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We've got this problem too - enough so that it was causing condensation inside the car this winter. Does anyone know how the water gets inside the latch in the first place - as in, is there something else that needs to be fixed, or is this just something that happens after a while.

Thanks!
 

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We also encountered a failed rear hatch handle today. The spring was badly rusted and therefore lost most of its tension to spring back. The rest of the handle look fine. I repaired it by replacing the spring.

Here is what I did and some pictures:

1. Follow the instructions described above to remove the handle.
2. Remove the long pin, you can do this by undoing one of the pinched end so it can slide out, I used a table vise to do this.
3. I used a spring from a mouse trap. found to be a perfect fit and the correct tension.
4. Install the spring, the ends of the spring will hang out a bit, you will need to trim them off.
5. Re-pinch the pin's end with a table vise.
6. Apply some synthetic lubricant on the spring to prevent rust.
7. Reinstall, works like new again!

The took me about 30 minutes.

Hope this helps,
Holden
How do you remove the pin? I don't understand step 2 about undoing one of the pinched ends. I know this is an old post but if anyone has any suggestions I would really appreciate it. I have the same problem. Brilliant solution using a mouse trap.

ETA - Job completed! I don't have a table vice so I used a hammer to 'unpinch' the end and pinched it back the same way when I was done. The only snag I ran into was you have to have careful getting the new spring on. I had to sand down the pin then lube it up then work the spring back and forth to twist it on. I also had to unwind one of the ends a little so it was seated properly. Probably took me an hour or so from start to finish. Way better than $30+ on a new handle.
 

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You will have to remove the rear hatch lower trim piece. I didn't take any pics of that, sorry. From what I recall you need to take the hand grip piece out, then 4 or 5 push-pin type fasteners that are on the bottom of the hatch. Then you can remove the trim by starting at on of the upper corners and simply pulling it off. There are multiple clips across the piece.
 
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