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2011, Outback limited 3.6H
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Discussion Starter #1
2011 Outback, Is there a way to open the rear hatch from the inside?
 

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2016 Outback named Beatrice the 3rd: 2.5i Limited with Eyesight, Crystal White Pearl
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2011 Outback, Is there a way to open the rear hatch from the inside?
Page 9-19 in the manual. Remove the small access panel on the back of the liftgate.
 

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2011 Outback Limited 2.5i/2018 Crosstrek limited
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...not that I am aware of...:8:
 

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Page 9-19 in the manual. Remove the small access panel on the back of the liftgate.
Yep like he said. Small about one inch square just inside the latch. There is a small piece of white plastic in there that you move upward to manually open the latch.
 

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Just to be clear, the page 9-19 procedure is used to unlock the rear gate, for example, if the battery is dead and/or the power door lock doesn't work, but it doesn't release the door latch and open the door. That still requires using the external handle.
 

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Just to be clear, the page 9-19 procedure is used to unlock the rear gate, for example, if the battery is dead and/or the power door lock doesn't work, but it doesn't release the door latch and open the door. That still requires using the external handle.
Take off cover. Move little white lever. Push on gate. It will open. I have done it many times. Only way to open it if you are working on gate and have the gate finisher off. I have an extra switch off of a scrap finisher but sometimes forget to put it in until after I have closed the gate. The button opens the gate electrically. The white lever is directly opening the latch manually.
 

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Thanks John:

My 07 Owners Manual has an almost identical instruction, and it definitely does not release the catch -- all it does is unlock the mechanism so that the external handle will work.

If the 2011 is that much different, I'm surprised that the Owners Manual doesn't reflect it, and instead continues to say to that the lever releases the lock (in place of the keyless entry) and to then open the rear gate from the outside as usual. (Attached is from page 9-19 of the 2011 Owners Manual.)

This isn't the only misleading or incomplete information in the Owners Manual. it's disappointing that these small, but potentially important errors aren't corrected. (Another one, which is in the Owners Manuals since 2005, is that the AWD warning light will flash if the car is driven with a low, flat or different diameter tire. It doesn't.)
 

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2011, Outback limited 3.6H
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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the help, I'll give that a try. Has anyone looked at installing a switch inside the back area to open the hatch?
 

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2011 Outback Limited 2.5i/2018 Crosstrek limited
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...not that I am aware of...:8:
...well...I've learned something new about my OB...should have known since they have them on vehicles with a trunk...boy do I feel :ucrazy:
 

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Well, it appears that if you read the Owners Manual, you wouldn't be any better informed. It doesn't say the hatch can be opened from the inside (which is the original question), only that it can be unlocked from the inside.

Sedans have a trunk release handle in the event someone is trapped inside with no access to the car interior and side doors. It allows for exit without having anyone outside to open the trunk.

With a wagon, this isn't normally necessary because the side doors are accessible and can be opened without using the power lock/unlock system. This is why I understand that my 07 has a manual rear hatch unlock lever (behind a pull-off panel) but still cannot be opened from inside. I'm fascinated to learn that the 2011 system actually enables someone to both manually unlock and open the hatch from inside. So I guess I've learned something new as well.
 

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2016 Carbide Gray Limited with Moonroof, Nav, and Eyesight
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plain OM, the 2011's have no manual latch on the outside, only a button that releases the catches electronically. Having no outside means of opening the hatch manually is a little unnerving,
 

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Having no outside means of opening the hatch manually is a little unnerving,
I knew that the 2010/11 OB had a rear gate "button" on the outside (rather than the pull-up handle on the earlier versions) but I thought it was mechanical -- pushing in moved levers/cables etc which released the latch. It's described only as "rear gate opener button" on page 2-26 of the Owners Manual. (But now that you raised this, I see a "rear gate opener button" which is an electrical switch in the service manual's keyless entry wiring schematic.)

So, even if the car doors are not locked, if the battery is disconnected or dies, then the rear gate cannot be opened manually from the outside? That does seem strange.

And again, there's no mention in the Owners Manual of having to climb inside if the power fails. The only reference to the hidden rear gate lever is to unlock the gate which then, supposedly, can be opened from the outside as per page 9-19.

I can imagine this situation: The battery has failed, the hood can be opened to get to it, but the needed tools/charger are stored in the under-floor spare tire wheel well. There's a large heavy box (e.g. an appliance), or suitcases, or camping gear -- you name it -- filling the cargo area. It would be easy enough to empty the cargo area through the wide open hatch to get to the under-floor storage area, but not through a side door. It might not even be possible to crawl around a large box to reach the hidden inside lever on the rear gate.

What was Subaru thinking?
 

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What was Subaru thinking?
Probably that the chances of all the stars aligning and that happening are about the same as winning the lottery...so they left things the way they are...if you win the lottery, be careful how much stuff you put into your OB...:D
 

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. . . Has anyone looked at installing a switch inside the back area to open the hatch?
If the electrical "button" on the outside of the hatch actually activates the latch release, then it should be possible to put another button or switch anywhere else in the car that would do the same thing. Of course, this doesn't literally "open" the hatch -- it only releases the latch. The door still has to be lifted by hand.

There could be a safety issue with having a rear gate latch (not lock) release button inside the car, such as in the cargo area, but probably of more use near the driver. In the schematic, the rear gate release button goes to the body integrated unit, which I presume, in turn, controls the actuator for the latch release. I wonder if the BIU would prevent the latch from being released while the car is in gear or moving. It might not be as much a concern when there's only the button on the outside of the door, but if it were inside, then it might be more important.
 

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I knew that the 2010/11 OB had a rear gate "button" on the outside (rather than the pull-up handle on the earlier versions) but I thought it was mechanical -- pushing in moved levers/cables etc which released the latch. It's described only as "rear gate opener button" on page 2-26 of the Owners Manual. (But now that you raised this, I see a "rear gate opener button" which is an electrical switch in the service manual's keyless entry wiring schematic.)

So, even if the car doors are not locked, if the battery is disconnected or dies, then the rear gate cannot be opened manually from the outside? That does seem strange.

And again, there's no mention in the Owners Manual of having to climb inside if the power fails. The only reference to the hidden rear gate lever is to unlock the gate which then, supposedly, can be opened from the outside as per page 9-19.

I can imagine this situation: The battery has failed, the hood can be opened to get to it, but the needed tools/charger are stored in the under-floor spare tire wheel well. There's a large heavy box (e.g. an appliance), or suitcases, or camping gear -- you name it -- filling the cargo area. It would be easy enough to empty the cargo area through the wide open hatch to get to the under-floor storage area, but not through a side door. It might not even be possible to crawl around a large box to reach the hidden inside lever on the rear gate.

What was Subaru thinking?
That they offer roadside assistance... Call, hook up jumper cables, open rear door. Once the roadside assistance is expired, they want to sell you a newer car.

With roadside assistance.
 

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2010 Subaru forester aka mommy mobile
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Rear gate open button

Isn't there a switch that does not require a key or remote, like all the other doors? It sux if you just want to access the hatch without having to have your keys each time?
 
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