About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. Could this switch be causing intermittent problems with the liftgate latch, making it hard to open the liftgate (having to push the button up to 10 or 20 times before it opens fully)?  I will replace it but I wonder whether I will need to replace the latch assembly also if I have this problem.

  2. Thank you VERY much.  I bought the replacement part first, thinking that it would be a quick swap with two outside screws.  I wouldn't have been able to replace without this video.  Not only was our switch melted and gummed up, but it started getting faulty and failing to open the trunk.  Finally time to replace!

  3. Great Job. I hope I don't break anything. Do you have to link to the handle on Amazon.  I have the 2007 XLE model and baffled which one should I get. Thanks

  4. Do you still know where to get the part from? I searched everywhere and only found the expensive OEM replacement.

  5. I bought the part online.  Check my links to Amazon.  It was about $55.  I could only find genuine toyota parts – no after market replacments, though I searched many sites.

  6. Thanks for the video – very helpful. Why does it have to be a Chinese puzzle to get that one part out? Lol – It can never be easy….

  7. One difference on my 2008 Sienna from the video–  on the left cover, mine has a lift rod that goes through it and presents a problem in getting that panel off.  My warning is not to take this off until you have the part and are ready to install, since the trim hangs around the rod and difficult to close the door.  My dealer has the latch part for $59., so buying it there saved shipping costs compared to the internet, making the net cost very close to the internet price. 

  8. My Toyota Dealer is quoting me $212.00 to replace this latch for the part and labor!!  I am looking to get one online and DIY…
    Thank you for this video!

  9. Great Video.  Thanks!  Was able to do this in under an hour.  Hopefully the new handle doesn't melt too.

  10. Pull the handle part off as instructed.  If 5A electric switch still works – pull the two + screws, clean rubber and black sticky tar like substance off the part especially around the outer edges, etc, take an old inner tube from bicycle, cut it to fit so it wraps up around the edges – super glue it to the underside – be careful not to use too much glue so it glue the switch mechanism stuck, use chip clips to hold it and allow to dry, poke two small holes with nail through tube & put 2 screws back in.  Reinstall it back on car.  Just did it today 7/25/14 – took about 1 hour for complete job.  New rubber piece, which you do not see on the sienna anyhow, and hour hands will not get dirty when you open the hood.  We will see how long it last now. –  Save $66.93 for part in Houston.

  11. Great video! This helped me replace the latch in my wife's Sienna. Took me about 35min to do. Saved $250 by not having to take it to the dealership.

  12. I also bought the part from Toyotapartszone.com.  Same price but I didn't notice your purchase until after I made mine.  The only difference I had was I used a 10mm socket on the nuts for the latch trim piece also.  I pulled the top and side trim pieces and then had my wife hold the door down as I worked around the door trim.  I was able to unsnap the trim and see the tabs to avoid breaking anything.  I only lost one snap by the wiper motor.  Great video.  I (we) was able to finish the job in less than an hour.  Thanks.

  13. This is a great video!!  Followed it step by step.  Took me 45 mins from the time I opened the garage to start, till I closed it.  It is so simple (with help from the video), it's unbelievable what the dealerships charge for this.  The only tools I used were a flat head and a phillips head screwdriver, a 10 mm socket and a 10 mm open wrench.  I also found the OEM part in ebay for $45.96.  That includes tax and free delivery.  You sir saved me $200!  Thank you for the video!

  14. I have a 2008 Toyota Sienna with the same problem for a year. Read that the new switch is made of the same YUKKY material. Actually it is a black rubber sleeve and dealerships do not sell that just by itself. as it would have been too simple and they would have to sell it for about $5 instead of getting the vehicle in for service. I owe credit to this IDEA to another Toyota blogger. It takes about 20 minutes and you do not have to change the whole switch. The 
    I used a L shaped screw driver as there is not much due to the angle the screw is in. Once the screws are out you can pull the switch out.
    Finally got the sticky messy Liftgate switch out. You do NOT have to replace with a new one. One thing to note the melted rubber makes the actual plastic switch part harder to move in and out. Once cleaned its much smoother. The rubber cover as you can in the pic is all melted and hardened. You can use a small blade and scrap all the melted rubber out. Try to get as much as possible with the blade.
    Then use a rag and rubbing alcohol to get the rest out. Be gentle as you don't want to break the switch assembly as its made out of plastic.
    I used two pieces of duct tape and stuck them together just to add another layer. I would have liked to used something better but thats all I had. May be Gorilla Tape. I then attached the duct tape to switch and trimmed so that it can be wrapped around the assembly and seal it. It doesn't seem like water would get into it.
    The duct tape setup is definitely a lot better than the cheap rubber cover. Time will tell. You can also get a darker color DUCK tape but it is best to use TWO layers. Helps improve the feel and will last longer.
    See pictures at: http://www.siennachat.com/forum/185-problems-maintenance-repair/152786-repair-liftgate-melted-gooey-latch-handle.html#post1334234

  15. Thanks so much for the help with the trunk latch on the Toyota sienna. The dealership wanted $145.00 and an hour and a half. My husband did it in about 30 minutes with your help!

