I'm sorry about the confusion on this matter, and the use of bandwidth, but
this could become a safety hazard, so please forgive me.
This is a 1994 Buick Century Station Wagon. The system uses power windows
and locks. All four door locks normally operate in unison. If the engine
is running and the vehicle is in gear, all the doors lock automatically, and
they remain locked until the engine is shut off. They do NOT unlock
automatically as long as the engine is running (even if put back in Park).
However, even with the engine running (in or out of gear) the people in the
front seats CAN always override the automatic system anytime they wish
simply by pressing a power lock switch, or manually sliding a lever in the
door, (sort of a horizontal version of the oldstyle lock buttons in older
cars.) The poor folks in the back seat can NOT do either! The rear doors
only respond to the automatic locking sequence or the lock switches in the
front doors. The rear doors can not be unlocked or locked by the people
sitting in the rear seats either manually or electronically. For the back
seats, the switches have no effect (locking or unlocking) and the manual
lever won't budge (either way) by hand. Anybody in the back seats is
effectively trapped in the rear unless they climb over the front seats, or a
person in the front seat lets them out.
The idea, of course, was to prevent a child (or pet) from accidentally
locking out their parent (child) or owner (pet) or even worse unlocking and
opening the door while the vehicle was in motion. Good idea, most of the
time, but I want to override this feature when I do not have children or
pets in the car.
Some of you mentioned the idea that a PO (previous owner) modified the car,
not so. I just got the car from a family member who was the original owner.
The owner's manual was ripped off a few years ago! The doors have never
been modified or replaced. There are NO switches, levers, or even holes in
the door jambs or doors near the latch mechanisms on any door in the car,
except for a grill (air or vent?) on the rear part of each rear door jamb.
I know that most cars with this feature have a nylon or metal lever to
engage or disengage the child safety feature, but this car seems to have
none. That's is why I am at a loss to figure this out, and came to the
newsgroup for help. Even the original shop manual (which I ordered at the
time the car was originally purchased) has no mention of this safety
feature, let alone any indication of how to override it.
It seems that anybody in the back of the car could be prevented from
emergency exit in any number of unfortunate situations because the only way
out of the car would be through one of the front doors (probably over the
bodies of anybody sitting in the front seat! This seems ridiculous to me.
So, once again, if anybody knows how to control this annoying feature, I'd
appreciate the secret. I have received many responses off line, but they all
point to a non-existent lever in the rear door(s).
TIA for any assistance, (again, sorry for the bandwidth but this really
strikes me as a safety issue.)