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Scion XB Exterior Repair Issues

1550115501 Posts: 3
I have a 2005 XB. On Tuesday, I lifted the hatchback handle and it fell off. I taped it up, took it to the dealer who said, if it didn't work, it would be covered by warranty, but since it broke, it was not covered. Has anyone else had the handle just fall off? It costs $75 to replace, $85 for labor.


  • Mine has broken off twice. Scion Xb 2005. After the first time it broke off, I had to manufacture bits and pieces of material because the mating parts on both the hatchback and the handle broke (all plastic), so I couldn't glue it back together due to the broken pieces. This fix worked for a year before it broke off again, was literally hanging by the electrical cord. The first time it broke off, it dangled against the rear of the car, banging against it, before I heard it and pulled over. This apparently broke a license plate lite connection because they haven't worked in a year. Right now, I have the handle duct taped on and tied also, as a precaution, to the rear windshield wiper. Toyota dealership quoted a price of close to $200 for a new lever and labor to install which was outragous. I have been searching for the part online. Anyone know where I can get this part cheap?
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,423
    Junkyard (sorry, 'vehicle salvage facility')? Should be some wrecked xBs around.
  • Also, my feeling is, even with a new one, it will just break off again. I am thinking of bolting it on, drilling a couple holes through it, and through the rear hatch door, rubber bushings as space maintainers. The plastic clips are too frail to withstand much use, as built. But I have to resolve the wiring issue with the license plate lites. I'm no mechanic. But I don't have the money to take the car to the shop for every little issue like this. I had a really old car once with nonfunctioning license plate lites, among many other things. I ended up putting a battery operated closet light stick up above the license plate to satisfy the police.
  • Haven't found one so far in a junkyard. Oops, "vehicle salvage facility". Have a guy watching for me, in case one shows, however. How does one test wires, as with the licencse plate lite problem, to find out why they don't work (not resolved by changing both bulbs)?
  • 1550115501 Posts: 3
    Well, I bit the bullet and paid $180. But it should have been covered, and as we can see it's a design flaw. I don't know if the new, more rounded, models have this problem.
  • My second one has broken. I agree this is a major design flaw. There is no way to open the hatch without putting some lift load onto that handle. The handle isn't designed for any type of load if you ask me. Two plastic push-in clips is hardly designed for lifting a hatch of that size. The shocks don't really kick into action until you have lifted the back hatch half way up. Lame! I wish there were an after market part that bolts on. I'm going to weld up an Aluminum one and have it to match my car. Or maybe I can modify the mounting system and reinforce the plastic part so that the plastic is just a cosmetic cover not the hardware.
    I'll let you know what I come up with. After the second broken handle on my chevy S10 third door I replaced it with a stainless one I made and it was bullet proof after that. Turned out to be one of the selling points on the truck.
  • I have a 2005 XB with 50,000 miles on it (original owner) and the back door handle just cracked off in my hand also. I am really upset and feel this is a design flaw that Toyota should address. Since this happened (about 4 weeks ago), I have seen 2 other XBs with the same broken handle, and my wife spotted a 3rd on her way to work. Has anyone received any compensation or satisfaction from their Toyota dealer since this is an obvious flaw?
  • The handle on my rear hatch broke. I could feel that it was breaking off over time. I taped it up temporarily to get though the day, but there does not appear to be a permamnent fix.

    The same piece serves as a button for the electric hatch release, a holder for the license plate lights, and a handle to lift the hatchback. It is attached with two pieces of plastic. Oddly enough, when I pulled off the interior cover for the hatch door I see that there are two screws that go through ther metal of the hatch door, but they screw into cheap plastic on the hatch handle.

