Club Touareg Forum banner

How to fix broken rear seat release latch

46492 Views 24 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  TouaregNut
In attempting to unlatch the passenger rear seat back to fold down in my 2005 V8 (after the middle belt locked tight, a common problem and lots of threads here), I snapped the rear seat release lever next to the headrest on the 60% side. I can not figure out how to get inside the rear seat to access the mechanism to facilitate a replace/repair on the snapped off lever release mechanism. Overall mechanism still works but now have to insert needle nosed pliers’ with assistance from a mirror to release the seat back -grrrrr Any advise?
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
i have done the same thing to mine, went to dealer and the part is about $60 but its the whole mechanism that latches into the pin the trunk.

i can't figure out how to replace it without having to take apart the seat back upholstery either, which i rather not do.

any ideas?
rear seat latch

I actually managed to fix mine (got instructions from the dealer) you have to remove the part from within the side of the seat. To access the part, carefully peel the leather out of the channel on the back of the seat (where leather becomes seat back carpet). The tucked in edge of leather is actually a plastic strip sewn on to the leather edge and peels out, starting at the bottom of the seat and working up to the top where the latch is housed. The latch is then exposed, held in with large screws and easily removed to the side of the seat and replaced. You will need to untuck the seat leather all the way to the top to give you enough slack so as not to damage the leather. After replacing seat latch mechanism, simple re-tuck the leading plastic edge back into its slot, starting at the top and working down. It goes back easier than it comes out and looks like it was never disturbed. I used a fine, flat scrwdriver to start the intial prying out of the plastic strip at the bottom, once you have enough to get your fingers on, it gets easier from there - good luck.
See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 1
thanks for sharing your experience, somehow i thought one must take apart the whole seat back to do it, but your instructions make it much easier to do as its been really bugging me.

i think whatever kinda of plastic VW uses for those things doesn't age well in high heat conditions at all as mine was very brittle.
I have a similar problem. The latch has come out of its housing, with a loose spring there.

Does anyone know of the VW part number to replace?

  • Like
Reactions: 1
I have a similar issue, and cannot fold the seat down to access the side to pull the leather off and access the parts.

Any clues are greatly appreciated! (or VW Australia cost for repairing)
Volkswagen Osborne Park (Perth, WA) have quoted $300 to repair this.

Part: 7L6885681D71N - Backrest lock, $146
Labour: 1 hour, $150

This seems excessive, even for VW. Anyone else have better recommendation on how to repair yourself (with photos?)

Fixed it!

Swilliscool is absolutely correct in his replacement steps. I followed them with great success.

I ordered the new latch from a dealers on the Internet ( for about $72 US and bought a second off of eBay for $45 (wrong color, but fine by me).
body hardware, seats & tracks, rear seat components, latch assy SEAT BACK COMPONENTS, brown Right


Below are pictures of the fix. First, the broken part.

Next, in order to keep this from happening again I bought some Loctite two part epoxy at HD and cemented in the wing part of a molly bolt. This will both reinforce the plastic but also spread the pulling load.

Next, I used a thin blade screwdriver to pry between the leather and the grey backing cloth to open the metal channel enough to get the leather pulled out. Pretty easy. Then there's two bolts to remove and the latch is loose. My trim pieces were broken - but if they hadn't been the you need to slip a screwdriver up from the bottom of the latch frame and pry the little clips off - the trim snaps to the latch frame not anything on the seat itself. I'm going to have to order new trim pieces - save yourself the hassle and just get these when you get the part.

Next, bolt in the new latch - simple.

Finally, hook the leather back into the channel. Then I held a plastic block along the metal edge and smacked it with a hammer to fold it back into place and hold the leather. Looks and works like new. 20 minutes for both sides.

One of the easier Treg fixes I've done.


See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 4
Thanks so much for the photos and part numbers. Driver's side latch snapped today and thought I was out of luck.
  • Like
Reactions: 1
What tool to use to remove latch mechanism?

I have the same problem described in this thread. I purchased the new latch mechanism, removed the leather from the seat... but now I can't seem to find the right tool to remove the WM screws/bolts.

I have purchased tons of different hex tools but none of them seem to work. Can somebody who has successfully done this before please tell me what tool they used and what is the size they used?


Just fixed mine today. The tool is called a 12 point (sometimes called triple square) metric internal drive bit. I found it at a local autoparts store.

The size on these particular bolts are 6mm, but Volkswagon uses this type of drive for lots of things, so it wouldn't hurt to have a set.
They are triple square (also called XZN) fasteners, and they are not compatible with common 12 point sockets (double hex). They both have 12 points, but the angle of the points is different, they can sometimes be forced on, but will most often damage the fastener.
They are triple square (also called XZN) fasteners, and they are not compatible with common 12 point sockets (double hex). They both have 12 points, but the angle of the points is different, they can sometimes be forced on, but will most often damage the fastener.
Thanks for the reply. I am really confused. I purchased a kit that seems to match the description of the tool, but the tool doesn't fit. The 5mm is too small; and the 5mm too large. I am wondering if I got the right tool? Here is the one I purchased:

If its the right tool, then the only thing I can imagine is that the fastner got damaged through the other attempts I made and now the right tool won't work! Any ideas on how to solve this?
I purchased my set at the local NAPA store back when I had a Passat, which had the same problem with the rear seat and saftybelt locking up. Good news though, once I replaced the belt and the plastic retainer at the top of the seat, I have no longer had an issue with it locking up. It's the plastic piece that keeps the seatbelt from retracting too far into the seat and then locking up. The plastic retainer has 2 parts, a small insert which really keeps the belt from going too far in. When I installed it, that second part didn't seem to "snap" in very well, so I super glued it in so that I wouldn't have a problem with it falling out.
Use Vice Grips

I used vice grips to get that screw out. Once you loosen the screw it comes out by hand.
Thanks everyone for your help. I finally replaced the latch successfully using the instructions provided in this thread. The problem I was facing had to do with me trying to use the wrong tool to remove the bolt. That damaged the bolt, resulting in the right tool not working afterwards (had to use a diamond saw to make the bolt square to remove it.

To save yourself the trouble I went through, buy a Triple Square Set like the one in the picture (sold on ebay at a reasonable price) and that will do it.

( Tool accessory Tool Tool socket Impact driver Set tool
See less See more
How much for the kit??or the seller??
I puchased the kit for $27 dollars on ebay. The Ebay links stop working after some time, so it is not very useful to post those on this bulletin boards. However if you go to ebay and you type the following search keywords, you will find the kit offered by several different vendors. Good luck.

10 pc xzn triple square bit socket
  • Like
Reactions: 1
How to put seats down with broken handles

I just bought my 07 Touareg and both the rear seat releases are broken. The previous owner showed me how he did it with a large flat head screwdriver he kept in the side net in the trunk. I half paid attention, but figured it out later.

If you gently push up in the slot with the flat side of the screwdriver, you'll feel a slight click. Then, you can use your finger to push right next to the first click and the seat with release. I know it sounds crazy and I wasn't too keen on putting my finger in there, but give it a try, carefully, remembering that the release is easy and on the up side of the slot that you access from the rear carpeted side/trunk side (not the top of the seat where the handle is).

So, after reading this thread I feel confident to drop the $80US on each of the 2 new latches. They both arrived new in the box a couple days ago. I took the right side one out to inspect. I pulled the handle and the mechanism worked - and the freakin' handle broke of right in my hand, right out of the box! My jaw hit the floor in disbelief how badly these are designed. I'm going to try to reinforce the plastic piece then try to never use it again after I install.
See less See more
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.