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Toyota Sequoia Rear Hatch Door Problems



  • Got my all metal handle from: 4294967117+4294959021+4294958905&Nr=AND(universal:0)&sv=0&sc=Most+Popular:Tailgate+Handle

    your existing handle should also be black and not seen anyway. yes a pain to replace, but you get to know your SUV.
  • I wife desperatley wants a power controlled hatch back on our 2004 toyota Sequoia. We cannot afford to sell ours and upgrade- only 64K mi. and in perfect condition. Is there an aftermarket power unit anyone knows of? S.O.S HELP!!
  • I've got a 2006 Sequoia and the rear hatch handle just broke today. Just ordered a replacement all-metal handle from Amazon. YouTube has some videos on repairing this (even some redneck work arounds that costs $0).
  • We purchased our 2006 Sequoia new in 06. Not more than 6 months after the purchase the rear hatch locking mechanism failed to open the door. Took it into Toyota and received a $450 enema. Chalking it up to not knowing the history of this defect, I paid the bill.
    Approx. a year later, here we go again. Into Toyota it goes. Wife get a call the mechanism is full of dust and not releasing. She informed the service guy we live in the country and drive dirt roads every day. He told her, get this, "the vehicle is not made for off roading". She told him it is a 4 wheel drive vehicle with the off road and towing package. She asked him to put his statement on the invoice. Of course he refused.
    I have since replaced the locking mechanism 4 time myself. I have replaced the handle on the door twice.
    As for the handle, purchase only a metal replacement. They can be found on ebay. Before you install it, get a stiff piece of wire and wrap one end around the area where the cable attaches up and over the spring to the little "ear" that is depressed when the hand engages. This is to give more durability to the handle without bending the "ear".
    TIPS: As for the locking mechanism, get some brake kleen and silicone spray from your favorite parts dealer "NOT TOYOTA". Open your rear hatch and remove the plastic cover protecting the lock. Put the straws in the brake kleen and silicone spray cans. Get a paper towel. First spray the brack kleen inside the lock catching the dripping with the paper towel. Repeat until fluid flows clean. Allow to dry. Follow up with a light coating of silicone spray. Leave door open for an hour or leave winows down overnight to allow to air out and dry. Repeat process once a month. The grease Toyota puts in the lock is a dust collector. You need to get all the grease out of the lock to prevent future problems. This has worked well for me.
    Too bad becouse it is a great vehicle otherwise. Unfortunatly TOYOTA HAS DECIDED NOT TO STAND BEHIND IT'S PRODUCT as demonstrated by the history of this defect.
    We are once again in the market for a new SUV. It will not be a Toyota. We require something that be be driven on something other than concreted and the manufaturer stands behind.
  • I got this from another site.

    ToyotaTom :
    The first thing you'll want to check is the power back door cancel switch on the dash
    ToyotaTom :
    This will disable the power back door and it will be rendered inoperative
    ToyotaTom :
    It should be labeled "pwr door off"
    ToyotaTom :
    If this button is pushed IN, then the back door is turned OFF. If the button is OUT, then the back door should be working
    ToyotaTom :
    If this button does not make it work, then it will need to be taken in to the dealer for a proper diagnosis. We'll need to plug in the laptop and look at the full data list of everything the back door is seeing, and determine what isn't right. It may be a touch sensor, a latch out of adjustment, a little limit switch, or a bunch of different things. Unfortunately this will be a hands on project that only the dealer is going to be able to communicate with the correct computer to retrieve the data necessary for a proper diagnosis.
  • My 2005 Toyota Sequoia recently came back from the Body Shop after some accident which required the entire rear door be replaced.

    The rear door has lights integrated into the door itself which appear to be brake lights and reverse lights.

    Upon return the RED lights in the Rear Door do not work???

    When should they come on;

    a) when headlights are turned on
    b) when brakes are applied
    c) hazards
    d) never
  • sfclakesfclake Posts: 1
    Hey jafwo, do you have the name of the mechanic who fixes the rear hatch handle on the sequoia, I live in San Bernardino CA, mind just broke. Thank you, my email is, [email protected]
  • lctskilctski Posts: 1
    I have a 2004 Sequoia and have had to replace the back hatch latch 8 times!!!! The window hasn't worked in 5 years due to rust and the entire door is rusting!!! Rust under the brake light and around the window! When is Toyota going to stand behind their vehicle and recall this? I would love to have a functioning back door in my very expensive truck I bought new in 2003! Problems started at year 1 with 45k miles!
  • timflantimflan Posts: 1
    edited August 2013
    I'm a DIY kind of guy. So using the instructions here, plus some YouTube videos, I tackled the liftgate hatch handle replacement this week. My findings...

