Manual handbrake gets closer to extinction as car makers favour electronic systems

Just 37 per cent of new cars have a traditional manual handbrake lever as electronic parking brakes take over

Manual handbrake gets closer to extinction as car makers favour electronic systems
Vehicle manufacturers are ditching the manual handbrake in favour of electronic systems.

Fewer than four in ten new cars are fitted with a manual parking brake, according to new research.

While Dacia and Suzuki are the only two vehicle manufacturers to feature a ‘standard’ handbrake on every model in their ranges, research has found that Audi, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lexus, Mercedes and Porsche no longer offer any models fitted with a traditional manual handbrake.

However, many motorists remain dubious over the electronic park brake following a spate of recalls issued for potentially faulty systems.

Faulty systems

Volkswagen issued a recall for 134,000 UK cars last year due to an issue with the parking brake, which affected Golf, Touran, Tiguan and Passat models.

Meanwhile, Tesla issued a global recall of 53,000 cars in 2017 for a parking brake problem, and Audi, Renault and Toyota have all been forced to recall models for electronic parking brake problems in the past.

Car-buying website CarGurus, analysed 32 mass-market car manufacturers, and their vehicles currently on sale and found that just 37 per cent of new cars have manual handbrakes.

Speaking about the research, Chris Knapman, editor at CarGurus UK, said: “It’s official, the death of the handbrake is coming as manufacturers switch to electronic parking brakes in huge numbers.

“Death of the handbrake”

“Within the next few years we expect the number of cars on sale with traditional handbrakes to decline further, likely only to be found on a select number of niche models.

“Of course, the benefits can’t be ignored, but as the latest technology trickles through manufacturer line-ups, many new drivers might never experience one of the most familiar of automotive features.

“The temptation to attempt flamboyant handbrake turns is soon to be a thing of the past too.”

The electronic system has allowed manufacturers to free up more room inside the vehicle.

Electronic park brakes use a switch to activate a pair of motors which then engage the rear brakes.

Many electronic systems features a ‘hill hold assist’ function, activating the handbrake when stationary on a gradient.

Do you prefer the traditional handbrake lever or do you favour the electronic parking brake? Share your comments below.

Home Page Forums Manual handbrake gets closer to extinction as car makers favour electronic systems

Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)
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  • #164518 Reply
    RoY Lumley

    Along with ADAS systems Electronic Hand brakes EQUALS less driving skill & earlier UNECONOMIC TO REAPAIR Vehicles . Welcome to the “throw-away” Society!!!

    #164519 Reply

    I agree with Roy. It’s another unnecessary complication, which commits the owner to more expense, and ultimately loses the repairer the work, when the car becomes economically unrepairable. We are already seeing otherwise perfectly serviceable vehicles going to the scrapyard for unaffordable DMF repairs, it’s an Eco crime!

    #164521 Reply
    Philip Dunmore

    Spot on previous comments. One of our own fleet is 8 years old and needs £1000 spent on part due to broken park brake cable…..

    #164522 Reply

    Yep, agreed, another one for the ‘useless gimmick’ box along with stop-start, keyless entry another & classic mistake the ‘automatic braking’ gimmick….Jeez

    #164527 Reply
    Paul Pattison

    ‘Freeing up more space inside the vehicle is a feeble excuse…
    ever heard of the ‘umbrella’ – type handbrake mounted on or under the dash…?
    I recently saw a Range Rover Evoque stationary in the outside lane of the M62 – woman driver who looked pretty worried for her safety…. could this have been as a result of handbrake seizure after a traffic hold-up?
    Technology gone mad – if it ain’t broke don’t fix it!
    Another example of ‘convenience’ features which become bloody expensive and inconvenient when they go wrong,!

    #164528 Reply

    In my experience electric park brakes are unnecessarily complicated,many require special procedures to carry out routine maintenance such as brake disc and pad replacement, even with a good quality diagnostic machine it’s quite common to have park brake issues afterwards for no obvious reason,it may be that the car simply hasn’t recognised the procedure or there was an existing problem that was previously unknown which has not allowed the system to reset correctly. In short as previously said, they’re unreliable and expensive for the vehicle owner and can be time consuming for garages working on them.

    #164529 Reply

    If the sheep voted with their feet maybe we’d have a choice from the manufacturer

    #164530 Reply
    Eddie Bamber

    It’s good fun when you get one on the fourth floor of a multi-storey car park with the parking brake stuck on. Some vehicles have a manual override but many don’t. You can’t even get a breakdown van in there because it’s too tall. The worst one I had was a Range Rover with an electrical problem. The ignition wouldn’t come on so it wouldn’t come out of ‘Park’ although it was possible to pull the release for the rear brakes, the front wheels were still locked up as well as the steering lock. Talk about a challenge !. Too much technology in vehicles now, and don’t even get me started on stop-start that refuses to start again once the traffic lights turn green ( excuse the pun by the way ).

    #164531 Reply

    One of the problems I think I have noticed regarding the EPBs are what happens when the service brakes hydraulics fail completely? For people who have health issues that prevent them wearing a seat belt, those persons in a serious accident are definitely going through the front screen.

    #165318 Reply
    eric Hammond

    These brakes systems are a pain to any recovery operator, especially to damaged vehicles or as above, electrical failure or locked vehicles. What is wrong with a simple handbrake lever, instead of all the more complicated and expensive systems now used?. Add locked in park also really becomes great fun making a simple recovery difficult.

Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)


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