    This is a design flaw. This is among other things a door handle needed to lift the hatch door. After reading this blog, I think I'm going to drill two holes through the plastic piece and put two long screws through the holes in the handle and through the door.
  • I have changed mine twice now. I bought extra plastic push rivets because some break when you pull them out (they hold the interior cover onto the hatch door) I was also missing the screws that connect the light, probably lost when the handle was replaced before I owned it. I replaced it myself this last time and it took about 20 minutes. It is fairly easy and I was able to get all the missing parts back on from the so called 'professional' jobs before me who lost or broke parts. There are two push in mounts, and two screws that hold the handle on. There are screws that attach the activation button and license plate light. Then there are all those interior push in rivets for the interior lining. This stuff should be ordered just in case along with the plastic handle. I haven't gotten around to making one. We'll see how long this one lasts I may still make an black powder coated aluminum or polished stainless one if it breaks again soon. Installing the replacement was so easy I may not bother if it holds up for a few years more.
  • Good to hear, very good to hear, that I'm not the only one with this back door latch problem. I'm on my second now. There has been no abuse, just normal usage. Have printed out all comments and will proceed to Dealer. Will let you know how that goes. Spent nearly three hundred dollars for first repair, am not about to repeat that.
  • I also have had my rear hatch handle break off twice. It is only plastic and as stated by several on here, it is not up to the use it gets if we actually make use of the back hatch on the vehicle. I'm trying to find a part number or what it is exactly called to attempt to locate a previously owned one from an auto wrecking yard. Does anyone know of the part number or the official name of this part?
  • I drilled holes through two sides of the broken latch handle, and screwed it back on. Worked just fine. I have to warn people, however, who try to open the back and lift up on the handle not to use much force. Those rear hatch handles are weak plastic and junk. I am thinking about adding a cabinet handle instead of the plastic junk handle that comes with it. My Scion has over 130k on it, is scratched, missing a couple grill pieces that fell out, well used in other words, so a cabinet handle on the back, would not be a detraction from the overall well used working Scion Xb, that is mine, and that I love. And it would be functional as opposed to the nonfunctional piece of plastic that came on it as the handle.
  • My handle broke off on one side and is now hanging on with a single plastic support pin. This is a design defect if I ever saw one and by the number of postings on this site is a real issue that will grow exponentially as the cars age. Dealer special ordered new plastic handle for $90 + that came painted original color - Blue. Toyota should redesign this handle with a metal support pin while they are replacing the accelerator pedals on other models. This part was not designed to withstand normal wear and tear. Caution, if the rear hatch is not closed all the way while you attempt to open and close the hatch without further jarring the the broken handle, exhaust fumes can enter the vehicle and make you sick or worse. This almost happened to me as the open door light flickered on and off and I discovered that the hatch was not fully closed.

    Has anyone had success with a Toyota dealer making good on a free replacement and installation of a new handle?
  • Note: Based on my complaint, Toyota Scion customer service (866-707-2466) has agreed to a one time reimbursement for the full cost of part. Would not pay for labor or arrange for its installation.
  • Thank you Mrs Scion!
    Our just broke this morning, and I found your post. I called and talked to Caley, and she said based on our customer Loyalty they would reimburse us for the part after we bought it! Awesome!
  • I too have had two hatch handles break... the first at probably 70K and the second at 100K. I replaced the first one myself after ordering the part from the dealer we bought the car from new in 2005. Paid $60 for the part and a few dollars for shipping to me. The second time my husband said he wanted to drill into the car and reattach the handle as some of done in this forum. I didn't like the idea of drilling into the car as we live in a heavy salt area in the winter so I was going to figure out a way to wire it back on.... since I had replaced it once I knew basically what it looked like under the inside hatch panel. I went looking for the right wire and while doing it found long plastic wire ties in a toolbox. My husband is an electrical engineer and does lots of our wiring so has packages of these on hand. I realized they might work better than wire. When I looked at the underside of the hatch handle that was broken off I saw that there were small openings where the mounting pieces were molded to the main part of the handle... just big enough to get the wire tie through. I put one wire tie through the two openings on either mount leaving enough on the end to put through the whole in the hatch that the bolt used to go through. Since the one wire tie wasn't long enough to go through the hatch and form a loop back to itself I attached a second wire tie to the first and threaded that wire tie through another hole in the hatch. Because the edges of the hole in the hatch were a bit sharp I but a couple layers of duct tape on the edge of the whole where the wire ties would rub. Then I put the end of one wire tie through the end of the other on the inside of the hatch, pulled them tight and cut off the excess and replaced the inside panel. So far so good. I was also going to attach some sort of pull strap to the bottom of the hatch that hangs out a little so you could use the handle just to click open the latch but use the strap to pull open the hatch.
  • As an original owner of my '05 Scion XB, I noticed after my rear door handle broke nearly 20 additional XB's with the same problem. An obvious defect that should have been recalled. After complaining a couple of times to a Scion Rep, (and dealer) they agreed to a One-Time part replacement free of charge. While agreeing that it "WAS a Defect" they would not pay for the labor (?) about $110.00. I took the part to my neighborhood garage and he put it on for $50. Works great, but from now on I will be sure to hold the handle for about 6-7 seconds before I pull on it to open. You can not just grab the handle and pull or you will just crack it off again.
  • dooderdooder Posts: 1
    Also an original '06 xB owner. Rear door handle just broke for THIRD time. We have about 45K miles on this car. The dealer has covered it the first two times. Let's see what happens this time. We did purchase the extended warranty, so that might help.