    •The "All Metal" version on Amazon is MOSTLY metal, and appears to be much better quality throughout. It weighs almost twice as much as the original.

    •Getting the trim off the inside (with the hatch closed, unable to open) is easier if you do it from the OUTSIDE, through the window.

    •Be sure to close the window before you start unplugging electrical connectors.

    •The two rubber plugs covering access to the impossible-to-reach 10mm nuts that secure the handle to the door would have been REALLY convenient, had I discovered them prior to doing it the hard way.

    •It's important to seat the cable housing into the clip on the new handle assembly. The narrow "saddle" near the end of the cable housing fits tightly into the fork on the handle assembly. It's so tight on mine that I couldn't get it in without using a pry-bar to exert a bit of force on it. This was the trickiest part for me, honestly. Don't take a shortcut and just pull the entire cable housing end over the can slip off later, inside the door. Do it right.

    •SECURE THE CABLE HOUSING to the rear wall of the liftgate body. If clips are missing or broken, use some duct tape. This is important, because the window can catch on the cable housing if the cable housing is free floating in the door cavity. If it catches, bad things happen. I was lucky, and was able to diagnose and repair the NEW problem I inadvertently introduced with my mistake. Which brings me to the next item...

    •If your liftgate does not lock OR unlock reliably, you may be able to fix it yourself. Symptoms:

    (A) Door lock/unlock actuates, but you can't open the door even when you pull on the end of the cable.

    (B) Door lock/unlock actuates, but the door is always unlocked.

    Good news: Both (A) and (B) might be caused by the same issue. It was in my case. I was SUPER-fortunate in that I was able to get the door to open by fiddling around with the door lock/unlock and the window until it opened. Once I had it open, I played around with it in a variety of configurations, which is how I was able to experience both (A) and (B) intermittently.

    This really deserves it's own whole post, but I'll cut to the chase: If the cable housing has been yanked (by the window mechanism, in my case), it may have bent the forked clip where it attaches to the latch (not the handle...the latch at the bottom of the door). If you bend that forked clip back so it's square to the entire assembly (mine was pulled out a tiny bit, not quite square to the rest of the unit), you'll allow enough cable to return when the handle is released for the little levers to get back to their full at-rest positions. It's like adjusting the brake or shifter cables on a bicycle; the relationship between the end of the CABLE HOUSING and the end of the CABLE is critical. The little levers need to fully return in order for the door-lock actuator to be able to positively engage/disengage the latch cable.

    Boy, this is impossible to describe in words. Sorry about that. Unfortunately, in the heat of battle I wasn't about to stop and take pictures or video.
  • Why didn't Toyota install an interior latch opener!?? This is ridiculous!! I would think this would be a safety concern if anything! Cars can pop trunks from interior, mini-vans can pop back door latches with an interior button... WHY CAN'T SEQUOIA? I seriously think this should be a design recall since the handle keeps breaking and it is a safety hazard!
  • My 2005 SR5 rear hatch door latch finally snapped last week. After 150K miles, I thought I had one of those vehicles that didn't have that problem, but alas, a week ago I went to open it and "snap", the latch broke. I decided to take it to my Toyota dealer, and after three days at the dealership (didn't need the vehicle for that time) and $550, it is repaired. I agree with previous posters that Toyota should take responsibility for this part, since, in my opinion, it's not a normal "wear and tear" item. Also most door mechanisms last the lifetime of the vehicle. At least the dealership has a 12 month/12K guarantee on their work, so in that time I can decide whether to keep the vehicle or sell it.
  • Hi,
    I have an 04 Sequioa and the rear window stopped working about two years ago. I never bothered to fix it.... last week, the tailgate handlw broke and i had no choice but to tackele the problems.

    I learned that the Toyota replacement handle is a "plastic" piece of junk and many owners have had multiple failures with the factory replacement handle. I bought one at napa for about $55 that is "metal" and very sturdy.

    THere are several great youtube videos out there that walk you through the repair of the handle. watch a few then print out this great step by step... Thanks Piranamedia.....

    While i had the door apart, i also took a shot at the broken window problem. there is a defective "break" that must come out of the existing unit. It's only two nuts. I took the break out and reset the unit by:
    1: turning ignition to on;
    2: holding power window in up position for 10 seconds;
    3: turning car off.

    the motor reset. power window works perfectly. no new motor required.

    thanks all for posting. It made it worlds easier with your knowledge and walk throughs.
  • hongkong12hongkong12 Posts: 1
    edited February 2015
    We're you able to have your car locked and unlocked? I have the same issue. I bought a complete new power controller for the rear but I still cannot lock the car manually or with remote control. Please help.
  • I have had the rear handle on my 2007 Sequoia replaced or "fixed" 4 times in the last 2 years. My local Toyota dealer is a joke. I complained to Toyota customer service online, but they say they have no record of any issues with the rear handle of the Sequoia.

