VW Passat Electronic Paking Brake (EPB) Failure

Keith Ambrose made this Freedom of Information request to Vehicle and Operator Services Agency

This request has been closed to new correspondence. Contact us if you think it should be reopened.

The request was refused by Vehicle and Operator Services Agency.

Dear Sir or Madam,

You have recently carried out investigations into the reported failure of the Electronic Parking Brake system installed on the current VW Passat model, in particular the 6 speed manual version of the car.

I would like to obtain copies of the results/findings of your recent test on a vehicle supplied by VW to yourselves including details of what tests were carried out.

In addition, you have held several meetings with VW representatives in the UK and in Germany and I would like to obtain copies of meeting minutes and any correspondence, post or e-mail, with VW in relation to this defect.

In particular, meeting minutes/notes from your meeting with VW in Germany on the 25th March 2009.

Also, I understand that you have also contacted the manufacturers who make this system for VW and other manufacturers. Copies of correspondence/technical literature that you may have received is also requested.

For your ease of reference the person who has been dealing with this at VOSA is Stuart Jenkins.

I look forward to hearing from you

Yours faithfully,

Keith Ambrose

Vehicle and Operator Services Agency

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Ambrose

Please find an acknowledgement of your recent request for information

(See attached file: K Ambrose F0001815 060409 ack.doc)

VOSA Information AccessTeam

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Vehicle and Operator Services Agency

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Ambrose

Please find VOSA's response to your recent request for information

(See attached file: K Ambrose F0001815 290409.doc)

Colin Purnell
Information Standards

Tel 0117 954 2545
Fax 0117 954 2546

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Dear Sir or Madam,

I wrote a letter to you on the 3rd May asking for a review of the releaseof the information I requested. To date I have not recieved a reponse. Can you please contact me as soon as possible.

Yours sincerely,

Keith Ambrose

Dear Sir or Madam,

Can you please let me have your response to my request that your decision not to release the information be "reviewed".

This information can only benefit members of the public who, in my opinion, are at risk due to a serious design flaw on the EPB on VW Passats (and other models).

This requesy has now been outstanding for some time and your quick reponse would be appreciated.

Yours faithfully,

Keith Ambrose

Vehicle and Operator Services Agency

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Ambrose,

Thank you for your email below regarding your FOI appeal.
A response was posted to yourself from my colleague Joanne Warden on 30
June. Please find a copy of the letter attached.

If you require a hard copy of the letter please let me know and i will
post one to you.

Yours sincerely

Tom Middleton
VOSA Corporate Office

Keith Ambrose To FOI requests at vosa
<[FOI #10158 email]> <[vosa request email]>
30/07/2009 12:28 Subject Re: Freedom of
Information request -
VW Passat Electronic
Paking Brake (EPB)

Dear Sir or Madam,

Can you please let me have your response to my request that your
decision not to release the information be "reviewed".

This information can only benefit members of the public who, in my
opinion, are at risk due to a serious design flaw on the EPB on VW
Passats (and other models).

This requesy has now been outstanding for some time and your quick
reponse would be appreciated.

Yours faithfully,

Keith Ambrose

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james chalmers left an annotation ()

I have a 2008 vw passatt 6 speed highline, the vehicle was parked 10 minutes later the alarm made me look out and see the car running away,I tried to catch it but was too late as it gathered momentum and hit 2 other cars before jamming me between a wall and the door wrecking my car.
I would like to know how I can recover the costs I have incurred as it was very expensive repair,along with some broken ribs

malcolm cross left an annotation ()

I have a 2009 Passat CC GT, I parked up, sat in the car for a couple of minutes listening to the radio, got out of the car an went to the boot, in want was to become the direction of travel for the car. I then opened the rear passenger door, removed a bag, closed the door and went off indoors. I heard a couple of minutes later an alarm, when I investigated, my neighbour came up to me and said he had just seen the car roll across the car park. The car had rolled across the car park, into a wall, scratching the back bumper, and damaging the parking system. It is not an extreme amount of damage, but enough to worry about the safety of the parking brake on the car.

