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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good evening fellow A Class owners.
I need some advice from the Hive. Firstly let me say, I'm hugely shaken, and chastened by what has just happened to me today, so please be gentle with me....
I released my electronic handbrake with the engine switched off on a hill. The handbrake released and to my horror, the car began to gain speed, in reverse, down the hill. The footbrake was completely useless as the engine was off (servo not connected presumably) and 3-400 metres later we had careered through someone's front garden, narrowly missing street furniture, trees, walls, parked cars and potentially, people, and came to rest on the alloy rims of the front wheels broadside across the road....... I am devastated to have made this terrible mistake.... But can anyone tell me, should the handbrake have released with the engine off? I absolutely believed it could not do that.....


Thanks in advance :cautious:
 

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Good evening fellow A Class owners.
I need some advice from the Hive. Firstly let me say, I'm hugely shaken, and chastened by what has just happened to me today, so please be gentle with me....
I released my electronic handbrake with the engine switched off on a hill. The handbrake released and to my horror, the car began to gain speed, in reverse, down the hill. The footbrake was completely useless as the engine was off (servo not connected presumably) and 3-400 metres later we had careered through someone's front garden, narrowly missing street furniture, trees, walls, parked cars and potentially, people, and came to rest on the alloy rims of the front wheels broadside across the road....... I am devastated to have made this terrible mistake.... But can anyone tell me, should the handbrake have released with the engine off? I absolutely believed it could not do that.....


Thanks in advance :cautious:
I wasn't aware the electronic parking brake released when the engine was off. The parking brake on my original A Class was like an old school mechanical hand brake so it released in the same way. I'll checkout my parking brake when I am next in the car but I am guessing you could re-engage it if you could disengage it while the engine was off. You probably didn't try to re-engage it during such a traumatic event.
 

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Hopefully you now have the answers you need ie the handbrake on the current model does not release with the engine off. Keep us updated on any developments with MB on what happened.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I am hearing that the pb should absolutely hold when the engine is off even if released in error. Speaking to a local dealer, I'm told that this is not the case... I will pursue this further as it is clearly a terrible safety defect.... I am still sick to my stomach after my ordeal 😞
Parking brake can only be released with ignition on or engine running.
Can you say how you know this to be true? This what I believed too - I had discovered it on flat roads and was confident that it would do so yesterday however it did not hold and the result was terrifying and could have been so so much worse than it was.....
What age is the car? The current W177 parking brake should not release unless the ignition is on. The engine does not have to be running though.
The car is registered May 2017. Manual, diesel engine.
 

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That’s prefacelift then (W176). I can’t say whether this is the same as the current model
Yes the W176 had, I believe, a manual hand brake, as I posted above. Hence it can be released and engaged with the engine off.
 

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My facelift W176 had an electric parking brake.

It could only be released with the ignition on or engine running.

It could be applied in any state (ignition on or off, engine running or off).
 

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My facelift W176 had an electric parking brake.

It could only be released with the ignition on or engine running.

It could be applied in any state (ignition on or off, engine running or off).
It must have been the same for my pre-FL version then as perhaps I did only ever engage it while the ignition was off. Having said that I am sure I did disengage them while the engine was off.... Can anyone with a W176 please verify.
 

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I am hearing that the pb should absolutely hold when the engine is off even if released in error. Speaking to a local dealer, I'm told that this is not the case... I will pursue this further as it is clearly a terrible safety defect.... I am still sick to my stomach after my ordeal 😞

Can you say how you know this to be true? This what I believed too - I had discovered it on flat roads and was confident that it would do so yesterday however it did not hold and the result was terrifying and could have been so so much worse than it was.....

The car is registered May 2017. Manual, diesel engine.
You may be confusing engine on/off with ignition on/off. It is possible for the ignition to be switched on, but the engine is off.

Also, if you have a manual gearbox, shouldn't it have been in gear while you were parked, which would have prevented this mishap with the handbrake?
 

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Good evening fellow A Class owners.
I need some advice from the Hive. Firstly let me say, I'm hugely shaken, and chastened by what has just happened to me today, so please be gentle with me....
I released my electronic handbrake with the engine switched off on a hill. The handbrake released and to my horror, the car began to gain speed, in reverse, down the hill. The footbrake was completely useless as the engine was off (servo not connected presumably) and 3-400 metres later we had careered through someone's front garden, narrowly missing street furniture, trees, walls, parked cars and potentially, people, and came to rest on the alloy rims of the front wheels broadside across the road....... I am devastated to have made this terrible mistake.... But can anyone tell me, should the handbrake have released with the engine off? I absolutely believed it could not do that.....


Thanks in advance :cautious:
Hi Zebedee. That must have scared you!! I just checked my own new A180. If I am driving and come to a stop and switch off the engine the electronic handbrake comes on automatically. However, if I then start the engine and release the electronic handbrake it releases as you would expect. BUT if I then switch the engine off without moving or driving the handbrake does NOT come on automatically. I just did this test in the drive as the car rolled slowly towards the closed garage door. Moral of the story I guess is always check you have the handbrake warning light lit before you take your foot off the brake as it is not automatic under certain circumstances. Hope this makes sense.
 
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