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rear seat latch

19004 Views 6 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Linda Pierce

I have an 04 Outback that the rear driver's side seat latch used to release the seat back to allow it to fold down is broken. The plastic portion that sticks out the top of the seat is in my hand. I think that is not good if I want to fold the seat back down :28:.

Do I need to remove the back of the seat to access the cable? I am assuming it is a cable? I have the part on the way but have yet to see it. I am assuming I need to get into the back of the seat first, to release it and then replace the cable?

Thanks for any help.

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If it is the way I think it is, before the change up (04/05), you can get a screwdriver in the latch assembly and release it, then repair the seat.

Get in from the rear and you should see the latch for the seat about 8" down against the wheel hump in the same line as the rear shoulder belt.
Thanks Cardoc. Do I need to remove the back of the seat to make the repair?

Probably remove the back cover. I haven't had to take one apart.

Here's and exploded view, kinda.


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It turned out to be a simple fix. It did take a little bit to figure out how to unlatch the seat with a screw driver. After looking at the passenger side seat and how the latch worked, it made more sense. There is a plastic shroud around the latching mechanism that needed to be loosened to get the screwdriver at the right angle to release the latch. You can't take the shroud off as the strike plate won't let you while the seat is still latched. Once the seat was folded down and the back of the seat was pealed out of the way, there appeared a threaded rod attached to the latching mechanism. The plastic pull knob must have come unthreaded off the rod and the rod got pushed out of the hole where the knob goes. Once the rod was relocated to its correct position, the knob was threaded back on and the problem went away. Hope this all makes sense. Thanks for the help.

100s of thousands of miles put on my Outbacks and I have never had a pull knob come loose or break.

This just may be a first and you've succeeded in repair without replacement parts. Free repair is a good repair. :29:
I have a 2014 Outback with 30 000 miles but out of warranty because I have owned for 39 months. I might have let the seat down 3 or 4 times and I tried the other day and it wouldn't go down. Bummer, to have to take back to get fixed something I hardly used at all. Bummer I didn't notice 4 months ago and get the warranty to cover it.
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