Replacing 2007 Prius hatch opening switch

I am one of the many victims of the defective Prius 2007 hatch opening switch. After 4 years the rubber cover turned to tar. I bought a new switch assembly and thought I’d change it myself.

These instruction at the PriusChat forum help enormously! The disassembly is not difficult if you know what to disassemble!

Double check for yourself, but the part number 84840-47020 is for the 2007 Prius without Smart Entry (the little rubber buttons to lock the door) and 84905-47010 with smart entry. They sold me the wrong switch, the one without smart entry. However, I understand the right one is about $40 more and I should be able to use part of the old assembly with the new assembly to make one that works and not pay the extra bucks.

I will do this!

About Kevin

Just an old guy with opinions that I like to bounce off other people.
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29 Responses to Replacing 2007 Prius hatch opening switch

  1. Kevin says:

    I did get it installed and working.

    • Randy says:

      I too have a 2007 prius that has a rear hatch switch on which the rubber cover has turned into a gooey tar like mess. I live in Georgia.

      I have read that the only solution is to replace the switch. I stopped by my local dealer today and was told the same thing, With a song and dance about soap from washing being left there and deteroriating the cover, My switch works okay but my hands get black and gooey and I have ruined some clothing.

      my attempt at a solution is this:

      I cust a strip from an old rubber type chemical resistant glove that I had. stuckt it in place and the gooey mess held it there. I cut the strip so the edges folded over the edges of the old cover and replaced the screws. I spent much more time cleaning the mess from my hands and tool than actually doing the repair.

      So far so good

      best of luck

      Randy

      • toyota says:

        I’m gonna try your method on the hatch switch… you are brilliant Randy!

      • Kevin says:

        That story about soap is total BS. I have never washed my Prius, not one time, nor put any kind of soap, chemical, wax or anything else on it. The rubber is defective.

    • Jimmy says:

      Great post. Just fixed mine (2008) but did not do any of the above. The following instructions are for Priuses with only a gooey rubber cover and working switches. I ordered part (84840-47010) from toyotapart.com http://www.toyotapart.com/84840-47010.html for $44.35 and 7.95 shipping to Houston, Tx. This is the switch assembly without the smart switch. If you have an “L” shaped or ratchet phillips screw driver, you can remove the 2 screws holding the gooey switch assembly. the assembly can be pulled out about 1 1/2″. you can open the white plastic housing and pull out the blue switch. When the new switch assembly arrives, open the new housing and remove the switch. Insert the old switch back into the new housing and reassemble. No wire cutting and no shroud or bolt removals…Voila! I may change the 2 black phillips screws with hex head screws for easier removal.

  2. toyota says:

    I think this is a bigger problem than just a few people are having. this has happened to me too. whenever I open the hatch, my fingers stick to a gooey black tar… It for sure is caused by the pink foamy soap from the do-it-yourself car wash. it is the only place that I ever washed the car, and it happened on the second year that I owned the car. the dealer (carmax) charges $62 for the assembly and $285 for the labor bringing the total to $347.00 parts and labor plus tax… I will try Randy’s 5 dollar quick fix first.

  3. Esteban Celis says:

    If you have the smart key system don’t bother ordering part 84905-47010, which is about $74.00 online. Order instead the non-smart key switch (part No. 84840-47010), which costs about $30.00 less. The main reason is that as mentioned by several other posts, to take out the 3 “Phillips” screws that hold the smart key switch in the assembly is almost impossible (I stripped all three of mine). On my way to Home Depot to buy a set of screw extraction bits, I realized that it would be much simpler to leave the old smart key switch in (which works well), cut the two wires (red and black) that go from that switch to the hatch opening switch, remove the old hatch opening switch (that had the melted rubber), install the new one and simply connect the wires together and cover them well with electrical tape. This worked perfectly. I wish I thought of this and had ordered the less expensive part.

  4. Kevin says:

    Esteban, I used the less-expensive part too. It works fine.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I had same problem with my 2007 prius. The rear hatch has finally broken after being loose. I agree also that this is a common problem.

  6. Dave S. says:

    My wife also has a 2007 prius with the same gooey mess. Kind of obvious that it was a manufacturing problem and not a random occurance. Thanks for the part numbers and suggested solutions.

  7. RhoRich says:

    Replacing the switch is a needless expense in our experience. My husband just took off the screws, dissolved all the rubber gunk out of the switch (which was completely gummed up with deteriorated rubber) using charcoal lighter fluid, and replaced the rubber seal with a piece of inner tubing. The latch works perfectly. The problem has been worsening from about the second year of ownership (we bought it new) and had finally reached the point where the hatch rarely opened. My husband said that when he got the gunk cleaned out of the switch, it actually opened in front of him. In other words, the gunk had stuck the switch partially open and partially closed. Toyota’s attitude toward this is a real downer for me as I have been a faithful Toyota owner and currently have two Prii and a Paseo. My car has also never been washed with soap, so Toyota cannot claim that as an excuse.

