real treat). Then we got a flat, but couldn't access the spare because the rear gate was stuck. So we eventually had to bend the bottom of the door up a bit to get the wrench in to lower the spare. We took it back to Toyota (this was the 4th time the door broke) and they told us we would need to replace the door at our expense to get it to work because we bent it.

    We took the car to a local body shop to have the door replaced. But apparently they didn't do it quite right. Over the last year, water got into the door panel and messed up the circuit board, so the door wouldn't open anymore. So I took it to Toyota who said they wouldn't fix the electronics until the leak was fixed and that a body shop should fix the leak. I took it to a body shop who told me they couldn't find the leak until they could open the door and that it was stuck because of an electrical issue. Back at the Toyota dealership they told me this time that they could only open the door by destroying the door in order to access the locking mechanism. Then I went back to the body shop who said that the dealership was nuts and to take it to another dealership. I took it to another dealership who got the door open and the latch fixed. But I got it home and the whole thing froze up again because the electrical system was still broken. That's where we are tonight. Despite many complaints at no time has any Toyota representative handed me any consideration other than another bill.
  • thexmanthexman Posts: 1
    The cheap plastic piece broke on my 2003 Sequoia about 14 months ago (of course it wasn't covered under the warranty anymore). The dealer said it would cost almost $300 to fix, so I bought the replacement part online for $65 and found an out-of-work mechanic who replaced it for $80. Unfortunately, the handle broke again today, same exact way as the first, the cheap plastic part that takes the most stress in the entire handle and which is placed on one side of the handle, so that you create extra torque every time use it. This piece really does seem designed to fail! And would it kill them to put a hatch release button somewhere else in the car? Either on the inside of the lift gate or somewhere in the front of the car would work. The '82 Buick Century wagon my parents had when I was growing up had a liftgate release button inside the glove compartment and it was a very useful feature, one that should really be standard on a vehicle that costs as much as the Sequoia! Does anyone know if I can get such a button installed in my Sequoia, or if anyone makes a liftgate handle that is made out of metal and can actually perform it's desired function for more than just a couple months longer than its pathetic warranty!
  • edoc2000edoc2000 Posts: 1
    I started having the same problem with my 2010 Limited. Out of nowhere the power back door stoppe working. I haven't brought it back to the dealer yet, but will give an update when I find out what the problem is. Feel free to email me at if you have not heard from me.
  • lockman14lockman14 Posts: 3
    edited July 2010
    There is actually an easier way to open the tailgate. Roll the rear window down and use a wedge, you can make one out of wood real easy or buy one made out of hard rubber for a couple of dollars. Carefully put the wedge between the inside weatherstripping and the glass. It doesn't take a lot to to make a small 1/4 inch gap that will allow you to look at the inside. Using a good bright flashlight look down inside the door right above the handle and you will see the cable assembly. There is a wire that may block your view a little but take your time. Once you spot the cable assembly use a long thin screwdriver or pretty much anything that is strong and will fit inside the opening you have created, push down on the opposite side of the part where the cable hooks into and the tailgate will pop open. You may have to pull the tailgate while doing this but it's a lot easier then being cramped in the back sweating your you know what off. Once you look inside the door panel it will all make sense, it's very easy to do. It took me less than 2 minutes to open the tailgate. Then follow the instructions given by " heytomsequoia" for disassembly. If you take your time and relax and think about all the money you are saving by doing it yourself that should help.
  • blwhflblwhfl Posts: 3
    just broke-will not open and was getting ready to pack for trip to take my son to college--go Toyota!!!

    add mine to the long list of Sequoia owners with hatch problems
  • kb32kb32 Posts: 1
  • blwhflblwhfl Posts: 3
    that did not open to anything that was related to my issue/thanks anyway
Sign In or Register to comment.