What To Do If Your 2013 VW Passat Trunk Won’t Open

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R.E. Fulton
Updated on Oct 28, 2022 · 5 min read
If your 2013 VW Passat trunk won’t open, the most common cause is pretty simple: you may have accidentally activated the Passat’s “valet mode,” which disables trunk access. Just turn off valet mode using the button inside your glove box and you’re good to go. 
Of course, that’s not the only possible cause of your Passat trunk woes. That’s why
Jerry
, the trusted
car insurance
comparison app, has created a guide to help you narrow down the possible cause of the problem and get back into your trunk. We’ll also show you how to reduce your
Volkswagen insurance cost
in under a minute! 

What to do if your 2013 Volkswagen Passat trunk won’t open

If your 2013 Passat’s trunk won’t open using the key fob or trunk latch, it’s wise to do some troubleshooting before you head to your local VW dealer.  
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Most common cause: valet mode accidentally activated

Your Passat trunk malfunction might not be a malfunction at all—in fact, it might be one of Volkswagen’s security features working exactly as it’s meant to! 
The 2013 Passat has a valet system designed to lock access to the trunk when you give your car to someone else to drive temporarily. As the name implies, it’s ideal for valet parking, but you might also want to use it when bringing your car in for detailing or when loaning it to a friend. 
But it’s easy to forget that valet mode is on—or to turn it on without even realizing it! Some Passat owners have reported that valet mode turned on after they jump started their car’s battery. You might also turn it on by accident if you have too many items in your glove compartment, where the valet button is located. 
Check inside your glove box to see if your Passat’s valet mode has been activated. It’s a button in the upper left hand corner of the glove compartment with the symbol of a car with a lock above it. If that button is lit up orange, the valet system has been activated. Push the button to turn it off, then try opening your trunk again. In most cases, you’ll be rewarded with an open trunk and a sigh of relief! 

Other possible causes

If the valet system isn’t to blame for your trunk not opening, you may be dealing with a different problem, such as an electrical fault or a broken latch. Here are a few possible causes to look for: 
  • Broken key fob: If you can open the trunk using the switches on the driver side door or the trunk itself, the fault may lie in your key fob. 
  • Faulty door switch: If only your key fob will open the trunk, the driver’s door switch or trunk switch could be broken. 
  • Electrical malfunction: A blown fuse, failing actuator, or faulty wiring harness could be to blame for your trunk issue. 
  • Broken latch: If you can hear the actuator working but the trunk lid still isn’t unlocking, the trunk latch itself may be broken. 
If you suspect any of these issues, bring the Passat to a dealership where an automotive diagnostic specialist can identify and repair the problem. They’ll inspect the door locks, fuse box, electrical systems, and any other components that could be at the bottom of your trunk troubles. 

How to manually open a 2013 Volkswagen Passat trunk

Going to the dealership is a great fix—unless you’ve got ice cream melting in your Passat’s trunk. What if you need to get into the trunk right now
Good news: there’s an emergency trunk release on the 2013 VW Passat and you can access it from inside the vehicle. It just takes a little elbow grease and some tools to pull off. 
To get into the trunk and engage the emergency release, you’ll need to remove the rear seat. To accomplish this, you’ll need your car’s valet key as well as a regular key or, in a pinch, a screwdriver. 
  • Start by opening the cover plate on the left side of the parcel shelf using the valet key. You’ll reveal a slot underneath the plate. 
  • Insert a key into the cover and push right until the seat latch releases. Be prepared to put a bit of muscle into this. 
  • Remove the back seat and open the trunk using the emergency latch. 
This method of manually accessing the trunk lock is a bit of a pain, but it’s certainly a discussion starter! 

Cost of trunk repair for 2013 Volkswagen Passat

The cost of repairing your Passat’s trunk could vary depending on the exact nature of the problem as well as your location. 
A replacement lock latch, for instance, will run you about $83 for the part alone if you buy it from the
VW parts store
—but the cost of labor to replace it might add up to $150 to $200. You’re looking at similar costs for a
trunk lock actuator
replacement or a
trunk latch release cable
replacement. 
On the other hand, if you just need a
trunk latch adjustment
—or if your problem turns out to be that pesky valet system—you’ll only have to pay for labor, not parts. In that case, you can expect lower costs of around $100 or less depending on the location and the shop. 
In most cases, Passat trunk repairs are fairly affordable. The exception comes when your trunk won’t open due to significant body damage, such as from a car accident. If you need to replace the entire trunk lid, you’re looking at a bill of well over $750
the cost of the part alone
. Having a good Volkswagen Passat insurance policy that includes
collision insurance
and
comprehensive coverage
can help reduce those high repair bills! 

How to save on Volkswagen Passat insurance

Speaking of insurance, it doesn’t always come cheap for Passats. In fact, the average annual 2013
Volkswagen Passat S insurance cost
is $3,111—well over the average for Volkswagen owners! And if your Passat has the TDI turbo diesel engine, you’re likely to pay even more. 
Unless you shop with
Jerry
, that is. The easiest way to figure out if you’re overpaying for your Passat’s
car insurance
is to download the Jerry app. Answer a few basic questions about yourself and your car, and Jerry will compare real-time customized quotes based on your profile to find you the definitive lowest rates. The whole thing takes about 45 seconds, and once you’ve got your quotes, Jerry’s agents can help you switch over in record time. 
As a licensed
car insurance broker
, Jerry can help you find real policies with real savings—over $800 a year on average! 
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has amazing communication and even better deals! Thanks to Jerry, I went from $327 to $182 on my payments. I’m so grateful!” —Kim T.
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