Toyota ECHO REAR DOOR HANDLE problem
I have this same problem, and I removed the interior door fascia to examine the cause.
As mentioned, the moving, plastic part of the door handle has a recess that houses the return spring. Under stress (under too little stress, if you ask me), part of that plastic that surrounds the spring ruptures (tears), and the spring can no longer exert sufficient force to get the handle to retract flush against the car.
There is no way to fic that plastic part--you have to replace the entire handle. Searching for "Toyota Echo Door Handle" will find you a number of on-line sites that sell BLACK handles for under $7.00! The dealer wants something like $50-$70 for an OEM part, with the right color.
I have the service manual, and replacing these things is a *****! You have to use a TORX bit to remove the actual latch in the door, to get it out of the way.
There isn't actually any fixed linkage between the handle and the interior latch mechanism. When you pull the handle up enough, a plastic cam on the handle strikes a metal lever within the car door, forcing the latch to release the steel hoop. So once you can ACCESS the handle, swapping it out looks straightforward. The problem is, accessing it is a pain. Make sure you have a magnetic grabber handy for the hardware!
I have yet to find a cheap source for SILVER handles on the Internet (none of the Internet Junkyards have responded).
2001 Toyota Echo
on Aug 04, 2018