    • Fran says:

      Thanks so much RhoRich — I have to say that is just the fix I have been looking for. The latch works, why fix it. I will be telling my husband about your experience.

  8. Marylu Thomas says:

    I have been noticing the gooey sticky tar-like substance on my hand when I use the rear hatch, which is always! I also have a 2007 Prius which has been washed very occasionally in the time I have owned it. I will look into replacing the rubber before it gums up my actual switch. Thanks for the information. It is unfortunate that Toyota is not handling this. It changes my thinking about future purchases.

  9. Otter says:

    Kevin’s never washing his vehicle notwithstanding, it is not a huge expectation that cars will get washed with soap and also waxed. Toyota, this is a poor combination of materials used to make this flexible switch cover. No one on this forum has been “abusing” their hatch release by washing their vehicle (even with soap). You made, or accepted from a vendor a poorly made part, and apparently will not take responsibility for it. A responsible corporation would admit the mistake and make a special part run of just the defective portion of the switch and distribute them for replacement at the Toyota dealers.

  10. Redneck Rob says:

    After reviewing all this excellent information, I decided it was to hot this time a year in Florida to attempt some of these solution. So as a temporary fix (or maybe final depending on how long it last) I cut a couple strips of vinyl electricians tape and covered the sticky mess. Goop gone and the trunk opens fine.

  11. Don says:

    Hmmm. The only times my 2007 has been washed with soap is when the dealer washes it after a service. Otherwise I do it in the driveway with water only. Our latch was fine til this summer when my wife had to park in a lot of hot parking lots for her job. We’re in Kansas, where this summer was a fairly cool one. I’ll be trying the inner tube fix. Dealer wants $391 plus tax.

    • Kevin says:

      That replacement cost from the dealer is a rip-off. At most the replacement takes 15 minutes and the part is like $70. Sounds like a place to avoid.

  12. Don says:

    Are those two screws really Phillips screws? I can’t seem to find much of a slot to get a Phillips head in to.

  13. Don says:

    When I look online at the screws in the hatch openers that people have taken photos of they’re definitely Phillips. But on my car they’re definitely something else. There’s barely an indentation for a screwdriver. I’ve tried all my bits–Phillips, star, etc., nothing seems to fit. If I could get those out I think I have the perfect fix. But I can’t get them out. Maybe the dealer would do it for me.

  14. Dave says:

    Mine has been gummy for quite some time, but in the last couple of months it got increasingly hard to open. Then last night it wouldn’t open at all. When I tugged on it (and I wasn’t cranking real hard I thought) the entire plastic housing broke off in my hand! The temperature outside was cold, maybe 10F, but damn! That part is $240 from the dealership and doesn’t include the switch. I’m going to try to clean the switch as well as possible before I drop more money on that. Has anyone else had the plastic itself break? Half the entire piece came off in my hands. Of course it was the middle half, so it’s completely ruined.

    • Marty says:

      Yup. I just spoke to my dealership in Atlanta about replacing the entire part, because it broke off in my hand. The rubber on the latch had totally melted and the trunk was difficult to open. I was strong-arming it trying to open it when SNAP, the left side of the entire plastic unit broke. I reattached it with duct tape. But because my rear-camera is attached to the plastic, I need to get it replaced. Cost with labor is going to be about $900! Toyota should step up and fix these for free as a recall issue. Why should those of us in hot climates have to pay to replace these things every few years?!

  15. Dale says:

    Ditto what Esteban Celis said. Part Number 84840-47010 doesn’t have the “Smart Key” locking switch connector, so I cut the wires and soldered in the new hatch release switch. Works fine. These videos helped me prepare, glad I watched them first, I avoided possibly breaking the brackets holding the interior cover panel on.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzK1K6Oh8CU
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ng-Tlp9e3YY
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-5g3fqZgUw

  16. jeff says:

    Had the same issue. I fixed it in 5 minutes. Total cost -0- i had the tape.

    1. Take a screwdriver GENTLY scrape the gooey rubber away.
    Only remove enough so that you now feel the switch again moving normal.

    2. Place a piece of Gorilla duct tape over the strip.

    Done!

  17. Don says:

    I also used gorilla tape. Much stronger than duct tape or electrical tape.
    I scraped off the old black stuff and then used some alcohol to clean the area.
    Then cut a few pieces of the gorilla tape to seal off the whole area.
    Total time = 5 minutes.
    Even if I have to repeat every 6 months, no big deal.
    Thanks to posters above for suggesting this easy fix.

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