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Trunk Opener Fiasco

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My 460L has the automatic feature for opening and closing the trunk, something I found useful until a few days ago. Needed to transport a long object, I hooked a bungee cord to hold the trunk down with a 6" gap. Arriving at my destination 10 minutes later, I removed the cord, lifted the trunk and remove the item. I pushed the bottom on the trunk to close and...nothing. I tried the key fob, the dash switch and the reset in the trunk, still nothing. I pulled the lid down to close but it was clear that it was locked fully open. So, there I am, trunk wide open, light snow falling, wondering about the next step. Lexus Roadside didn't have a clue so patched in a dealer service department. I explained that all I wanted was to get the trunk shut so I could bring it in (150 miles) but they had no idea how to manually close the lid and suggested I take it to a Toyota dealer. After 2 hours and $100+, their solution was to disconnect the strut and lock it closed. At the visit to the Lexus dealer today, they detrermined that the motor was shot and the hinges bent. The repair cost $1,800. They assume the bungee cord made the trunk keep trying to open and close, destroying the motor and bending the hinge. Does that seem likely to you? Since I may have another occasion to haul something similar in the trunk, I asked for a way to manually override the motor. It can't be done unless it is permanently disabled. When I commented that it was not that unusual to prop a trunk like that, the response was that people driving a LS460 probably were unlikely to do that.

Two issues: 1.) My bungee cord may have contributed to the problem but it seems improbable that it would blow a motor and bend the hinges. I did NOT try to force the trunk at all. 2.) A manual operating option should be available.


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