Emergency Trunk Release Handle Interference

The power trunk may not open when using the Remote Keyless Entry transmitter (key fob) or the touch pad on the trunk on some 2016 Malibu models. During an attempted activation of the power trunk, a low volume audible click may be heard.


Check the Emergency Trunk Release (ETR) handle for interference with the trunk trim material. (Fig. 18) The interference may be caused by the handle being positioned incorrectly at the opening in the trunk lid trim panel or by being moved by items in the trunk.


F18 etr handle 1

Fig. 18


Interference from the trim can cause the handle and cable to bind. Any sort of preload on the cable will not allow the latch to release when any of the electric switches are used.


Open the trunk by entering the trunk through the rear seat access and pulling the ETR handle. To correct the interference, modify the trunk lid trim panel to provide more clearance around the ETR handle. (Fig. 19)


F19 etr handle 2

Fig. 19


Remove the rear compartment lid inner trim panel and, on the back side of the trim panel, mark off and remove approximately 5-10 mm (0.20-0.40 in.) from the outboard, raised side of the opening. (Fig. 20)


F20 etr handle 3

Fig. 20


Reinstall the rear compartment lid inner trim and confirm proper operation of the handle and the power trunk release switches.


– Thanks to Dallas Walton

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