Avant rear seat opener broken - how to repair?


A bit slow!!!!
Jul 18, 2006
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Limerick, Ireland
Here's an interesting if awkward one.
My 02 avant rear seat dropping lever has just broken off, meaning that I can no longer drop the small seat back. As I can't drop the small one and I have the boot cover in place on the larger seat back, I cannot drop any of the rear seat back. As I'm due to move house in the next few weeks the lack of ability to properly use my load space is going to be a right pain.

How can I get the rear seat back to drop again, given I currently cannot get either of the seat backs to disengage from the sides? Hopefully there is a non-destructive method to this, as I'd prefer to repair the seat latch mechanism than completely replace the seat back.

Anyone got any ideas?
The plastic part of the mechanism on the small seat was completely missing when I bought my avant. I can drop it by lifting the catch manually which is easy after you've done it once!

Maybe see if you can carefully remove the hard plastic from the top of the seat to expose the catch. Then find a replacement in your own time.

If you want me to take a picture of mine just shout.
You can drop the seat using a screwdriver in the rear of the seat where it clamps in, it's quite tricky but persevere. Once down remove the whole lever assembly and buy a new one from audi and replace. Mine did the same as yours.
For the life of me I cannot seem to release the catch using a screwdriver when I try from the boot side of the seat. I can feel the "claw" but I can't move it. I know that it must rotate top-forwards to release but I have a feeling that whatever failure has occurred is jamming the movement of the "claw".

If possible - those photos would be really appreciated at this stage! Thanks!
Same things happened to me earlier this year. I got a replacement handle from Audi - can't remember how much it was but it was cheap enough.

To open/free the catch was a pain. I ended up popping the lever on the top with a screw driver - just used force (the part I got had a new handle and surround - so it didn't matter if it broke/scratched). Then pushed my body weight against the seat to take the pressure off the catch mecahanism. While at the same time using the internal part hadle and either a screw driver/pliers to open the latch. Sorry I don't remember exactly. But when you dismantle the handle it will become clear.

Details are a bit vague - but on my latch the handle broke so I used the internal parts to open it without doing any damage so I could re-use as much as possible.

Hope this helps....
Ok so been and taken a couple of photos and a video to show how I get mine to go down. I lean on the seat, pushing it towards the rear of the car to release pressure on the mechanism as mentioned above. Without doing this it is nearly impossible to move!

As you can see the whole plastic part of mine has been removed so I can access the entire mechanism. Not sure if this is the case for you.

Hope this helps.



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I couldn't get that far so I went from the top - where the release handle is. As it snapped while trying to drop the seat.

If you can source the handle on top - don't have the part number - it's easily opened. You need to remove the handle (using force - screw driver or similar) and then do the steps I said above if you want to go that route. Someone may have an easier option. I'm not near the car to take photo's or what I did. If the above isn't making sense?

This is similar to what happened mine: B6 A4 AVant rear seat latch removal/replacement

Half way down the page you can see the assembly is taken apart. I removed the physical handle from the top of the assembly and used either a pliers or screw driver then to simulate what the handle did. Lock opened - and I was able to replace the part. Plus it will work in the interim if the part doesn't arrive so you aren't stuck.

Hope this helps!
Thank you both for the tips, pics and vid. I now have a much better idea of how to approach the problem.

I'll post back up here with my progress!
Just an update, I got the seat down by gripping the little circular bit under where the handle would be, and twisting that with a small pliers while pushing the seat towards the rear of the car (unweighting the mechanism). I was having a lot of trouble trying to flip up the catch working from the boot side of the seat back.

Thanks for the help