Jon Horsley left an annotation ()

Hi. I've just paid £50 to have the VW dealer replace the PB switch as my Passat Estate (2.0TDI, 6-speed) 06-reg, was doing exactly what others also describe here, i.e. EPB sometimes not engaging, sometimes not disengaging. Dealer said he changes quite a few EPB switches in a week. Not a problem on the Tiguan, I learnt, which has a different switch but maybe the same EPB system behind the switch as it shares the Passat platform.

As a deisgner of car electronics myself (engine-controllers and hybrid systems), I struggle to believe the switch is at fault because the driver info display shows its fault messages when the switch was being pressed, so clearly it is detecting a switch press. Although, it might be a dual-circuit switch for safety and if one circuit is not working (combinational diagnostics) then the action to change the parking-brake state is disabled by the car electronics - it's what we'd design into such a system.

It's a description of how the EPB works and what might be at fault I'd like to see VOSA or Trading Stds get out of VW. If lots of owners are having the same problem (particularly on a safety-critical item like this) it's a recall situation, isn't it?

BTW, my workaround until today has been not to use the EPB and leave the car in gear. Works on flat and gentle inclines, and is recommended in EPB and std cable parking-brake cars as a backup. Also, park with the front wheels steered into the curb so even if it pops out of gear AND the PB comes off, the car is unlikely to mount the curb from a standing start.

Let's hope VW see sense and enters a dialogue with the owners before we all get too naffed off and never buy a VAG again (this is my 4th VAG out of 7 cars in my lifetime = LOYAL CUSTOMER AT RISK!)


Michael Parker left an annotation ()


I had exactly the same problem with my 06 Passat. Local VW garage was very shifty when I asked them how many of the Parking Buttons they had changed & why they hadn't been a recall on them.

Rang VW to complain & I immediately got put through to a woman who was obviously very well briefed & just kept saying I couldn't possibly comment on that etc, etc.

VW in total denial.

Kind regards,

Mike Parker

Steve H left an annotation ()

I have a 58 plate VW passat dsg auto sport.My parking brake sometimes won't switch on and sometimes won't disengage.I also thought i was going slightly mad as i would get back in the car after a while and the brake was off and i was sure i had put it on.After reading all the posts on here at least i know i am of sound mind and will be paying a visist to my local VW garage i think shortly.

Pat Broderick left an annotation ()

Hi, I have a 07 VW Passet sports estate and my EPB does not function correctly started about 9 months ago just outside of the gaurantee period, sometimes won,t switch on and sometimes won,t switch off and is becomming more regular now, also something else rather strange this week I put on my autohold and after a couple of seconds of being on put the EPB on and I still had my seat belt connected, does anyone know what the fix is yet? and has there been any recall?

Keith Ambrose left an annotation ()

Hi everybody and thank you for all leaving your comments.

All I can say is that I have no doubt in my mind that VW know that there is a serious flaw with the EPB system on the Passat. It is a problem that has caused serious injury and ,in my opinion, could kill.

I have now returned my Passat to VW (3 year lease deal) and am glad to see the back of it.

To summarise the final outcome from all my efforts is that NOTHING was achieved. VW denied that anything is wrong with the system. VOSA are of no use whatsoever - something which is hugely frustrating and also unbelievable. This is why:-

We the general public contact VOSA when we feel there is a problem with a vehicle. They investigate the problem and then, and this is the kicker - they only share the detailed outcome of the investigation with the manufacturer and not us!! All I got was "we could find no fault"

I have ensured that everyone who has contacted me has completed the VOSA form and issued to to them to investigate so they must have a considerable number of incidences of this - I have certainly had in excess of 50.

Still VW deny it and nothing is done.

VW also then state that the vehicle handbook advises that the car should be left in gear. This is a "get out of jail card" for VW. I am not sure of the legalities but the Highway Code, which is the guide to how people are taught to drive, only recommends that a car be left in gear when parking on a slope. IT IS NOT A LAW THAT "YOU MUST" engage the gearbox. So how can VW make the statement that you must which is clearly not a law and not something that is not taught when learning to drive.

