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Audi electric handbrake failure

TCE home 2021 Forums Technical Discussions Audi electric handbrake failure

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    • #118341

      Hi, I am really in need of some advice. My Audi A6 Avant (2013) has an electric automatic handbrake.
      The handbrake recently failed when I was parked at a petrol station forecourt and I wasn’t quick enough to run out and catch it before it hit a wall and thankfully got lodged against a metal pillar. Had the latter not happened, then it would have rolled over the wall, onto a footpath and into oncoming traffic. Thankfully nobody was injured and it was lucky that my children were not in the car that day.
      I reported this to Audi and had to wait for some time for them to be able to run diagnostics on it.
      The car has sustained damage to the bumper and rear passenger wheel arch.
      Audi initially called to say they needed to keep it in overnight as they hadn’t found any faults.
      They kept it in and then tried to call and tell me there was nothing wrong. An error code had flashed up and Dias appeared when me and my partner had driven the car but then corrected itself. They claimed there was no record of this and when pushed he said – oh sometimes they don’t log the fault. I spoke with a manager who said they would get their senior technician to look at it and kept it in again.
      They still say they have been unable to find a fault but the manager mentioned an intermittent fault with one of the motors that control the handbrake.
      They said they have been unable to check all the wiring as an aftermarket tow bar has been fitted and they can’t follow all the wiring back.
      They still claimed no fault.
      When my partner went to pick it up, he took a shot of their diagnostics screen as they were claiming the faults hadn’t been logged. The error with the handbrake and start-stop function was recorded 19 times!!!
      We had also asked them to look at the AUTO function on the heating and air con both of which work manually – but the auto function stopped working. They said there was no fault recorded. Yet when my partner collected it – it miraculously worked – and when he checked the error log – there was an issue logged with the air con also.
      I don’t know where to turn now as it seems like Audi is trying to cover up this fault and deny any responsibility. They did not charge me for the diagnostic work and the car was in 3 days. I am most concerned about them lying regarding the log.
      The failure could have had very serious consequences. They tried to get my partner to sign a disclaimer… he amended it by hand before signing it as he does not want Audi trying to cover their tracks and deny all knowledge.

      How do I progress this? Do i need a 2nd opinion? Should I follow this up via my insurance? They have quoted between £2-3.5k for repairing the damage to my car.

      Any advice greatly appreciated! Thank you

    • #118415
      Stuart Masson

      Hi Emma. If you are unhappy with the dealer’s behaviour, the first step would be to go to another Audi dealership or an independent specialist for a second opinion.
      The car is out of its new car warranty, so unless there is a known problem with Audi electric parking brakes, you are unlikely to get any joy from the manufacturer.
      The other spanner in the works will be the aftermarket tow bar. Modern cars have sophisticated wiring systems, which connect the different safety systems and act much like the nervous system in a human body. If the tow bar has been wired in incorrectly, which often happens on aftermarket bars, it can cause chaos in the car’s electronics. Even if that hasn’t happened in your case, it could very well invalidate any claim against Audi or the dealership for the parking brake failure.

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