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It is ground side activated.
The problem, if you remove the trim panel and look at the backside of the system, is the linkage between the solenoid actuator and the latch itself.
I'm sorry if that was unclear- the way the actuator activates the latch, there are a lot of internal failures. We just replace the whole latch assembly.
you never said it was a CONVERTIBLE!! Have you tried disconnecting the trunk release lever on the driver door? I have had those fail a lot- and since the signal goes THROUGH the comfort module, the system learns to ignore the constant input.
Also, you may have 12v, but the amperage may not be enough to trigger the actuator.
Try disconnecting your battery, and touching and holding the two CABLES together without touching the battery at all- for about a minute. This will reset the module. SOmetimes they get stuck (like a computer running Windows!)
I don't know what the amperage load would be for the actuator (VW doesn't publish specs like this) but I know I have had other circuits that have acted like this (A/C compressor for one) where voltage was "leaking" into the circuit. Probably because everything is run through microprocessors now, not solid state circuitry.
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ok, just let me know what you find.
the "relay" you hear clicking is likely the comfort control module- which is located on a bracket just to the left side of the steering column. If you remove the left end of the dash (where the door over the fuse panel is) and also remove the underdash cover, you will be able to see it, it is a black box with two large connectors to it. (You can view it just through the dash endcap, but to be able to remove it, I like to view through the endcap area and use tools under the dash)
The comfort module is not a relay- it is a whole module in itself, that controls all the functions of the windows, door locks, and relays other messages between the door modules like for switch illumination. There's no real way to test any individual circuit at the pins. The module is removed by removing a pair of phillips screws that mount the backing plate to a bracket near the steering column, and disconnecting the two connectors.
And this module has been known to do all kinds of strange things if a circuit goes bad- only allowing one door to unlock with the remote, for example, when they are all supposed to unlock, is the most common issue. It sounds like yours is bleeding voltage into that circuit, but then when that circuit is activated (as evidenced by the fact that it flashes the blinkers) the amount of amperage it sends to the latch is not enough to unlock it.