I have taken this as far as I can and even had months of correspondence with BBC Wathdog - they were not prepared to run this story without proof, which I completely understand. I was hoping that they would ask anyone who has experienced this to contact them - I am sure the numbers would run in to hundreds, if not thousands based on the fact that I have had over 50 reported incidents of the car rolling away after the handbrake was applied and held the car motionless.

I have no idea how to prove this issue is a reality when to actually see the car roll and previously have a witness to show that the EPB is applied is highly unlikely to ever happen. The fault is clearly intermittent so until someone films themselves every time they park the car.................!!

I am sure that this issue will never be brought to light as it would be hugely damaging to VW - not only would every VW be recalled (how they could fix it is beyond me as the EPB needs to go back to being a manual system) but the claims for damages would be huge. Reputation would be also damaged.

So to summarise _ I have given up as I have no idea how to continue. It has driven me mad that VW and VOSA have basically implied that the it was "human error" and I must have forgotten to apply the EPB. I know this is not the case as due to the incline involved the car would have rolled as soon as I took my foot of the brake and got out of the car! They are basically denying this ever happened.The one thing I do however, is to tell every VW Passat owner I know to "LEAVE THE CAR IN GEAR!!!!!!" which I would add, should not be necessary!


Keith Ambrose

Galin Kolarov left an annotation ()

For the last couple of weeks I also started having problems with the EPB of my Passat. On a number of occasions when I engaged the EPB the car would roll off. Today the EPB refused to disengage and recovery vehicle took the car to a VW garage.

If VW refuses to acknowledge the fault with EPB which could be potentially fatal I suggest a facebook group is created called something like VW Passat EPB problems to raise this issue and gain public support.

Howard left an annotation ()

I took out an extended warranty on my 07 Passat. Best money I ever spent following the apparent failure of the epb. Ten hours of labour to find nothing wrong would have really hurt (£900.00 approx)! After a week of trouble free 'epb'ing up came the error message again, in a layby on the A140, going away for the weekend! Fortunately it cleared after pushing buttons at random and until I can get it back to the agents I'm relying on the park position (it's an automatic).
After visiting various forums, I'm looking forward to the response when I see the service manager.
As a former 'gutter mechanic' I've learnt a lot from
I commend it to you.
Howard Blackledge

Howard left an annotation ()

Further to the above I should have stated that the brake failed in the 'on' position, rendering the car immobile and requiring the attendance of a specialist mechanic (three quarters of an hour later). Good thing it wasn't at a busy junction or similar.
Sorry, Howard.

Pat Broderick left an annotation ()

Further to my comments on the 12th of August I have since had fitted a new dash board EPB button, which inciidently has electronics in it, cost £20.00 and I have not had any problems since. Pat.

Dickie Smith left an annotation ()

Just had the EPB on a 56 plate Passat Estate 2.0 TDI replaced after it failed. Managed to extract a 20% 'goodwill' payment from VW but still the bill has come in at over £500! From reading the above posts I guess I'm lucky the brake didn't fail when it was parked on a slope but with £500 coming out of the bank I don't feel that lucky!

boondoggle left an annotation ()

I have a 07 Passat estate with 23,000 miles on the clock. Have had intermittent problems with the EPB until this weekend when it stayed engaged, totally immobilising the vehicle. I got the AA to take it to my local VW dealer who fixed the problem with a replacement switch and a software update. VW gave me 100% parts discount and a 50% labour discount. Total cost of repair £97. This issue was dealt with within 24hrs. I asked if this was a common problem and the answer was ' thats why VW gave you the goodwill discounts'. Dont pay any more if this happens to you, take it to your VW dealer and make them aware of these posts.

Pat Broderick left an annotation ()

Dear Boondoggle

It only takes 2 minutes to fit the switch and they should do the software upgrade FOC, ask for your money back. Oh and only £20 for the switch they have more than covered there costs.

Sue H left an annotation ()

Yesterday morning I had the same experience with my 56 Passat. Handbrake refused to release and it was firmly stuck on the drive. I contacted the VW dealers who insisted that there was no way to override this problem and I would have to have the vehicle recovered. My husband was more insistent and was finally told that disconnecting the battery for a short time should reboot the system. This did work and we were then able to drive to the garage. As I had taken out the extended warranty, a new EPB switch was fitted at no cost to me. Since returning home, I see that this appears to be a common fault with this VW. I now realise why the repair was carried out so fast, they obviously know of this fault.

