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This U.S. Mechanic Says Electronic Parking Brakes Are Stupid and Dangerous

2017 Honda CR-V Electronic Parking Brake Button 6 photos
Photo: Helpful DIY on YouTube
Scotty KilmerElectronic Parking BrakeScotty KilmerElectronic Parking BrakeElectronic Parking Brake
Call it as you may wish, but the electric hand brake or the electronic parking brake is an innovation that helped manufacturers save space inside the cabin and allowed designers to further enhance the interior look of almost all vehicles currently on the market. But for Scotty Kilmer, this technical and technological advancement is not worth anything. Here’s why.
Nowadays, most vehicles come with an electronic parking brake. Mechanical hand brakes are doomed to remain a thing of the past because they just occupy too much space inside. Manufacturers like Continental say that the electronic parking brake is not only more convenient for designers, but also safer and more comfortable. But not everyone agrees with them.

Today, drivers of newer and better equipped cars only need to push, press or pull on a button to activate their electric hand brake. Actuators take on the electromechanical duty and apply the necessary brake torque for the rear axle clamp forces to do their job. That’s how your vehicle doesn’t roll away. Moreover, you’re not forced to strongly pull a lever. Simple and elegant, we’d say. This system is available to cars equipped with calipers or drum brakes.

But known U.S. auto mechanic Scotty Kilmer does not believe these parking brake systems are any good. A Subaru owner shared a recent experience that made Kilmer think about the electric hand brake and, in the end, prompted him to passionately explain his stance on this subject.

The mechanic-turned-YouTuber’s fan said he was driving a Subaru uphill and the vehicle’s electric system died out of nowhere. The car was equipped with an electronic parking brake. Since there was no power, hitting the parking brake button did nothing. He had to keep the brakes applied by pressing the foot on the pedal, which meant the person was unable to exit the vehicle. Fortunately, a passerby helped the Subaru owner by placing some rocks behind the wheels and this prevented the vehicle from going downhill in an uncontrollable manner.

This story visibly annoyed Scotty Kilmer and he started immediately ranting about it. He rhetorically asks what could happen if someone would lose the brakes and had to immediately come to a stop. Electric hand brakes can operate as an emergency backup, but in cases like the one described above, they would be useless. So, the mechanic has a point here.

Scotty Kilmer remains convinced that the new hand brakes are not better than the old ones and he recommends people who get involved in accidents sue the companies that make them. The man thinks this is one of the ways that could bring back the lever inside the cabin. But this advice is ill-fated since it's going to be very costly to prove that a carmaker or part manufacturer is responsible for a probable and unfortunate event.

Finally, the mechanic argues that electronic parking brake systems are a lot cheaper than the traditional ones and that’s another reason why manufacturers ditched the mechanical hand brake which, in his opinion, is a lot safer. He continues to expand on the topic but does not provide any other curious insights. Instead, the man chooses to complain about how engineers and auto companies do not think about various scenarios like the failure of a part when they design and implement something completely new.

Share your opinion about this topic with us down below! We'd love to hear from you about this apparently simple, yet somewhat controversial change for newer and pricier vehicles.

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About the author: Florin Amariei
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Car shows on TV and his father's Fiat Tempra may have been Florin's early influences, but nowadays he favors different things, like the power of an F-150 Raptor. He'll never be able to ignore the shape of a Ferrari though, especially a yellow one.
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