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How to Solve Cumbersome Hands-Free Trunk Release on 2022 Toyota Highlander

Are you having trouble using your foot to open the trunk on your 2022 Toyota Highlander? You’re not the only one, here is the correct way to do it.


We all love new features on our cars that help us with our daily lives. Keyless push to start, lights turning on when you get near the car, and hands-free trunk release on newer models. Think of it this way, how convenient is it when you have both arms holding groceries or kids or whatever and you need to open the trunk to put them there (don’t put your kids in the trunk)?

The 2022 Toyota Highlander has the hands-free option which in my opinion is great. If I am the type of guy to buy this highlander, I either love highlanders or I most likely have a family or things to haul around. Therefore, it's infinitive that there be some way for me to open my trunk faster. Whether is clicking a button on my keys or as most cars have, swiping my foot under the bumper triggers a sensor to raise the trunk.

How to Solve Cumbersome Hands-Free Trunk Release on 2022 Toyota HighlanderHowever, a recent post on a Facebook group proved that even this simple feature can have very confusing results. In this article, I will share what other 2022 Highlander owners said about their experience and teach you the proper technique to get the trunk to open every time.

User Lisa Pevey asks, “It (her Highlander’s hands-free trunk release) has only worked 3 or 4 times. We tried it in the garage tonight with every angle/approach imaginable. We got it to work 2 times. Is this something the dealer can help us with?”

One of the commenters, William Smith said, “Try kicking under the round sensor just left of center. Works for me the most there.” He also posted a video showing a little sign right below the bumper with the foot picture on it. If you look at the first “A” on the Highlander emblem, it's right below that.

On the other hand, let’s say that you are swiping your foot in the right place, yet it still doesn’t work. It may be because of the key fob. Andrew Scarborough said, “The car has to sense the fob. So, if I’m approaching from the back I walk alongside the car until I hear the lock unlock.”

George Flatt explained the technique very well. He said, “Pretend you’re kicking a soccer ball. Straight in and out.” So, it seems it's more of a kick or back and forth motion rather than a swipe you would see on some Ford models. I’m sure the muscle memory of a swipe or a center kick motion probably made new 2022 Toyota Highlander owners think the hands-free motion works with a swipe. But it’s a mini kick.

I hope that more base model cars will start to have these features because it really is helpful.

What do you think? Did you have trouble with the hands-free trunk release on the 2022 Toyota Highlander? Let us know in the comments below.

Harutiun Hareyan is reporting Toyota news at Torque News. His automotive interests and vast experience test-riding new cars give his stories a sense of authenticity and unique insights. Follow Harutiun on Twitter at @HareyanHarutiun for daily Toyota news.