Sean S left an annotation ()

I have just recently started experiencing this widespread fault on a 56 plate / 4 yoa 170bHP DSG Auto Passat with low mileage (36K).

Where do I get the 20 switch from to fix it and how do you go about it?

The opening gambit from the VW dealer was 92 + VAT to check what the problem is (they know what it is I imagine!!) and then no doubt a hostage drama (broken car being the hostage) with VW being asked to contribute, then ultimately refusing..as the car has not had all its services done in the VW network. It ahs been assiduously serviced by me, to plan..

Sean S left an annotation ()

Oh and...The dealer contact mentioned that they get a regular flow of Passats with this issue - 1 a week on average

malcolm cross left an annotation ()

Well, another service, and another insinuation from the VW garage that the EPB issues are all in my head, remember the computer on-board says that no fault exists, so as far as they are concerned no fault exists. This is two dealers looking at the problem, and the script they both used was identical. The only ways to prove this is a fault, is if the computer says yes your not going made, I have a fault, or I have to keep a VW engineer in the car with me at all times....

David S. left an annotation ()

I have a 2006 (56) Passatt SEL Estate with the hotter engine. I have intermittent EPB problems, which seem to self rectify if the car is left to stand for an hour or two. The problem is restricted to the brake not applying, rather than not releasing.

Dave Browell left an annotation ()

From Daveb
I have a '07 diesel passat estate which had a switch change at one year old. I bought the car in May '10 from original owner, it is now a high miler at 99,000.
On its last service in june I mentioned that I was not happy with the plastic Handbrake and that the car had rolled off down the road on one occasion. The vw dealer concerned dimissed it as a one-off and my mitake saying everything had been checked and that I should have the seatbelt on when operating it. It is now in the garage again after recovery by RAC 2 weeks ago they found the fault to be 'no volts' to the near side rear caliper. A slave battery was used to release the caliper that side so I could get to the garage. The vw dealer want £500 to replace a caliper that does not need replacement.!!

Martin Bell left an annotation ()

I have set up a Facebook group on this subject.
Please feel free to join and contribute.

Angela Rossington left an annotation ()

Yesterday 25/11/10 I had a similar issue,

I parked up with a friend in the car. The car was parked on a slight incline, I put the parking brake on, locked the car and stood near the car talking for a while.
Next thing the alarm went off, we both looked behind to see the car rolling down the incline in the car park and hit another car!!

Thank Goodness there was no one walking past in the car park - These cars need to be re-called - they are dangerous !!! If this were to happen on steep hill it could kill someone.

This is the first time I have purchased a Volkswagen (brought it on 29/10/10) and I now have no confidence in the car. It is booked in with the garage next week to be assessed.

Keith Ambrose left an annotation ()

I am at loss as to what to advise. I have had over 50 incidents reported to me but no government body is listening.
VOSA were next to useless.
BBC Watchdog will not run a story without actual evidence which is highly unlikely bearing in mind no-one videos a parked car!
Really really dangerous and totally frustrating that a massive company like VW can get away with this.

David S. left an annotation ()

e mail ex VW UK in reply to mine to them :-

Reference: VW-2010/11-017947

Dear Mr Smith

Thank you for contacting us regarding the electric parking brake fitted to the Passat. Please accept my apologies for the delay
in my response.

Our Technical; Support Team has confirmed that there are no known issues with the parking brake on the Passat. If a fault was
found with the electric parking brake, Volkswagen UK would issue a recall.

I trust this information proves useful.

Thank you for contacting Volkswagen UK.

Yours sincerely

Laura Drybala
Customer Service Advisor
Volkswagen Customer Service

Tel: 0800 333 666
E-mail: volkswagencustomercare@volkswagen.co.uk
Internet: www.volkswagen.co.uk

Anyone care to e mail Laura with details of their experiences?

Keith Ambrose left an annotation ()

Thy would say that wouldn't they.

