1997 Toyota RAV4 - Door won't open

My old RAV4 driver-side door isn’t opening (won’t unlock, interior lock won’t move beyond a slight twitch when lock switch activated, exterior handle, when pulled up doesn’t feel like there’s any resistance). I’m pretty sure it’s the clip inside that holds the bars that work the latch and lock however I need to access it. Since the door won’t open am I able to remove the interior door panel without removing the driver’s seat? Any other insights/advice on this issue is welcome as well. Thanks!

Maybe unscrew the plastic around the inside door latch lever. Then the plastic piece may slide back or forward a bit and then can be pulled away from the door. The rod that is supposed to be attached to the door lever can then be fished out - maybe a strong tug will unlatch the door.


You unbolt the seat and shift it into the back seat.

Now the panel can be removed.


Another idea, maybe a locksmith or even a repair shop could get the door open using some wedges & a slim jim gadget.