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Putting My Back Seats Down


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#1 mthibodeau

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Posted 19 March 2007 - 07:38 PM

I don't see a more appropriate forum to ask this question in, so, here goes...
I bought a 2004 toyota corolla le used, and it didn't have the owners manual with it, and I've since arranged to get a manual, but in the meantime, I need to transport some furniture, and I just can't figure out how to put the back seats down. I see three like switch/lever things above the back seats, where I would normally expect to find a button to press to put the seats down, but those don't appear to do what I need. I know this is a silly question, but I can't figure out how to put the seats down. do they go down? how?

Thanks!
Maria

#2 the99contour

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Posted 19 March 2007 - 08:13 PM

I don't see a more appropriate forum to ask this question in, so, here goes...
I bought a 2004 toyota corolla le used, and it didn't have the owners manual with it, and I've since arranged to get a manual, but in the meantime, I need to transport some furniture, and I just can't figure out how to put the back seats down. I see three like switch/lever things above the back seats, where I would normally expect to find a button to press to put the seats down, but those don't appear to do what I need. I know this is a silly question, but I can't figure out how to put the seats down. do they go down? how?

Thanks!
Maria


Maria,

On the 2003 and later Corolla, the release for the folding rear seats is inside the trunk. If you open the trunk you will see two little knobs close to the trunk hinges. These knobs are the seat back releases. If you pull them towards yourself, you will see the seat backs "pop" a little. Then you can get inside the car and fold the seats the rest of the way down.

When you go to put the seat backs up, make sure that you slam them shut. Give them a little pull just to make sure they locked in position. You don't want them coming open if you have to stop quickly, especially if someone is sitting in the seat!

BTW, those three switch/lever things are LATCH anchors. Your Corolla, like mine has LATCH on all three rear seats. LATCH is a child safety seat attachment system. In the late 1990s the insurance companies found that almost 90% of child safety seats were not installed properly. They pushed for a fool-proof system. LATCH is what the automakers came up with. Instead of using the seatbelt to anchor a child seat, LATCH uses a tether that slips through those switch/lever things and two attachment points that clip into two steel hoops mounted in the space between the seat back and seat bottom.

-the99contour

#3 Bikeman982

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Posted 19 March 2007 - 11:12 PM

Imagine that! The release for the seats are in the trunk.
That's kind of an inconvenient location, isn't it?

#4 the99contour

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Posted 19 March 2007 - 11:30 PM

Imagine that! The release for the seats are in the trunk.
That's kind of an inconvenient location, isn't it?


Putting them inside the car requires some mechanism be built into the seat to release the seat back. Those mechanisms are more expensive than the trunk mounted ones.

Also, when you put the release on the inside, you have to put some mechanism on the seat back to lock the releases out so they can't be used to access the trunk if the car is broken into. Those lock outs cost money as well.

It's logical to conclude that Toyota put the releases in the trunk to save money, since more expensive cars like the Camry and Avalon have them inside the car.

However, I think we'll all agree that putting the releases in the trunk is better than not having a folding rear seat at all.

#5 Bikeman982

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Posted 19 March 2007 - 11:34 PM

I really like my fold down rear seats. I use them to put my hockey sticks in the back.
I have also used it for Christmas trees and long pieces of wood.
It is a nice feature to have.

#6 TRCar54

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Posted 20 March 2007 - 11:33 AM

They probably figured that most times that you'll need to put the seats down, you'll be putting something long through the trunk into the passenger cabin. Having them in the trunk would save you the time of going inside to push the button and then back to the trunk


Imagine that! The release for the seats are in the trunk.
That's kind of an inconvenient location, isn't it?


#7 NILLINOIS

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Posted 20 March 2007 - 02:48 PM

Same design on Hondas and Nissans too I believe. Another advantage for having release latch in the trunk: a child has a chance to get out if they get trapped in the trunk. The can find the latch and open the seat to escape.

I've moved this thread into the Corolla forum, since its Corolla related.

#8 muzak

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Posted 20 March 2007 - 04:56 PM

Imagine that! The release for the seats are in the trunk.
That's kind of an inconvenient location, isn't it?

Yes and No actually. My '05 Corolla came with a "valet" key which will only operate the vehicle. If you take your regular key and give it a quarter turn in the trunk...the valet key will then not be able to open the trunk. In cirmumstances when someone was using or parking your car...they are unable to put the rear seats down and rip stuff out of your trunk. That's why the control is in the trunk for your rear seats.

#9 Bikeman982

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Posted 21 March 2007 - 12:40 AM

They probably figured that most times that you'll need to put the seats down, you'll be putting something long through the trunk into the passenger cabin. Having them in the trunk would save you the time of going inside to push the button and then back to the trunk


Imagine that! The release for the seats are in the trunk.
That's kind of an inconvenient location, isn't it?

I put my hockey sticks in thru the back seats into the trunk.
Sometimes I do put longer items into the trunk and thru the back seat.

#10 TRCar54

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Posted 21 March 2007 - 09:53 AM

That makes sense.

Imagine that! The release for the seats are in the trunk.
That's kind of an inconvenient location, isn't it?

Yes and No actually. My '05 Corolla came with a "valet" key which will only operate the vehicle. If you take your regular key and give it a quarter turn in the trunk...the valet key will then not be able to open the trunk. In cirmumstances when someone was using or parking your car...they are unable to put the rear seats down and rip stuff out of your trunk. That's why the control is in the trunk for your rear seats.


#11 Silver Bullet

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Posted 22 March 2007 - 04:42 AM

I wish the folding rear seats were designed better. The fact that they don't fold completely flat renders the feature useless many times.

#12 Bikeman982

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Posted 22 March 2007 - 11:46 PM

I wish the folding rear seats were designed better. The fact that they don't fold completely flat renders the feature useless many times.

It's true that they do not fold down completely flat. The cushions make them slightly inclined.
It could be redesigned to fold perfectly flat.

#13 ycr99

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Posted 24 March 2007 - 08:09 PM

My 99 Corolla has folding seats as well.

When I was younger, (like 4 or 5) I was saved by folding rear seats when my cousins decided to put me in the trunk.

I managed to crawl out by the armrest the folded out and access the switch in the backseat.


I doubt I could do the same act if the same situation were to occur now.

#14 Bikeman982

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Posted 24 March 2007 - 11:30 PM

My 99 Corolla has folding seats as well.

When I was younger, (like 4 or 5) I was saved by folding rear seats when my cousins decided to put me in the trunk.

I managed to crawl out by the armrest the folded out and access the switch in the backseat.


I doubt I could do the same act if the same situation were to occur now.

Would anybody have missed you?

#15 the99contour

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Posted 25 March 2007 - 01:59 AM

I doubt I could do the same act if the same situation were to occur now.


By Federal Law, all cars made after a certain date must have a trunk lid release inside the trunk to allow entrapped children to escape from a trunk. Many cars complied with the legislation before it was even passed, so there are many cars on the road today that have the inside trunk release. It has saved many lives, and is well worth the extra money it costs to manufacturer.