1999 Sienna rear hatch broken! Can't open!

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07-31-2010, 06:14 PM
Thanks forum, my mom and I are attempting to follow your advice, my dad is off golfing for the weekend and I need my van for tomorrow. Mine made it all the way to 2010 suppose I should feel lucky. I think I'll just pull a cord attached to the opener for tomorrow since I need to order the part.
I'll let cha know how it goes.

08-28-2010, 08:32 AM
Read many posts, best data ever rec'd. Went on ebay to get a $38 part, 4-days later it was fixed. Thanks one and all.

09-06-2010, 08:46 PM
After pricing a fix at our Toyota dealer for $400, my wife decided she'd rather not use her '98 Sienna's rear hatch due to the broken latch. However it was bugging me. I finally got tired of ignoring the problem, googled and found this site. To all of you .... Thanks! Elements from different posts were of help to me. Cyber Kahuna's initial post was the one that got me thinking I wasn't going to spend $400. I spent only about an hour on it with most of the time spent drilling a hole through the two pieces and finding the right screw. It's working like new.

09-24-2010, 06:23 PM
My wife called me and told me the rear handle broke on her 2002 Sienna. Before she got home I found a replacement metal handle on ebay for $33.90 from johnnyutah14 and it arrived in a couple of days. Everyone's notes were helpful. The handle and strap were easy to remove, with three bolts total. Either 10mm socket with a small extension or a large phillips screwdriver will work. The back cover was off in about a minute. The cable was very easy to locate, just look opposite of where the handle is. I traced the cable down pulled on the catch, the rear gate opened. The cable from the handle to the latch is easily removed, just like a bike brake cable. There are two nuts holding the handle, and one nut on the passenger side holding the light/handle/lock assembly. Also a small white plastic tab on the driver's side. I used needle nose pliers to gently squeeze and push the white tab. Everything moved out easily. With everything sitting on top of the open door, it was quick to remove two small screws and the old handle. Put everything back in reverse order. I found the handle was a bit larger than the old one, so I had to angle it different ways until it went in the opening. The spring on the new handle is stiffer than the old one, so I took it all apart again just to make sure there wasn't something binding. All is well. My wife is delighted. Life is good.
Thanks for all the advice. If anyone is concerned, don't be, go ahead and try this. You will feel good, save some money, and only takes about 20 minutes (less if you don't do it twice like I did).

10-24-2010, 02:47 PM
Thanks for all the great information, sometimes I forget how simple it is to just use good ole enginuity.

11-18-2010, 12:20 AM
I also have a 2000 Toyota Sienna. My latch has broken twice, and I wasn't willing to pay over $300 to get it fixed again! The original latches are made of plastic, and will break easily (duh Toyota). I found one that is made of metal and great quality for $21.28 from www.jdkautoparts.com. I had it sent via 2 day express for $12, got it when promised, replaced it in about 30 minutes, job done for $33 and some change. BIG DIFFERENCE, better quality, and I know I'm not funding anyone's pension plan but helping out an honest guy trying to make a decent living:)
This has been an ongoing problem for years, and Toyota refuses to recall this item! Siennas and Sequoya's are both affected, and if you just look on the internet you'll see thousands of complaints just like ours. Service managers know about this, and when they see someone coming with a broken latch they know they've got ya. It's sickening, and we all need to write to Toyota and complain about it. Otherwise, they'll just keep sucking the consumer dry while putting money in their pockets. Please take the time to do this! If we don't stand up to them, who will??? Thanks for the posts, we need to stick together.

02-17-2011, 02:48 PM
I realize that time has passed since you first introduced the fix for the above referenced problem; however, it is still paying deividends. By following your directions I was able to replace the rear latch in less than 30 minutes, start to finish. The internet is a great thing and I appreciate your expertise and the fact that you were willing to share the information.


