I don’t believe this topic is covered in the 124 Spider Owner’s Manual, so by being familiar with the two pages copied from the MX-5 manual (shown below) regarding emergency access to the trunk, the knowledge just might come in handy some day when you are unable to access items in your trunk due to a dead battery, or an inoperable electrical trunk release. Apparently the cap, once exposed and unfastened (with a Phillips stubby), is attached to the other anchor end of the same cable that the phosphorescent mechanical lever located on the rear trunk panel (near the trunk latch – see diagram to the right) is attached to, and will serve as an alternate pull-handle to mechanically release the trunk latch, just as the federally mandated manual lever will, for anyone trapped inside the trunk.
The trunk latch cover panel in the 124 Spider is a much better design than what looks like an afterthought in the MX-5, as contents in the trunk were able to interfere with the release latch action and prevent the trunk from opening (as shown in kentbigdog’s animated gif below). However, be aware that care should be taken to keep oversized luggage/packages from pushing too hard on the trunk latch cover panel, as it may cause the electric release to bind.
The first thought that comes to mind:
I wonder if this emergency release cable is still present in vehicles outside of the U.S., as I doubt that the interior manual “emergency”release lever is mandated.
My guess is that it exists globally as a gram-strategy, cheaper substitute for a key lock cylinder and associated linkages, even if the lever isn’t installed.
The second thought that comes to mind:
Can a person even fit in for a ride in the 124 Spider’s trunk?
Until I saw this picture of a young lady in the Miata’s trunk (which is even smaller than our trunk), I didn’t think so. 😉
MX-5 Emergency Trunk Access instructions, courtesy of Mazda