I, like all too many other Toyota owners apparently, had a faulty door actuator on my 2012 Highlander. This problem was further compounded by the fact that my door was stuck in the locked (and closed) position. Given that the door needs to be in the open position in order to remove the door panel (to then access the actuator), this created a particularly challenging problem. I first went to my dealer who warned me that while they could break into the door panel, the process would likely damage the door, and potentially part of the dashboard. Furthermore, replacing one/both of these potentially damaged items would not be cheap! (I think they said the dashboard alone would be over $1000 to replace). Given that the quote for the actuator repair alone was going to be $500, I was not a happy camper (... gee, thanks, Toyota; fix your darn actuator problem!).
I then decided to ask Prestige Auto to take a look at the problem. Like the dealer, Prestige warned me that there could be damage to the door panel, etc. in trying to access any faulty actuator. Thankfully, however, Prestige applied some creativity to the problem (which my sense is that the dealer wouldn't have bothered with) and I was spared any additional expense involved in replacing any damaged door panel and dashboard. In the end, two guys and "brute force" were able to un-stick the door to then be able to repair the faulty actuator.
Thank you, Prestige, for your creative problem-solving!
In terms of the specific problem of the door being stuck in the locked (and closed) position (thereby hindering access to the faulty actuator), the repair shop tells me that to address the lock's "stickiness", it took brute force to get the door open (specifically, two big guys using brute force). Thankfully, they were able to get it un-stuck this way, rather than having to break open the door panel which likely would have resulted in some level of permanent damage to the door panel and potentially the dashboard.