So.... I managed to find a replacement handle in the right color from a junk yard.
I watched this video (
)on how to remove a T1/T2 door handle.
I found a few differences between the T2 and T3.
On the T3 there is a slider that unlocks the aft painted plastic cap (trim piece). The video shows a Torx screw.
Once you unlock it you can use a plastic pry tool to remove the cap and have access to the door handle.
So the procedure is as follows:
1) Open Door
2) Remove rubber cap right next to door handle on door edge. This reveals a 8mm diameter hole.
3) Using a metal coat hangar bend a 90 degree hook with about a 1/4" edge (maybe slightly shorter). Rubberized coat hanger works well as it won't scratch paint.
4) insert the hook into the hole with the hook facing toward the interior.
5) gently pull the plastic slide lock toward you (toward the edge of the door).
6) using a plastic screw driver/pry tool, credit card or finger nails and coat hanger carefully pull the plastic cover off the door handle.
7) slide the door handle about 10-15 mm backward. You will hear the latch mechanism make a click sound as it unhooks and returns to its natural position.
8) with the aft latch / plastic hook of the door handle unhooked from the latch mechanism you should be able to gently swing the door handle out 8 to 20 degrees away from the outer door skin.
9) carefully find the position where the door handle slides out ward. Toward the end of its travel it will be hung up on the connector. Give a very gentle pull and the connector should come out of the handle mechanism allowing access to the wire connector.
10) slide the red connector safety latch outward. Use a small screw driver or O-ring pick to press the latch wings of the red plastic connector saftey latch inward on both sides of the connector. The red latch should slide completely away from the connector. Take care to not break it.
11) carefully pry the connector latch away from the latch tab using a small screw driver or O-Ring pick.
12) remove old door handle.
13) repeat the procedure in reveres.
14) reconnect the new connector
15) insert the red latch piece back into the connector until it is locked in place
16) Position the door handle to go back into the mechanism. This is perhaps the toughest part as it doesn't seem to fit easily. Find the right position and gently (but not too hard) press on it. With the right angle and a tiny bit of force it will pop back into place as it was.
17) carefully rotate and slide the door handle the rest of the way back in.
18) gently push the door handle back into place (about 2 degrees outward from the door skin) and slide it as far aft as possible. When it is far enough aft it can be swung the remaining 2 degrees back into the mechanism and slid forward. When it is forward it will re-engage the latch mechanism and you should be able to feel the spring tension on it. At this point you can test the door to see if it works.
19) assure the trim shim is in place (under the aft trim piece.... should not have come off but check anyway).
20) press the trim piece back into position.
21) using the coat hangar or 90 degree O-ring pick push the plastic slide lock back into position to lock the trim piece in place.
22) Reset the system with VCDS by clearing the codes for the module.
23) test to see if the door handle works.
Note in the picture below the red arrow indicates the direction of the interior (this is for the left driver door). My hand is on the exterior side of the handle. The latch for the slider is located toward the interior, thus the hook needs to face inward toward the interior to grab the latch and allow sliding it.