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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A few weeks ago when my wife opened the hatch to put something in the trunk when it was 10 degrees f the rear hatch refused to latch. It finally di later that day. I then had it happen again a few days later and took it to the dealer. The service manager couldn't get it to latch either. After the car sat in the warm service department it latched when a technician was working on it. The dealer sent me off and told me he couldn't find the problem and that it was an anomalie. Three days ago I drove 70 miles from my home to pick up my son from college . The weather was around 10 degrees again and I opened the hatch to load his luggage and it happened again. This time I had to drive 70 miles on the expressway with an open rear hatch. A real nervous experience. The next morning I took a hairdryer out to the garage and heated the latch and was able to get it latched again. I'm taking it back to the dealer and insist they replace the rear latch mechanisim on the hatch. So far I'm not impressed with Toyota's much vaunted quality and dealership network. I also have trouble filling the gas tank on this thing. This is my first Toyota and will probably be my last. I've owned many new cars, foreign and domestic, and have never had so many weird and potentially dangerous problems.
 

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The good thing for you is that with the demand for these cars now you can sell it private party without losing a penny. No car - no problem.
 

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Some one esle had a problem with the hatch in subzero weather, can't speak on it since I don't have mine yet (and I'm in Sun Diego).

Good luck with the issues and your decision. And demand for this ride is serious, so you should get all your funds back.
 

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ya know. I have a different car. (vw) and I do, on occasion, have issues with the rear hatch closing. For me it is an issue with the air pressure in the car when I close the rear hatch. And it only happens when it is cold. It never happens in the summer. (i was my second vw, I think I will stick to the old school next time. I wonder where I can get a karmen.....)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have a VW too. The latch just won't activate when it's cold. Warming it up with a hairdryer works. I haven't decided to sell the car... they do depreciate and I feel bad enough relying in all the quality hype Toyota has been so successful with. I just returned from my dealer and they have ordered a new latch. I just can't open the hatch untill they install it. I live in Michigan and they claim I'm the only tC that's come in with this problem. I find that hard to believe.
 

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yah i had the same problem..except it wasnt anywhere near 10 degrees outside..i was on my way to school and put my backpack in the trunk..i shut the trunk and it just popped right back up..so i ended up leaving my car at home and riding with my friend..came back a few hours later and it worked perfectly fine..but i guess the only thing to do is jus take it to the dealer and have them take a look at it
 

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Originally posted by gwnichol@Jan 17 2005, 06:36 PM
I feel bad enough relying in all the quality hype Toyota has been so successful with. I live in Michigan and they claim I'm the only tC that's come in with this problem. I find that hard to believe.
I'm sorry for your problem, but you are the exception rather than the rule. Seven Toyotas in my immediate family since 1989, and just a couple small problems in all that time. You may just be unlucky.
 

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The problem only happens in cold weather. I took mine to the dealer for the exact same problem and have been told no one else has brought a tc in for any problems. I have a new latch system on order and waiting for it to come in. This happened to me during this past christmas. When it happened I checked many tc forums: scionlife, yoursciontc, and clubscion tc and none of them had anyone complaining about this issue. So I believe im in the minority with this issue and the few people who mentioned it on this forum must be in the minority to because no one else is mentioning it.
 

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Originally posted by AsianStyle@Jan 18 2005, 11:43 AM
The problem only happens in cold weather. I took mine to the dealer for the exact same problem and have been told no one else has brought a tc in for any problems. I have a new latch system on order and waiting for it to come in. This happened to me during this past christmas. When it happened I checked many tc forums: scionlife, yoursciontc, and clubscion tc and none of them had anyone complaining about this issue. So I believe im in the minority with this issue and the few people who mentioned it on this forum must be in the minority to because no one else is mentioning it.
Hmm, would this be similar to a frozen door lock? Maybe it is worth trying one of those spray deals for frozen locks? Moisture will cause that and those sprays take it out.

Just a thought........
 

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It could also be a bad electrical connection since the thing is completely electrically controlled. I had a pin on the ECM in my Supra that only failed when I left the car outside and the temperature dropped below 40F. After the inside of the car warmed up, even just 5 degrees, it would go away. It was very frustrating to troubleshoot. I finally determined it could only be the pin in the ECM connector after I eliminated EVERYTHING else. What a PITA!

Electrical problems with Toyotas are rare, but I have heard of more than one Toyota with electrical gremlins from the factory that turned out to be a marginal pin in a connector.
 

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I also had this happen to me a couple weeks ago. The car had been covered in snow for a day or two, and I was packing up to leave, and the hatch wouldn't close! I got a blow dryer and heated up the latch for about 4-5 min. and it shut just fine. Haven't had it happen since.
 

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hmm. given the response to this i am less inclined to believe it is a quality issue and more inclined to believe it is a mother nature issue. unfortunately, manufacturers cannot forsee everything that may happen in every situation. in the 16 months i have been working with scion, i have not yet seen a single case of non-latching latch. nor have i had any problems with any of the toyota's i have owned. this is my fourth toyota, and it wont be my last.
 

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Thats a bunch of bull you probable got water in the latch or something. I was using my hach frequently this past weekend in northern minnesota and we did not get temp above -20 for 3 days. it was -45 when I drove to go watch he vikings loose on sunday and we unloaded gear from my car, it worked just fine.
 

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Could be the amount / type of lubricant that gets almost solid at low temps, so the latch spring does not have enough force to push it back to "closed" position. Toyota should have a solution with a stronger spring, or a different type of lube. Actually you can probably do research and replace the lube yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I'm inclined to believe that this may be a lubricant issue since using a blow dryer seems to fix it temporarily heating the latch decreases the viscosity of the grease. As far as Toyota not anticipating this, cars specifically designed to sell in North America should've anticipated the climate we have here. I suspect one of their latch suppliers used the wrong lubricant which explains why it effects only some cars used in cold climates. The comments about moisture and the problem being a bunch of bull is just ignorant and not helpful at all. Moisture isn't going to get into a closed area of a trunk. If it does Toyota has another problem with this car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Just got back from my dealer. They replaced the rear latch. This is apparently the fix Toyota has specified. I'm not sure there is a tsb on this but I was told by the service manager I'm not the only one with this problem. He said Toyota traced the problem to the electric motor that powers the latch. Apparently some of them quit operating when it it gets too cold. It's pretty close to 0 outside now and my new latch seems to work just fine. If this fix doesn't work over the long haul I'll post again.
 

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toyota knows about the problem and are coming out with a fix soon

all cars have problems especially if they got doveleped within 1.5 years

don't get your panties in a bunch, non of your engines are blowing up and tires aren't falling off yet
 
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