  16. This was a very helpful video.  I, too, had a melted switch that made it almost impossible to open the door when it got cold outside.  Made the process of replacing the switch very easy and stress-free.  Thanks for posting this!

  17. This is happening to my 2010 Sequoia too!  The stealership wants 157.00 for the switch.  The parts guy mentioned that this happens to the Sequoia, Sienna, Prius and Venza…  HEY @Toyota USA  WAKE UP!!! REDESIGN THIS!!!  This should NOT "MELT" after only a few years!  

  18. Thanks for the video.   Great help.   Just wanted to know if it is the similar procedure for replacing the license plate bulbs?  

  19. Thanks for the video. It was an easy repair and didn't break any clips. Took me 30 minutes. Got the part from a Toyota parts store on eBay. OEM and half of what my dealership wanted. Saved me overpriced Toyota labor and an afternoon of hassle.

  20. Very awesome video.   I have a new switch on the way (E-Bay, less than $50.00 shipped) and had no idea how involved the replacement was.   I figured you'd just unscrew the two screws on either side of the switch and pull it out and plug in the new one.   You've saved me a lot of time and helped me avoid hella frustration!!!!   Many Thanks!  

  21. Have you done and fog lights on the sienna? if so I have 2013 toyota, and I'm looking for some guiding  for installation please 


  22. HI, I removed the switch and scraped the melted coating with edge of scissors and nail file.  Once clean you could see that the switch itself was completely intact and functional.  I cut a piece of bicycle inner tube (thank you Walter 7/2014 post) and replaced. Took me a little over an hour.  Cost me zip from a leftover bike tube.  Very poor design on Toyota's part.  I had also replaced the plastic spring based handle on my 2000 Sienna about 5 years ago (about 90.00) and it still works today. l also fixed the plastic handle on my neighbors Sienna. I think they quoted him over 100.00 in labor. Now my 07 Sienna has this issue with the melted coating.  Maybe they could design something better the 3rd attempt.

  23. Hey @Tomahawk DIY, I have a problem with my rear door not closing. The mechanism won't engage the hook and the door just rests in the closed position without actually locking. Is the actual mechanism broken or it is from a fuse? I also couldn't find which number the fuse for the rear door latch on a 2006 Toyota Sienna. Do you happen to know which number it is?

  24. Thanks for the step-by-step video. Made the operation easy for us DIYers. Only small caution is the strap cover wants to slide toward the top of the door. I snapped some of the plastic so watch out for that.

  25. Hi, would it be the same way for 2003 toyota sienna, i just got mine replace at the dealer a month ago and it's already broke, i think it stupid to paid $350 for some cheat plastic thing every month.

  26. Thanks for video, It helped me with installing backup camera, I just used Tailgate Handle Button switch, extra space to pass cable of camera so I don't have to make hole into door for passing cable to cause to rust in future.

  27. Replacing the switch with the same Toyota part will lead to the same melted, messy result. Amazon carries a drop-in replacement from Dorman


  28. I had the same problem with it melting. This video is fantastic. Thank you for posting. It took me 40 mins from start to finish, including finding the tools i needed to putting them away when i was done.

  29. Thanks for the video. I had no idea it was so involved (removing all the panels and reaer plate on the exterior. **I found on my 07 sienna the side covers can just be slid away from the widow instead of trying to pop the plastic fasteners out of there holes. Less chance of breaking the plastic fasteners.

  30. Ridiculous ammount of work for just a stupid switch. Mine got all messed up and sticky too. I said screw it and just glued some plastic bag material over the top of the stickiness. Been that way for a year now and it works fine.

  31. This is a manufacture defect. My 2010 Lexus GS450h swtich cover melted as well, note this item is not exposed to sun. Went to dealership. "can't buy swtich cover only. must buy entire switch. $90+ dollars". Found on line $12 dollars. Needless to say, that pissed me off. Dealership Eskridge Lexus OKC. Thanks for taking the time to show the world how.

  32. What if the tailgate handle button is completely malfunctioning and you can't get the rear hatch open to take moulding apart to get at the mechanism??

  33. Thanks for taking the time and effort to show us how to replace this part. My local Toyota dealer quoted me $277.16 to replace this part. I ordered it off of Amazon for $45.30 with a savings of $231.86!!

    Dorman 901-715 Touch Pad Rear Hatch Release Switch

    DIY'ers…Be VERY CAREFUL when removing the two plastic clips that are part of the main plastic molding that you will be popping off! If you pull straight out on them, I promise you that you will break them. Also, there are about 12 plastic white screws that pop off pretty easily. If they stay stuck to the metal frame, that is OK. Use a regular screwdriver to pop them off of the frame and then just press them into the plastic molding where they belong. This makes it WAY easier to re-install them.

    It is about a 3 beer project. Easy.

    Thanks again, sir, for posting.

