Volkswagen Passat - Electronic park brake problem EPB - markgriff1
Today my 2012 plate Passat (2.0L diesel blue motion estate SE) has rolled down a hill when I thought the EPB had come on automatically.

This has caused significant damage to my car and two others.

I'd got used to the parking brake kicking in automatically, however today can not advise if I have switched it on manually myself or just anticipated that it has come on automatically as previously expected.

What I can confirm is that in the past few days I've noticed on my drive, that I was having to switch it on where previously it would just lock on automatically as soon as I'd stopped the vehicle.

From other VW's drivers experience does this brake come on automatically for you?.... Or have I possibly switched off the automatic function somehow?... Unwittingly if I have. Personally I don't believe that I have.

From the basic research I've managed to complete today, I note that 'Which' have reported similar faults in 05-2010 Passats. And even went as far as to suggest VW should have instructed a recall.

As it stands I'm facing a £450 excess bill as well as an increase in premiums. My local VW dealer has agreed to have a look at the parking brake tomorrow, and complete diagnostic tests. If any of you have had similar issues with this parking brake, or know people who have, your input tonight might prove very valuable, as my belief is that this is a fault, and if I can prove that VW are responsible they will have to foot the bill and consequently save me a lot of money which as it stands I could well do without.

It might well conclude that you tell me that I've switched off the automatic parking brake .... Any help/guidance tonight before I take it in to VW would be much appreciated.


Volkswagen Passat - Electronic park brake problem EPB - slkfanboy

I have had a VW passet in the past, for sure an older model than yours. The parking brake did not auto engage on parking, though they may have changed it since.

I had many issues with the VW system and was put off EPB systems altogther, until I go my current Jag that works flawlessly.i.e stop the engine and the EBP goes on, smooth on/off flawlessly with no need to override.

On my old passat it intermitantly failed to release, The manual override worked, but this was useless on a hill. The manual release required your right hand to press a button. One foot on the brake pedal, the other on the clutch (fully down). The car had to be gear N berfore you could release the EPB.

So parked on a hill. the procedure is, Press button, Car to 1st gear,Clutch to biting point while both hands go to stearing wheel. So using the EPB manual overide it's totally imposable to ensure a safe hill start i.e. no roll back etc.

Basically designed by a complete t**t. I noticed Audi's didn't have an auto EPB's until much later and then used a differant system, that seams to work without issues.

Sold the car as didn't really consider the passat ever lived up to VW prenium car status. among other reasons drifted at speed (motorways), foot break not really progressive either on or off. Too low gear ratio's, poor MPG etc.

Volkswagen Passat - Electronic park brake problem EPB - Big John

Slightly to one side of the EPB issue, whatever the handbrake fitted always best to leave in gear (manual ) or park (auto). Even manual handbrakes are prone to dis-engaging since rear disc brakes became the norm. As the disc cools it contracts reducing the effect of the handbrake. Previous drum systems used to increase the effect of the handbrake on cooling.

My son passed his test last year and I've already taught him this habit!

Edited by Big John on 24/01/2014 at 23:04

Volkswagen Passat - Electronic park brake problem EPB - Ordovices

The autohold feature isn't as straightforward as stop and get out.

The system has some exclusions and caveats it can only be switched on if:

driver door closed, seatbelt fastened, engine running, ESP switched on.


the function has to be switched on everytime the engine is started and if whilst "on" autohold any of the above is not in place ie door opened, belt released ESP switched off the parking brake will be applied, unless:

the footbrake is being pressed simultaneously.

The manual override worked, but this was useless on a hill

On the point of the impossibility of using the manual override during a hill start, then that poster's brake must have been defective. In which case it would have been a good reason to not drive the car, or get it fixed. The routine if parked on a hill with the parking brake applied is:

press the brake pedal, press button to release parking brake, holding on the footbrake. Press and hold the parking brake button, release the brake pedal (the car is now held on the button being held) Prepare to pull away by pressing the clutch and selecting 1st gear. Left hand on the steering wheel then release clutch and apply revs until the bite is felt then release the button (leaving your right hand free to text or dial)

"while both hands go to stearing wheel "(sic)

I don't understand why you need both hands on the steering wheel during a hill start. In an manual parking brake car something has to release the brake.


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