How to open rear hatch with dead 12V battery?

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Well-known member
Dec 25, 2011
Can anyone help me with how to open the rear hatch if there is no 12V power? Is there an emergency release somewhere?

archie_b said:
Is there an emergency release somewhere?
I know they have 'em in the trunks of car-shaped cars, so the hooker you kidnapped can get out of the trunk. On a hatchback, that problem doesn't exist.

By the way, is this a completely hypothetical question? You would have access to the hatch's contents by opening one of the side doors, climbing into the back seat, and voila! Access! :mrgreen:
This Miev has water damage and the 12V battery is disconnected for safety reasons. Need to access components under the rear cover in order to start repairs. Without being able to open the rear hatch this would be quite difficult.
is this one of these flooded imievs from Copart? I saw auctions.

Well... I think I would risk connecting 12V to open everything I want - even if car was flooded, connecting 12V but not starting the car will not make any damage, eventually fuse will be blown. But that's only my opinion.
I agree with evcar. Make this a two-person endeavor: One person connect the 12V battery; another pressing the hatch button; then disconnect the 12V battery. Even in a completely shorted condition, it takes several seconds before wires start to overheat and melt the insulation.
Plug in a 12V source in the lighter socket. Switch key to ACC and open the doors.

12V motorcycle battery, 12V power supply for CB-radio or a lab power supply preferably with short circuit protection should should do. You do not need much to open the doors and as long as you dont switch to ignition everything interesting should stay off.
is that this car?

evcar said:
Well... I think I would risk connecting 12V to open everything I want - even if car was flooded, connecting 12V but not starting the car will not make any damage, eventually fuse will be blown. But that's only my opinion.
I wouldn't recommend that

Personal experience with many flooded electronics (everything from car ECU's to cell phones to power tools) has taught me that the worst thing you can do is apply power to them before you disassemble, clean and dry the components. A car ECU which has gone under salt water can frequently be 'saved' by soaking it in fresh water, opening it up and blow drying, then letting it sit in the sun for a day or two - Many times it will still function properly after all that *IF* you didn't first power it up while it was still wet . . . . once you do that, it's almost certainly ruined. Some things in an iMiEV are only powered when you turn the key, but many other things are powered whenever the battery is connected and the ECU (or whatever it's EV equivalent is) is definitely one of them

My latest experience was when I bent over a small boat full of seawater and plop . . . . in went my smartphone! I quickly retrieved it, took out the battery, rinsed it well with freshwater, blew out all the water I could get with compressed aid, stuck it in a zip-lock bag full of dry rice for a couple days and then let it sit in the sun for a couple hours - I'm still using it today, but only because I didn't try powering it up while it was wet


It is not our i-MiEV but it might get you ideas.

First open the rear passenger doors and flip the chair down maybe remove the headrests. now you can get into the trunk and open the cover to the inside of the door.

There is kind of a ring in the bottom and kind of a hook in the lid. Turning the actuator turns the hook out of the ring. The lid opens.
the endeavour works totally different.

I have a peugeot ion, wich is 100% the same to a imiev.

my trunk lid wont open, but it does work. Electrically a latch is actuated, that should open the lock, but the lock wont open.
The lock is attached to the lid with 2 (but im afraid 3!) bolts.
i managed to unscrew 2 of them ftom the flipped seats laying in the back, but i cant get the lock out, in order to open it.
Does anuone has a clue how to open it?
i think its quite stupid made; there is as far as i can see no way to get it open, besides a grinder... :|
I know this is an old thread but you should absolutely be able to open the trunk / boot without power. This is a safety feature in case anyone is ever locked in there and would otherwise be an open liability for any car manufacturer.

For my 2014 Outlander PHEV, there is a little compartment on the inside of the trunk / boot door that hides a manual release. Screen grab from the owners manual below. Taking the little door does not tools, but I did use a screw driver to get to the interior latch.