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Rear seat back won't unlatch

9863 Views 7 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Best Grandpa
'04 Turbo S. A couple years ago the release button broke. Took it in, got it released, told real fix would require whole new seat back, cost about $700. Mostly left in down position for carrying stuff, but could raise and lower as needed, using the two release bars that used to be attached to the button to unlatch it. Two days ago one of those bars stopped working. Can't unlatch. Anybody have any thoughts on how to open this up without damaging the seatback? I see no obvious mechanisms like screws or pushpins to get inside this thing.
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Maybe this will help:


It looks like the cushion should separate from the frame but it is not clear how. The drawing doesn't show fasteners.
Thanks red99. Hopefully with this diagram I can determine where I can safely pry and separate the cushion back from the frame and get a look inside. I tried a little prying at the back edge of the leather cover where it meets the carpet backing, thinking it might be velcroed. But started hearing sounds like threads popping instead of velcro unzipping, so didn't continue. Again, many thanks!
If it's anything like the 2001, it is a long plastic tube with a push in retainer.

Ours was also broken--I picked up a couple of black ones from the local u-pull yard. I was surprised at how easy they actually came out. I was concerned it would break the seat/fabric. All it took was a long thick screwdriver between the plastic lip and the seat back itself. In retrospect some cardboard between the two parts would have made more sense. And the only one that needs to be removed would be the one with the clip.

Just took a slight upward pressure and the plastic retaining clip disengaged and the whole unit came up and out.

If you can take a picture of the one you have? Most of us can tell if it will come out that way---I know the 2001 does, but am NOT sure on yours and wouldn't want to see you damage the seat.

Actually a nice way would be to head to the pick and pull yard in your area if they have a beetle of the same year with compatible parts--that way you can 'practice' on it, and maybe get lucky with a low cost replacement.

**just checked the link Red provided. It's the same thing. I even have a spare black clip in the back of our Beetle in case it fails. It should pop out with pressure between the seat back and going under the plastic collar. I would strongly urge using cardboard to prevent damage to your seat fabric and a lot of common sense.

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See if this helps.

You should be able to see where the small plastic retaining clip is. The clip is rather small and does get damaged when pulled out. Then again, it's getting replaced, so if the clip gets sheered off? Who cares?

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Thanks for the info tedybear. My problem is not with the headrest, but with the seatback (or backrest) that will no longer fold down to open up the cargo space. The passenger side will not unlatch. However, your info may actually be quite helpful along with red's to get into the seat back. In working on it so far, I have thought it might be useful to remove those headrest mounts and have been wondering how much pressure I could safely put on them so your description fits nicely into that plan. Thanks again!
No worries. I misunderstood the post at first. The head rests come off/out on ours so there's room to fold the back seat down. That's where I got cornfused.

Who knows? If it helps great!

After crazy busy weekend, I hope to get back to work on this issue. Very annoying not to be able to raise and lower the seat back as needed. And yes, I have to take the head rests off to lower the back to flat position, but I've had them off so long I'd dismissed them. The only passenger use the back seat gets is when I take the grandkids somewhere and the head rests don't work well with the kids car seats.
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