    There is definitely something wrong with this handle. It should be recalled. In all three occasions, my wife (5' 4", 135 lbs.) broke the handle with her "brute strength." Let's face it--the high quality standard of Toyota is a thing of the past.
  • I just finished fixing mine. The plastic fittings that hold the bolts on are really thin. I plan to use the handle just to get the door open enough to grab the lip and finish opening that way. I noticed that besides the two bolts that hold the outer edges of the handle, there was one more bolt that held the center of the handle. Looked like there should have been two of those, so I went to Ace and got a nylon bolt for the other side. I also used wing nuts to hold those two center bolts because they are a pain to reach with tools. The part cost me $60 and the bolts and wing nuts were another $2 or so. If this one breaks, I guess I'll look into a chrome one.
  • I contacted Scion this morning, another Scion owner told me to do so as they had there's replaced. Scioin wouldn't replace it becuase I have no cusomter loyalty on file. i.e. no previous record of another Scion owned and because I don't take my car to the dealer to get the oil changed. It's also out of warranty being a 2005 and close to 100k miles on it.
    The fact of the matter is Scion is fully aware of this issue with the back door garnish, the rep acknowledged that, I launched a complaint with the Better Business Bureau shortly after hanging up with Scion, I encourage you all that have had a problem with the latch to do the same, it literally takes 10 minutes! (replaced or not) Perhaps if enough of us Scion owners do it, we will get them replaced or reimbursed for replacing it ourself, perhaps they will come out with a better more reliable part that we can access our trunk space without worry it will break off? I saw a TC with the piece broken off yesterday so it's not just XB's!
    Look, the piece is fairly cheap and I could very well buy it and have it replaced, but why should I? I'm sure there are people that can't afford to replace it and still have it taped up on the vehicle or have just taken it off. Scion knows it's a faulty poorly made piece but refuse to help replace most, but replace some and because I do my own maintenace on my vehicle and didn't own a Scion previously I don't 'qualify' to get it replaced? I'm a Scion owner as well, I shouldn't be told I don't qualify!! I called Toyota and they couldn't help me either cause Scion is seperate as is Lexus.
    I was also told by the rep at Scion that the piece should not be treated as a handle....HOW ELSE ARE YOU SUPPOSE TO GET INTO THE TRUNK SPACE OF THE CAR??????? I am blown away by they lack of compassion with the matter and the fact a simple letter was not sent out to the owners, which they all have files on if you bought your Scion new, that the piece is faulty and to be careful and not treat it as a handle! I will never buy another SCION the entire rest of my life.....EVER!!!
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