Q: 2012 Honda CRV door key turns freely but does not lock or unlock the door

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My car battery died and the doors were locked. Since the battery was dead, I couldn't use the fob to unlock the door. There is only one lock on the entire car (the driver's door). When I tried opening the door with the key, the key turns freely both to the left and to the right, but the door will not unlock. I ended up removing the plastic under the bumper and reaching up to spring the hood latch, so now the car has a new battery. The key fob works perfectly and the key works the ignition perfectly. However, the key still will not lock or unlock the door. I took off the door panel and can see that turning the key is moving a cylinder sticking out of the back of the handle, but there is nothing hooked to the cylinder. Is there supposed to be something connecting the back of the key lock to the actuator? Any pictures of what this is supposed to look like inside the door, would be really helpful. Thanks.
My car has an automatic transmission.

An image of the parts involved can be found at this link. A more complete image of the lock and mechanism is available within the Factory Service Manual but I cannot reproduce that image here. Suffice it to say, if nothing is connected to the lock mechanism, obviously that will have to be resolved. You can request door lock service/repair and a certified professional will resolve this at your location. There was a Honda CR-V recall in 2012 that affects your model year and that recall involved the door lock mechanism generally. You can check your VIN number with Honda and see if that recall affects your car. The safety recall began in August 2012. Owners may contact Honda customer service at 1-800-999-1009. If the recall is not relevant to your vehicle, or is not relevant to the present lock malfunction, you can have the lock malfunction repaired if you request door lock service/repair. If you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic because we want you to make the most of your repair dollars and help you to get the best possible results.

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