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Discussion Starter #1
We cannot open the front passenger door on our RAV. Nothing works -- the key, the handle, or the power locks. Actually, all of the other power locks work, just not the passenger door.

I've done searches here and on Google and haven't found any good solutions.

Does anyone have an idea as to how we can get the door open so that we can remove the interior door panel and fix the lock mechanism?

I suppose we could pay a locksmith to open it, but a) I'd rather not spend the $$, and b) then we'd have to drive home while somehow keeping the door from latching -- unless the locksmith would be able to get it so that it could be closed without getting stuck locked again.

I've tried removing the rubber/felt edge on the inside, where the glass goes into the door, put it won't budge. I thought that if I could get it off I might be able to see down inside the door. I considered taking the driver's side edge off as well, so I'd have an idea how the lock mechanism works. Maybe there's a trick to that?
 

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My crystal ball: I see removing a front seat, then removing the door panel in your future! :) {Disconnect the battery first -- seat belt retractor has an explosive charge in it.}

Maybe practice on the other door panel first.

Locking mechanism inside is rather simple, but you need to be a contortionist. Take the stickers and plastic shield off carefully so that they will go back on well and seal properly.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
My crystal ball: I see removing a front seat, then removing the door panel in your future! :) {Disconnect the battery first -- seat belt retractor has an explosive charge in it.}

Maybe practice on the other door panel first.

Locking mechanism inside is rather simple, but you need to be a contortionist. Take the stickers and plastic shield off carefully so that they will go back on well and seal properly.
I'll have to look again, but I think at least part of the door panel is sandwiched between the door and the frame.
 

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If so, probably can get much of the plastic trim off the inner door frame.

It's also possible you'll have to destructively remove the door panel. eBay or a junkyard for a replacement.
I'd take it to a locksmith before doing that. It might end up being cheaper.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'd take it to a locksmith before doing that. It might end up being cheaper.

That's the way I'm leaning.

I'm thinking if the locksmith can unlock it, and it remains unlocked, then we should be able to drive it home and remove the panel.

Another option would be to get a locksmith to come to our house, but that would cost more.

I've searched and I found that this problem is fairly common but I haven't found a good resolution.
 

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I recently took my door panels off to install some speakers, and it looks like the locking mechanism is fairly simple, just a couple cables.

Behind the interior door lever, just pop out the small plastic cover. There's one small screw behind that. Once that's off, you could maybe get access to those cables to pull and unlock the door.

Worst case scenario, you could just butcher that door lever section. Probably cheaper to replace that than the door panel.

2:10 into this video may give you some clues

<iframe width="1280" height="720" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/1myMDU5ASqU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I recently took my door panels off to install some speakers, and it looks like the locking mechanism is fairly simple, just a couple cables.

Behind the interior door lever, just pop out the small plastic cover. There's one small screw behind that. Once that's off, you could maybe get access to those cables to pull and unlock the door.

Worst case scenario, you could just butcher that door lever section. Probably cheaper to replace that than the door panel.

2:10 into this video may give you some clues

<iframe width="1280" height="720" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/1myMDU5ASqU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
Thanks Endopotential.

I watched the video. It is well done, but it applies to late model RAV4s.

I just did a quick search and people want stupid money for door panels -- $150 to $250!

A locksmith is starting to look cheap...
 
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