05-01-2011, 02:50 PM
Just had the handle break on a 2001 Sienna. I think the best fix it to just get a metal handle and replace the POS one made by Toyota originally. There is not really that much work, and anybody half handy can do it in about 15min. No need to go to the dealer and pay $$$ hundreds. I picked up a metal handle on ebay for just under $25. Some may want to mess with drilling in the old handle and the screw, but I don't think it's worth the hassle, especially since it's still plastic and can potentially break again. So why do the work twice? All you need is a 10mm socket to undo the 3 screws on the back panel, then pull the cable to release the door, then use 10mm socket again to remove the two nuts holding the holder, then remove the 10mm 1 nut holding the rear plastic piece above the license plate(there is 1 10mm nut on one side and a plastic tack on the other side). Once you remove that, now from outside the car just use phillips screwdriver to remove the two screws holding the handle from the outside. Put on new handle and do everything in reverse. Total time 15min. If you are really slow it may take you up to 1hour, but that is TOPS!!!! Not very complicated at all. Much easier than removing the oxygen sensor on the firewall side of the engine from under the car (that is a lot of fun, ughhh!!!!)

If you have questions just message me and I'll be glad to answer. Have fun doing it yourself and saving $$$ which would go to stealership instead.

05-01-2011, 03:55 PM
The part number for the updated metal version from TOYOTA is 69090-0C080.
LIST price is $73.08 Toyotapartszone website has it for $57.36
They list it under "Body"...."Back Door Lock & Hinge"...."handle assembly, back door, outside.

When I ordered a new "license plate Lamp assembly" under "Electrical".......I got the whole thing......color panel, lamps AND new metal latch.
I had ordered the latch separately thinking that it was not a part of the lamp assembly.
If you order the lamp assembly, use your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) so that it will list the correct color for your vehicle.
Each color has its own part number.
Of course, my silver one, for some reason cost more.....but that is just how it goes.

When installing the new unit.....I slopped on some Disk Brake Caliper Lube......it is thick enough that it should stay in place....and prevent the normal rust that seems to develop.

I would like to add that this website that I listed has very detailed drawings that have helped me out several times in determining what part to order.

05-01-2011, 11:23 PM
I'm 12 weeks pregnant and 3 out of 5 door handles including, the rear hatch, drivers door and left sliding door are broken on my 98 Sienna. I asked my husband to try and fix and my dad. Both weren't able to. They told me to take it in. We're going to be buying a newer van before the baby is born so I don't want to spend the $1200 they would charge to fix all 3 so I'm going to try and fix it myself.

Anyway I was able to take the plastic inner paneling off the rear hatch and pop the lid, and I just ordered the newer all metal handle off Amazon for $40 with shipping. And i found this video to help with the rest: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cn86h_KnAYg

I'll let you know if I make it work. I'm gonna buy a 10 mm ratchet and some extra 10 mm nuts just to be sure it goes well.

If I can do the rear hatch then I figure I can also take care of the other 2. Wish me luck. Thanks so much to all those that went before and figured it out and posted instructions.

06-02-2011, 07:45 PM
This solution fixed my 1999 Sienna. Things I wish I had known up front:

1. You'll need a 10mm socket and a 10mm wrench
2. When in the van facing the back hatch, the plastic cover on the strap slides up. The covers over the handle bolts (lower left hand corner) open from the top down.
3. Remove all three before attempting to remove the back cover
4. The window trim is in three pieces. You must remove the top center part first, then the sides.
5. Pry evenly on the top center piece. There are about 6 or 7 plastic tabs holding it in place. It will sound like gunshots and/or you broke it when it comes free.
6. The side trim has metal clips holding it in place, and is hard to remove. Pull hard and evenly.
7. Once the back trim is off, open the door as described elsewhere.
8. There are three 10 mm bolts in the middle center of the door, two on the handle, one to the left holding the license plate lights. All must come off, ideally with the door open.
9. There is a plastic tab to the right that holds the license plate lights. Try to push that through from the back, it breaks if you try to pry it from the front.
10. Be sure to unhook the cable (used to open the door) from the broken handle before trying to remove the handle
11. There are two small phillips screws holding the broken handle in place. Unscrew them (with everything else done) and the broken handle falls off.
12. Reverse the steps, it all goes back togethe pretty easily.
14. Line up the plastic tabs with the holes in the bottom of the door, peaking in with a flash light. Get two or three in, the door will be lined up, go around the open door pushing the tabs back into the holes.
15. In my opinion it was easier to put the side and top window trim back on with the door open.

