How to open Honda CR-V trunk from inside

How to Open a Honda CR-V Trunk from the Inside

In response to several reports on abductions and accidental trunk traps, a law requiring automakers to provide an emergency internal trunk opening was passed in 2001. 

With this legal mandate, all Honda CR-Vs manufactured in the subsequent years came with interior trunk release alternatives – meaning you can open a Honda CR-V trunk from the inside (or boot if you in the UK). 

How to open a Honda CR-V trunk from the inside? You can get your Honda CR-V’s trunk to open from the inside either by using the trunk release button, the release lever on the trunk latch or by pulling the release cables under your car’s carpet.

Sounds simple right? Well, yes, and no. 

In this article, I will tell you how to get your Honda CR-V trunk to open from the inside. I will also guide you on how to rectify CR-V tailgate opening issues and provide answers to some related questions.

How to open Honda CR-V tailgate from inside

How to get your Honda CR-V to open from the inside

To open your CR-V trunk from the inside, you can follow any of the methods below:

Method 1: Press the trunk release button

A single press on the trunk release of your Honda CR-V will open your trunk (or boot) from the inside.

The trunk release button on your CR-V is usually located on the driver’s door or on the bottom left corner of the driver’s dash, close to the traction control key.

Depending on the year of production and trim level, the location of the trunk release button may differ. However, if you cannot find or reach your trunk release button, try method two.

Method 2: Use the release lever on the trunk latch

In cases where the trunk release button is not functional, you can open your CR-V trunk from inside by pushing the lever on the trunk latch.

The release lever is a safety feature integrated by CR-V manufacturers to help with trunk trap incidents.

To get through with this method, climb in the backseat of your CR-V, pull the seats down to access the rear cargo area, and then push up the release lever on the left side of your trunk.

Method 3: Pull the release cables

The release cables are attached to the latch assembly and are usually under the carpet around the driver’s side of the car. If you can spot these cables on your CR-V, pull in the opposite direction to unlock the trunk. Pulling the cables, in turn, pulls the release handle on your trunk for it to open up.

How to deal with a Honda CR-V tailgate that won’t open

It is not uncommon for your CR-V to get jammed and become difficult to be opened using controls or from the outside. When faced with such a situation, follow the steps below to open from the inside.

Step 1: Locate the hidden handle in your trunk

There is a hidden handle installed in your CR-V trunk for safety reasons. The handle is in the centre of the tailgate with a plastic cover over the lock. To access the handle, you will have to get in the back of the car and lower the seats.

Step 2: Remove the plastic covering

Once you have located the plastic covering in the centre of the tailgate, pop it off. You can use a small screwdriver if you have challenges popping it off.

Step 3: Use a screwdriver to move the hinge or steel switch

After popping up the plastic covering, you would see a hinge in the opening. Use a small screwdriver to slide the hinge to the left or right, then push open the tailgate.

Using a screwdriver and not bare hands to move the hinge is a safer option to avoid skin injuries.

Step 4: Return the hinge to its original position

With your tailgate successfully opened, slide the hinge back to the original position. Your trunk may not lock if you fail to slide back the hinge.

Also, replace the plastic covering when you are done. 

Reasons why your Honda CR-V Tailgate does not open?

There are many reasons your CR-V tailgate will refuse to unlock. Some of these reasons include:

1. Defective tailgate lock solenoid

The tailgate lock solenoid can be regarded as the central nervous system of your CR-V’s keyless entry system. It converts electric current into a magnetic field which triggers a spring-activated locking system to lock and unlock the trunk of your car.

With a functional tailgate lock solenoid, you can easily access your trunk. However, a damaged or broken lock solenoid will keep you locked out of your trunk.

2. Weak or dead key fob batteries

Key fobs provide easy access to your CR-V tailgate. With usage, your key fob batteries will begin to wear out. It is best to look out for signs of weak batteries, such as reduced signal strength, and replace them on time.

Delay in replacing weak batteries may eventually cause batteries to die, leaving them completely useless unless reprogrammed by the auto manufacturer.

3. Obstructions

Your CR-V tailgate may also refuse to open if an obstruction in the locking system jams the lock shut. Foreign objects like clothes or bags that are stuck in the locks could keep the tailgate closed. 

Related questions

How do you adjust the height of your Honda CR-V tailgate?

To adjust height of your CR-V tailgate, take the following steps:

  • Open the trunk all the way up, then manually lower it to your desired position.
  • Press and hold the inner tailgate control till you hear two beeps, and it is all set!
  • To close it up, push the tailgate control again.

When taking the first step, ensure your tailgate is not slightly open, as this will distort the process.

How do you use the hands-free access on your CR-V tailgate?

Honda CR-V includes the hands-free access on some trims to make cargo loading and unloading easy. A sensor under the middle of your bumper detects your foot motion that triggers your CR-V tailgate to open.

With your CR-V remote in your hands or pocket, approach the rear of your car and rapidly use a kicking motion to move your foot under the bumper, then bring your foot back. The tailgate will open up in a few seconds. To close the tailgate, repeat the same kicking motion.

The proper foot motion is crucial to using the hands-free access. Here are some tips to guide you:

  • Stand two feet behind the rear bumper.
  •  Kick directly upwards towards the sensor.
  •  Quickly withdraw your foot straight down.
  •  Do not move your foot side to side.
  •  Do not let your foot linger on the sensor.

If your CR-V has the genuine Honda accessory trailer hitch, the sensor will not be in the centre of your rear bumper. You may have to make your kicking motion slightly to the side of the hitch.


Hopefully you will never get stuck in the trunk of your CR-V. But should the worst happen, now you’re fully equipped to get yourself out by opening it from the inside.

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