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This is a solution I came up with about a month ago and it seems to be still holding fine so I thought I would share it with everyone.

Our 2002 V70 XC had the driver's door panel become a tad loose at the handle. After a day or two my wife reported she was no longer able to open the driver's door from the inside. I looked around online and found it is a rather common problem with a bogus plastic clip that of course is not offered as a replacement part. The solution I seemed to find everywhere online was to find a new door panel in a scrapyard or purchase a new one.

Neither of these options seemed appealing as ours is a Ocean Race edition so matching the interior was not going to be easy from a scrapyard and most likely still be expensive. Even then, I would be purchasing a part with the same faulty design so eff that. Ordering an entire new interior door assembly from the dealer was so out of our price range on this I didn't even look into it.

After watching a youtube video on how to remove the interior panel I went to Harbor Freight and purchased a tool set for automotive trim, it ran about $6. In hindsight it was a wise purchase as using a flat-head screwdriver would have ended up ugly. I don't have a very light touch sometimes and our interior is in pristine condition and I did not want to mar it. I removed the door panel pretty easily and was able to examine the door assembly.

I don't have any pictures so bear with me in the process description. I will do my best to be clear and concise.

The interior door open latch is hooked into the back of the door panel on a black plastic plate with six clips holding the latch-to-door-cable assembly. This latch is flimsy as hell and opening the latch puts a fair amount of force on it. It also needs to be snug against the door frame in order to function correctly so if your door panel is loose, TIGHTEN IT!!!! to avoid this clip breaking.

This plastic clip is not sold anywhere I could find and even if it was it looks like it would be a pain to replace as it is attached to the door panel with fasteners that do not seem easily removable if at all. The clip lacks rigidity once even one of the pieces is at all bent or weakened. This is truly poor design.

I brainstormed for a while on what to do. I tried to form a metal sleeve to go around the clip but that was proving tough and time consuming. Plus it was going to rub on the metal door and that is never a good thing. Fiberglass then came to mind as well as rubber wrap. I had my doubts about the ease of application and longevity of either of these. Then I remembered a product from my favorite TV show, Shark Tank.

FiberFix to the rescue! For about $7 I purchased the skinniest package of FiberFix I could find at my local hardware store.

I expected this product to be a bit stickier after being dipped in water and cut it into short strips. This was kind of a mistake. I should have left it in longer (maybe 12-18" long). I did have to cut the 1" strip in half to get it fit around the plastic clip assembly.

After holding the FiberFix tape in place so it would form for about 20 mins it kind of stayed put but not really. I expected it to be much more sticky or resinous. The FiberFix provided some structure and rigidity but is not really able to hold itself together well. I then wrapped thin strips of NASHUA brand duct tape (much better than the regular stuff) around the FiberFix tape. I then wrapped electrical tape around all of it just for kicks.

All of this wrapping was just around the plastic clip assembly to hold it in place and not between the clip assembly and the door which I think would have caused problems.

Once the door was reattached with the pop-in clips and 3 torx screws, I waited about an hour just to be sure the FiberFix tape had enough time to really cure.

That was about a month ago and the fix seems to still be holding strong.

Sorry for no pics and the wall of text. Wanted to at least provide some sort of guide as it seems like I found a way to fix this known issue with out an expensive replacement.

I spent about $15 on the door trim tools and the FiberFix.
I already had the NASHUA tape and electrical tape. NASHUA tape runs about $12/roll and electrical tape is about $1/roll or so for decent quality. I used a pretty small amount of both.

Thanks for reading!
 
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