As of July 17, 2008, the handle now costs $90 USD.

Thanks to everyone for their posts, it took me about 45 minutes to get the job done start to finish.
Thank you SO much. I just completed the fix although I know very little about cars. I contacted Toyota of Dallas for the part and got it for less than the 90 bucks someone else listed as the current price. Just found this site by googling "my latch on my Sienna hatch broke". This is a great site and your directions were perfect!

06-12-2011, 05:01 PM
Want to thank everybody that posted advice. This is the 2nd time our handle broke. First time we had the dealership fix it. They charged us $150 for 1/2 hour labor. This time I fixed it myself by repairing the handle with a couple bolts. Thanks to all of you, I know this won't break again, and I know we have an honest dealership.

11-01-2011, 10:59 PM
Excellent information helped me to fix my Sienna 2001 with the broken handle today. Total of 0 $ spent by joining the 2 broken pieces together with a screw.

Some pictures on how I removed the panels:


04-13-2012, 02:04 PM
Just want to thank everyone. When my latch broke for the 2nd time, I found this site through google. I ordered the metal part and printed out the instructions for my $45 an hour handyman, who fixed it in less than an hour. Really appreciate the specifics offered here and so glad I didn't have to pay Toyota the $300+ they required.

03-21-2013, 07:08 PM
We're in Mexico with our 2003 Sienna, and the liftgate handle broke. Took it to our Mechanic here. No replacement parts available -- would have to be couriered from US.

It took him just over an hour to disassemble the handle, drill the plastic, repair with two screws, reinforce with epoxy, and reassemble. Total cost was 200 Mexican pesos, or about $16.00. These guys in Mexico can fix anything!

08-24-2013, 05:18 PM
In 2013 the information posted here still helped me! I took off the back panel, worked around some stripped screws left my my mechanic, ordered and picked up the correct part at the Toyota dealership around the corner, and saved my self a pretty penny. The part was 69090-0C080. I was pleased to see the plastic lever has been changed to metal as other members had mentioned. I can't say the whole job took "15 minutes" but it definitely wasn't amy more time consuming then the 20 other things I had to do today. Thank you, John G for reccomending an on-line search!

02-19-2014, 03:21 PM
It's Feb 19 2014, and I just finished replacing the lift gate handle for my 99 Sienna. With the help of this forum and Youtube (you can find everything there), I was able to replace my plastic handle for a metal one with relative ease.

I had called around junk yards and could not find a used one. I was told they handles break off often and are always in demand. I called a couple of dealerships and was quoted about $120 cdn for a handle (plus about $180 cdn for labor for 1.5 hours)! In the end I am glad I did not go with a used plastic one (thanks to this forum). I called my local Lordco Auto store and got a new metal one for less than $60 cdn.

As I am mechanically challenged, I thought it would take me more like two hours but it only took about 1 hour, with a bit of assistance from my 11 y.o. son! I was able to open my lift gate within about 10 minutes. The handle replacement took about 20 minutes, as there was some minor issues with the screws fitting through the holes. I spent a fair bit of time putting back the panel cover, trying to align the plastic grommets to the holes.

I did a fair bit of reading this forum and watching Youtube and amazed myself. Best of all, I save myself over $200. I was happy and now my wife will be happy, too. Thanks to this forum! :iceslolan

Don Quayle
02-01-2017, 02:53 PM
I have watched several "How To" videos on YouTube. They say you can open the hatch by activating the cable inside the door, but that does not work for me. I managed to replace the latch handle without opening the hatch, but still can't open the door from inside or outside. Something about that inside cable & lever seems to be the culprit. How do I overcome that problem? Anybody???

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