David S. left an annotation ()

Then let us provide the evidence to prove them wrong.

Martin Bell left an annotation ()

"no known issues with the parking brake on the Passat" - this is rubbish (I could be less polite).
I have just had my EPB repaired on my 2006 Passat - they replaced the switch. The fault was that it would refuse to engage/disengage intermittently, displaying the "EPB Fault" warning on the dash.
The VW dealer replaced the dash switch and told me that the switch had been "upgraded" since older models. He told me that 90% of the EPB problems are because of this switch. If that is not a tacit admission of a design faut, I don't know what is!
I also asked how many switches he replaced in a month - he said "Oh, not many. Probably less than one a week.". I then asked him how many handbrake cables he had to replace in a month - he said "Hardly any". Draw your own conclusions.

Angela Rossington left an annotation ()

I had my car checked by VW garage on Tuesday.

To my surprise they found nothing wrong with the parking break, even though it had rolled down an incline after being parked several minutes !!

I asked the service Manager if the car needed parking in gear and he told me no, the parking break was sufficient to hold the car.

When the diagnostic tests had been completed and no fault found, the same guy then showed me the page in the handbook where it does state the car should be parked in first gear when using the parking button.

They will not pay for the damage to my bumper. Even when I pointed out that there service Manager was not aware that he car required to be parked in gear, do they really expect customers to read all the handbook. In 20 years of driving I have never read a car handbook.

There must be someone who can look into this issue....

Keith Ambrose left an annotation ()

These are the contents of a letter I sent to VW which I did a bit if research for. It summarises my thoughts on all the things being discussed here. Feel free to repost this on the Facebook page (I cannot access that from my office!)

Dear John

Re: Passat Registration EJ07 YWY – Handbrake Failure (VW UK Case no: 63388)

Thank you for your letter dated 25th November 2008 regarding the failure of the handbrake on the above vehicle.

Time taken for response

I would like to express my disappointment in the extraordinary length of time that it has taken for you and the Volkswagen UK team to investigate and deal with this issue. In additional the total lack of contact and updates on the status of this issue from both LJ Sheppard and VW UK.

The incident occurred on 25th September 2008 and has taken over 2 months for you to send back a letter which, I feel, offers nothing and is totally unsatisfactory.

However, I do acknowledge that you have allowed us the use of a courtesy vehicle for this period and that as I have contacted VOSA you have had to take this matter to VW UK and the factory.

“No Fault” statement

With regard to your statement that you have found no fault with the vehicle handbrake system, this was exactly the response I had expected as this has occurred on a prior occasion and no fault was found. Whilst I appreciate that the handbrake system has no faults when tested in your service area there can be no dispute that a problem occurred on the 25th September and I would ask you to acknowledge in writing that this is the case, particularly when considering the following:-

• The vehicle was parked on a very slight gradient in Great Dunmow and the automatic handbrake button pressed. This engaged the handbrake and held the car in position as if it had not applied the car would have begun rolling as soon as the door was shut.

• The vehicle was left for approximately 15 minutes and upon returning to the car it had rolled backwards approximately 50 yards coming to rest between a lamp post and a brick wall.

• When the car was found in this position my wife immediately returned to the town centre and asked a member of the public, Mr XXXXXXX, to return to the car and witness the car being opened, confirm that the handbrake button was illuminated and watch the car being started and attempt to be move it without touching the handbrake button. The car would not move as the handbrake was engaged.

Cleary this indicates that the handbrake was “on”, then released some time after leaving the car, and then re-applied itself when the vehicle came to a stop.

The contact details of the witness were provided to your customer services team at VW UK and they contacted Kieran and verified the above events.

All of the above, we are sure you will agree, means that without any possible doubt the handbrake system “failed”, by that we mean it did not hold the car stationary on a very slight gradient. I must insist that you acknowledge these events in writing as being factual notwithstanding your comments regarding the Highway Code and the wording in your manual upon which I would comment as follows.

The Highway Code

Before commenting on the statements you have made about the Highway Code it is important that you understand the use of the terms “Must” and “Should” within this Code. Where the word “Must” is used, the instruction given is a legal requirement and a “law”. Where the word “should” is used, this is only an advisory statement and not a legal requirement.