  • hamp3hamp3 Posts: 1

    Door locks in my 2007 Toyota 2007 SR5 are locking and unlocking randomly without activation. In 20012, a Toyota dealer determined that the rear door latch was broken and the window motor was shot. They replaced the rear door latch mechanism but said the rear window motor was shot. Dec 2013, the door latch failed to open again. I had the door latch repaired again. Window still not working. This pass weekend 17-20 Jan the door locks started locking and unlocking randomly again on its on. Currently the rear window is now stuck in the down position and will not close while engine is on or off. There's got to be a short somewhere. Any assistance provided is greatly appreciated.


  • ppikeppike Posts: 1

    I had the rear latch replaced in 2012 for $500.00+/- and again this week for $300.00. The dealer gave us a break on the labor.(Hah). My car is a 2001 model and it seems the latch lasted for 11 years the first time and 2 the second. There should be a recall on the latch.

  • aliminalimin Posts: 80

    Have a 2005 SR5 and had the rear latch replaced by the dealer in September, 2013. At that time I confirmed that they would cover repairs if the latch broke again for 12 months/12k miles. Broke again last week, took it in, and dealer repaired without charge. This must be a frequent repair since the dealer had the part in stock. Good to have it fixed (again), but I plan to trade the Sequoia soon.

  • 2001 Sequoia and a 1999 Sienna before that. Twice now on both vehicles the door latch mechanism has snapped from regular (not abusive) use. At the dealership this minute...Toyota of Puyallup. Service manager said he had never heard of it and that he could find no record of the problem in the Toyota database.

    THANK YOU, Internet people. I will be ordering a metal replacement and getting to know my SUV. And, never returning to this dealership that, at a minimum, wouldn't stand behind their own work from when they replaced it a year ago. (In spite it not working well when I left then.)
  • My toyota dealer was asking for 750$ labor plus $120 for parts. I got a shock of my life.

    Well you tube came to my rescue. This video helped me. Thank you youtube.

    It took me about 4 hrs. Well it saved me some serious dough.

  • Wow I just spent 4 hrs replacing my hatchback handle. The internet is wonderful. I found many videos showing how to do it and they warned me in advance to get the metal handle from ebay. After hooking it up and having to unhook it three times I finally had to remove the spongy gasket it came with to get it to work. I think it just wasn't reaching enough to work right. So its all put together and working now, but now the door wont lock. When I moved the window up and down after I was done, the window did seem to catch on something once. So I'm hoping "Timflans" post above will fix my problem.. Thanks in advance Timflan! I'll let you know.

    I've had my 2002 Sequoia for about 4 yeas now and didn't realize this latch problem existed until mine broke and I went on the internet to figure out what to do. My door handles have had minor sticking problems but have not broken yet. I WD-40'd everything today to help avoid a problem.

    wish me luck. tomorrow is another day of trying to get the door to lock now.
  • robhorobho Posts: 9
    cjtoyota, your comment justified why I paid the dealer $500 this past February to replace the rear hatch handle on my 2007 Sequoia. I saw the video and knew it was possible but also knew that it wouldn't be easy and certainly time consuming. I hated paying for it, but my wife INSISTED that I let someone else do it for me instead of spending a cold day working on the car. Bottom line is without a working handle you can't drop the spare tire!
  • My rear door handle on my 2001 Sequoia has been broken for a couple of months and I'm about to purchase the metal replacement handle from Amazon. I am unable to do the work myself, and do not wish to hire a Toyota service provider to do it, so I'm wondering if anyone on this thread can recommend an independent mechanic ANYWHERE in California who has performed the work successfully for a reasonable price. I live in the Bay Area, so I would prefer hiring someone locally, but I often visit L.A. and would not rule out finding someone there. Sacramento area works for me as well. Thank You.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Rising Sun Automotive
    68 Woodland Ave
    Ste B
    San Rafael, CA 94901
    Phone number (415) 459-2273

