Unfortunatley this does require removal of the door panel. In addition to the screws, their are several plastic clips that hold the panel on. If you break one, its not the end of the world like some people claim. They are replaceable.
The front door actuators are identical. Swap them out and see if that fixes the drivers door. If the issues presents itself on the passenger door, then you know the actuator is bad. If the issue continues, look at the lever attached to the lock, and check the lock mechanism itself. Their are several DIY's on how to remove it.
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