  34. Thanks so much for taking time to document the steps! I bought a replacement switch at RockAuto for $34.98 (part #901715). I also bought an offset screwdriver at Home Depot for $4.97 (UPC #648738210102). Since the original tailgate release switch is still functional, I simply unscrewed the switch and removed as much of the melted rubber gunk as possible from the original white plastic plate. Then I took the rubber cover off from the new replacement part and put it over the original plate. It was a perfect fit! With this approach, I did not have to remove any of the panels. Though I would share. Remember to wear disposable gloves when removing the black gunk which is very difficult to wash off.

  35. Most of the Toyota vehicles only need the cover replaced. It takes about 10 minutes and the upgraded cover cost under $20. I replaced it on a Prius www.youtube.com/watch?v=tuE5F3qZgnY

  36. Thanks for making and sharing this video. I replaced my read door handle quickly from watching your video. I especially like that you pointed out about the two plastic tabs that can break off easily if the panel is not pulled in the correct manner and to put a towel or something on the locking mechanism so it doesn't close shut on you. Ironically, when I called my local Toyota parts department and asked about the rear door handle switch, he said "I bet it's melting, isn't it." He said he has the same switch on his 4 runner and has to replace it as well. But he also said the new one's won't melt like the old ones did. I should have watched your video first before calling Toyota. Would have been nice to save a few extra dollars by buying it on Amazon instead of paying $78.65.

    Do you happen to have the issue with the battery cable corroding at the terminal as well? I have replaced it twice, even put those red and green rings around the terminals AND put battery grease on the cables, yet they still corrode and have to be replaced. It looks like Toyota is building themselves some additional repair revenues for their vehicles after a few years of being on the road.

    Thanks again!!

  37. EXCELLENT! ordered the part from your link and it went exactly like you said. no problem! good instruction! keep up the good work.

  38. Thank you for posting this video. I'm looking for the part for a 2010 Toyota Sequoia. Do you think you could point me in the right direction? The dealership wanted $184.99 just for the part ($385.85 total with labor).

  39. THE RUBBER COVER IS NOW AVAILABLE ON AMAZON. Yes, just the rubber cover (Trunk Button Cover). Now just replace the gooey sticky cover. Using an L screw driver just remove the two screws, then pull out the switch. Next is the time consuming part, you have scrape and clean off of that gooey mess so the switch will move smoothly. The new rubber cover just slips over the switch and it comes with new screws. AWESOME!

  40. great post and also the suggestion for just replacing rubber cover by MagMatt James. if i need to replace the switch, i will clip the old switch wires and do wire splice with a new switch instead of taking off all the moldings and parts. there is enough wire length as i duct taped the old gooey mess together and put the screws back to the expansion anchors that hold the part in.

  41. Great to see someone just like myself.  thanks for showing the correct order to remove panel, even the oops part.  this will make my button replacement go smooth

  42. Thanks! I have been wanting to replacement that part on my 2007 Sienna for the longest time. I cannot believe Toyota used such an inferior part for all of that cars and vans :(.

  43. Thanks for the great video. I used Toyota OEM part number #84840-08010 which I ordered off Amazon for under $50. Following the steps in this video, this should take under an hour even for a non-mechanic.

  44. Thanks for a very helpful video – loved hearing the kids in the background. Made the video seem like what life is like for those of us replacing the rear handle and for most folks driving a Toyota van!

  45. Awesome guide! It worked well on my 2009 Sienna. For those of you that have the auto closing trunk there is an extra lever through the side rear window pannel, you just let the plastic panel hang on this instead of taking it completely off. Just make sure to turn off the auto shut feature as the door may want to close itself while you are working on it.

  46. Thanks for video! Question before I start diving in for those who have done this – my switch is sticking, but is still engaging the assembly. Even still, the door won’t budge. Could this still only be an issue with the switch or could it be that the assembly needs replaced?

  47. Does it also works for 2000 Dodge Grand Caravan? The back was slight dented and affected the lock from opening with neither the auto unlock nor the key…..

  48. Hi there. Just wanna say thanks for the video. I’m driving a Toyota Wish in Singapore and the sequence to removing the plastic panels is the same. With your video, I was able to change my license plate bulbs.

  49. Thanks for the excellent video! It was detailed and showed me how to change the part myself for a cost savings of about $225.

  50. Great video… no breaks on disassembly!
    $5 FIX :
    I took mine all apart and took a look at the broken plastic piece… took some CRAZY GLUE and a popsicle sticks to reenforce The broken plastic… sprinkled the wet CRAZY GLUE with baking soda and let every dry ! It still looked like it needed reenforcement so I took some epoxy stick I had in stock and coated everything ! Two hours later everything dry & put back together and better than NEW! Poor design on the original part thats for sure!

  51. Just FYI the panel that was next to the strap is an opening solution. It is manual and is used if your kidnapped. You can put the third row down and if the door closes on accident you can open it on the inside

  52. Hi I just have the same problem with my 2010 sienna even though this videos here for long time but, it's the only that explains clearly in how to do it… thanks

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