Handbreak Failure on 2 week old A3 [Archive] - Audi Forums

: Handbreak Failure on 2 week old A3

10-17-2009, 06:34 AM
Hi, im new to this forum and found it searching for information on A3 having hand brake failure. I discovered this thread and much to my surprise allot of people have had hand brake failure on their A3 or other audi models.

https://www.audi-forums.com/8p-forum/37111-handbrake-failure.html - This is the thread I came across.

I came home after driving the car for about 15 minutes, before this it had been parked for more than an hour. I parked the car on my driveway, which has a slight incline of around 12-15 degrees. I applied the hand brake fully as per the instructions in the users manual. Keeping my foot on the foot brake and pulling up the lever all the way to the top.

I go into my house and 30 minutes later hear an almighty crash. I go outside to see the 2 week old A3 has rolled down my drive and into the wall separating the neighbours garden from mine. The back of the car was badly damaged and the wall was pretty much ruined.

I phoned up the dealership I had bought the car from and explained the situation. They told me to wait for audi roadside assistance.

While waiting for the roadside assistance to arrive I took some photos but did not even touch the car at all, left it where it was.

Roadside assistance guy turns up and takes some photos of his own, including pictures of the hand brake clearly up all the way. He gets in the car and tries to drive it out of the wall but its not going anywhere due to the hand brake being fully on! He then takes the hand brake off and drives to where the car was parked. He puts the hand brake onto the fourth click (which is where he says it was when he inspected 5 minutes previously) but when he releases the foot brake the car starts gliding back toward the wall.

If I really had it parked on four clicks I would not have been able to get out of the car due to the fact that it did not hold at all. I also suspect that on four clicks he would have been able to drive it out of the wall.

Roadside assistance write me a report and I take this and the car to the dealership.

The next day I get a call from the dealership telling me that the car is fine and their is no problem with the brakes or hand brake. He neglects to mention any kind of liability or repair work and asks me when I want to pick my car up. I tell him im not happy and politely get off the phone.

I then phone audi customer services, they are currently looking into it and are phoning me back in a couple of days.

I want to know if their is anyone else who has had similar problems? After reading the thread mentioned above I am not going to let this drop and accept what audi tell me.

If anyone wants to contact me feel free to do so on [email protected]

This is obviously a repeated problem and something needs to be done to make audi stop ignoring it.

Post any info or experience you have of related problems. Or contact me by email, or both.

Regards, Tom

10-19-2009, 05:47 AM

12 to 15 degrees of gradient is not a slight incline - 15 degrees equates to about 1 in 4, which is considered very steep. I don't own an Audi A3, but have recently had two for a test drive. My experience is that the armrest can prevent you pulling the handbrake up to it's maximum extent unless the armrest is raised up - it only needs to be raised by a couple of inches to allow the handbrake to be pulled up to it's maximum extent. As other's have stated on the thread you have linked to, putting your foot on the brake allows the handbrake to pulled up further than if your foot is not on the brake.
I won't lecture you about leaving the car in gear, that really shouldn't be necessary.

10-20-2009, 06:36 AM
Like I said in my previous post. I applied the hand brake fully, whilst keeping my foot on the foot brake. Yes I am aware of the armrest getting in the way which is why I always move it. Otherwise I wouldn't have been able to apply the hand brake fully like I stated.

Whilst it is true that if I had left the car in gear this would not have happened. Its also true that the hand brake should be fully capable of holding the car on this incline for any amount of time.

Hand brakes should never ever fail, and we should never ever have to rely on the car being in gear to hold it on an incline. The reason we do is because unfortunately hand brakes do fail.

10-20-2009, 01:24 PM
"Hand brakes should never ever fail, and we should never ever have to rely on the car being in gear to hold it on an incline. The reason we do is because unfortunately hand brakes do fail."

This is true however Waiting and parking (238-252) : Directgov - Travel and transport (http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/TravelAndTransport/Highwaycode/DG_069860) section 252.