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I have a 2005 tdi wagon. Like many people, my door handle stopped opening from the outside. I read online that the mechanism gets caught and by slamming the door and/or fiddling with the child safety lock, you can get the piece to pop back into place without taking the door apart. I tried this and without thinking, I set the child safety lock and closed the door making it so the door wouldn't open from the inside or outside. The only way to undo the safety lock is with the door open which I can't do. I cant make any progress from the outside either. I took the door panel off from the inside hoping it would give me access to the mechanism. The window regulator keeps me from getting inside the door. Any advice on how to fix this?

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So you may get lucky and be able to get the latch to reset from the outside. If you pull the handle all the way out and look at the end there is a little groove with a little snap in piece attached to a string. That is the actual physical connection to the latch. See if you can unsnap that little piece and let it reset. Then pop it back in and try the handle again.


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At this point (and I'm going from memory only) you will need to remove the large rubber/plastic plugs in the regulator panel, to loosen the window glass clamp(s). Then run the glass up, tape it securely to the window frame, then remove all the 10mm hex head screws holding the aluminum regulator panel. The latch is attached to that panel by a plastic piece, which can be released from the panel by pushing the barbed posts through holes in the panel. When the electrical connectors are disconnected, and anything else necessary, the panel should pull away from the door frame, giving you access to that latch. Even with the interior latch disabled, you should be able to manually move the actuating lever for the exterior handle. Some WD40 may help if the problem is a stuck mechanism.
 
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