If you can see the disconnected link why not use a tool to push/pull the latch lever to open the door? In most cases that is the method I use to open a customer’s door to perform the repair.
If you belong to AAA or have tow coverage on your insurance, you might contact them to see if they can spring the door. I’ve seen it done, but not on a Lexus.
You can’t see the linkage, but based on tests and symptoms I know that’s what it is. I tried removing the door from the hinge side last night but the center piece which keeps the door from opening or closing too quickly stopped the the door from coming out. I’m about to cut a portion of the door handle assembly to try reach the linkage as you’ve suggested. I believe I’ll be able to cover the opening at the end which will likely cause a rattle but hey, it’s a 300k car.
You might try using a rubber or wooden wedge (gently) in the lower part of the window frame. Then you may be able to see the problem, or even be able to push/pull on the latch release.
The body man said cutting a hole in the door was the absolute last resort and didn’t think it would be necessary. Did you try to just remove the seat so you can get the panel off? Usually just four bolts and the seat comes loose and you can push it out of the way if not maneuver it out of the car.
Not sure how that door is configured on the Lexus, but on my Corolla I believe it would be possible to simply cut a hole in door panel, then access the latch through that hole which would allow the door to open. No need to cut any metal parts. You’d be left with a badly damaged door panel of course. If I had that problem I’d first try if I could unbolt the seat and get enough room by jiggling the seat to maneuver the door panel enough to access the latch. A car-door-opening specialist (auto locksmith) would probably be able to open the door using the wedge or air bag method and their special purpose tools.
Yeah that’s a good point. Lessen the damage and glue the piece of the panel back in place. I gotta tell ya I bought one of those vibrating saws a couple years ago and it’s amazing how many times I’ve used it for stuff like that and minimum damage. (Sheetrock mostly though for a non-mess).