    A quick hop over the Richmond Bridge if coming from the East Bay
  • Ok, this thread is a few years old, but I have had the same problem with my 07 Toyota Sequoia in 2015 and 2016. Here is what I have found, and its an easy fix without being incredibly handy with tools. First, there are Youtube videos taking you step by step through how to do this repair correctly, so I won't reinvent the wheel. There are three things that I have found that can cause this problem. First is the handle is broken. Its cheap plastic and a waste of time. Don't buy it from the dealer, you can buy a metal one for 1/3 of the cost on Ebay, delivered to the door. If the latch is broken, then replace it following one of the videos on Youtube, which will show you how to correctly remove the rear door panel without breaking the clips. A little sweat equity will save you $500. I fixed my broken handle within an hour. I just put my iPad in the back of the sequoia with me and went step by step. Second problem I had....after I replaced the handle in December of 2015, the door stopped functioning in January of 2016. The handle was fine. The locking mechanism is fine, everything works but the door won't unlatch. I lowered the window, and put a wedge between the outside door window trim (not against the glass) and spread it so I could looking inside with a flashlight. Low and behold, the cable is stretched far enough that pulling the door lever never engages the release. SO, I took a coat hanger made a very small hook at the end, looped it around the cable stop on the end and pulled, releasing the door and opening the hatch. THIS IS IMPORTANT to be able to do because you can't get to your spare tire without the hatch, and I was out in the middle of nowhere deer hunting. If your cable is stretched, you have two options, buy a new cable (around $25 on eBay shipped, and I bought one for $19) or you can put another cable stop closer to the door handle slot so there is no slack. The cable stop is less than $2 at the hardware store, however, the tool to crimp it looks like a huge set go bolt cutters. There may be smaller versions that I am unaware of. I opted for the new cable. I followed the directions on Youtube to take off the back door panel as if I was repairing the broken handle and replaced the cable, which was fairly short and simple. It takes slightly less time because the door handle is already in place and you are not removing and replacing the old broken one. One other problem I have heard of is the bottom part of the mechanism gets rusted or oxidized. There are solutions to that problem as well, but the coat hanger pull on the door cable with get your door open so you can work on the bottom part and replace if necessary. Good luck with a frustrating, and obviously very common problem that Toyota really ought to take care sequoia is almost 10 years old and mechanically is very sound..and I hope to have it for a few more years at least. Peace.
  • I've changed this so many times on my 02 Sequoia I was able to do it in under 30 minutes yesterday in the cold with a rear window that will not go down. It is a record for me, but I am still not happy about it.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    You should make a How-To video for YouTube! Doing a good turn always makes you feel better, right? I may have to do this for a neighbor. Pretty amazing failure rate on this part, eh?
  • This isn't that difficult of a fix, and my 2001 Sequoia still had the original plastic latch in 2017. I've had this apart about 6 times now, each time learning something new.

    If you follow these instructions, it is my belief that you will get many years from your rear door

    1. Buy a "premium" all-metal rear door handle from Ebay or Amazon. Under $20
    2. Do NOT use the full new handle. Take the C-clip off the rod from the old handle and the new handle, remove the rods, and put the new handle lever (the piece that you use to grab and open the hatch) on the old Toyota assembly. This is important, as I found out the hard way, that the new "premium" parts are junk and the metal bends too easily on the pivoting lever assembly. If the pivoting lever assembly bends, then there won't be enough travel for the cable and the door won't open. Other guys have suggested "shimming" the cable with split shot fishing sinkers, or cutting a nut and crimping the nut around the cable at the door handle end. This really doesn't fix the problem of the new non-oem handles being inferior in strength and design.
    3. Buy a new OEM Toyota rear hatch door lock and cable assembly. Mine cost me $80 on Amazon.

    That should be it for the door opening mechanics. The door handle, and the cable/lock mechanism are really all there is to this. I did not purchase the OEM Toyota handle, but I would bet that it would also give many years of service like the original.

    The problem from the broken handles happens because the door lock mechanism/cable gets difficult to pull, which breaks the plastic OEM handle lever tab. Replacing the handle and not the cable/lock assembly will only cause a new handle to break very quickly due to the extra stress on it from the binding lock mechanism or cable.

    My rear door also wouldn't lock, and it could be opened even after locking the Sequoia. This is when I discovered that the rear door lock actuator was bad. I could hold the actuator in my hand, press the lock/unlock with the fob, and it wouldn't move. New lifetime warranty on aftermarket part: $80

    Grand total for repairs: $200 for a new handle, cable/lock assembly, and door lock actuator.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Thanks for the very helpful post on this issue!
  • seagarnolaseagarnola Posts: 3
    Bought the aftermarket part, watched the videos, took door apart. Rear gate will NOT open...even yanking on cable manually much less using the latch. Now what? How this isn't a recall issue is beyond me. Very much appreciate everyone passing along the knowledge.

    '04 Sequoia has 209k miles on it, this is the only insurmountable problem thus far. I could live with it if it did mean that I can't get to the spare. That's a deal killer. You hear me, Mr. Toyota?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    So you mean that you took the back panel off and still can get the door open? So you haven't installed the aftermarket part yet?
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