Your letter refers to a statement made by VW UK, an extract of which reads:-

“It must be remembered that as stated in the Highway Code and the owner’s manual when parking on an incline the vehicle should be left in gear as well”.

Firstly, the Highway Code does indeed state that the vehicle “should” be left in gear but the important point to understand here is that this IS NOT a legal requirement and is only a recommendation when parking on a hill. It is also important to note here that the Highway Code states that when parking “YOU MUST apply the handbrake”. This “must” statement is therefore a legal requirement. (I have enclosed the extracts from the Highway Code for your ease of reference.)

The second point here is what constitutes a “hill”. I am not sure if this is defined specifically by the Highway Code nor any other motoring legislation but common sense tells the ordinary man in the street what constitutes a hill. The road in question is not by any means a hill and more significantly, nor is my driveway where this “problem” first occurred. Regardless of whether this was on a hill or not it is not a legal requirement to leave a car in gear when on a hill, only a recommendation. For this reason alone surely a handbrake on a car should do exactly what it is designed to do, hold the car stationary under all circumstances.

VW Passat Owners Manual

I refer to the previous statement in your letter regarding the wording of the Owner’s Manual. I believe that the fact that your handbook states that the car should be left in gear is flawed, as follows:-

• I have contacted the Department of Transport and spoken to Mandy Jackson in the Highway Code department and was advised that vehicle manufacturers cannot and should not be making statements that are not “in line” with the terms of the Highway Code. In this instance, VW should not and cannot state that drivers “must” leave the car in gear when this is not a “must” statement in the Highway Code.

This fact is, I believe, a matter of common sense. All drivers are taught to drive using all the instructions of the Highway Code. For this reason, drivers are not taught that a stationary car must always be left in gear, they are only taught that perhaps you “should”, not “must”, leave a car in gear when on a hill. If new drivers are not taught to always leave a car in gear how can it possibly be acceptable for manufacturers to say that you “must” in a handbook?

• Bearing in mind the severity of this “defect” (which could cause serious injury or death) and that you are insistent that the manual says to leave the car in gear, do you not think it would be a good idea to tell all customers that the car should be left in gear. I would also suggest that all customers should sign an acknowledgement of this fact to protect VW from all claims. I expect the reason that this is not the case is that this would affect sales. I myself would not buy a car where the manufacturer has very little faith in their handbrake systems actually working!

• Finally, the way the Manual is set out is very interesting and worthy of note. It does indeed state in Booklet 3.2, page 17, that when parking the car to “Engage the 1st gear ……”. It also states in large italic lettering at the top of this “Parking” section the following:-

“The parking brake is switched on to prevent the vehicle from accidentally rolling away.”

This is a fantastic statement to make and in my mind clearly indicates to me that your handbrake system should stop a car rolling away. It does not say “The parking brake and 1st gear ….. is to prevent the vehicle from rolling away”.

Also, within this section there are several text boxes with a warning sign and the word “WARNING” in large text. NONE OF THESE BOXES SAY ANYTHING ABOUT LEAVING THE CAR IN GEAR!. Bearing in mind the fact that the handbrake system does not do what it is intended to do and could in fact kill someone, surely leaving the car in gear is worthy of a “WARNING Text Box”. In addition to this, many of your other warning text boxes actually state “risk of accident” yet nothing about the fact that VW have very little faith in the automatic handbrake working.


My wife, Claire, and I are not unreasonable people and we understand that you, LJ Sheppards are VW Dealers are not responsible for the fact that VW have produced a car with a potentially lethal defect. However, you are, along with VW UK Customer Services, our only point of contact.

In order to bring this matter to a close I am requesting that all damage to the car caused by the handbrake failure is to be repaired with no charge to myself. I do not see why I should be claiming on my insurance for damage caused by a defect on the car.

I am absolutely appalled that you have requested in your letter that we “advise us of your wishes by close of business Friday 28th November 2008”. Am I to understand that it is OK for you to take 2 months to deal with an issue, yet we get 2 days? That said, I have now complied with your wishes and am interested to see if you will comply with mine which is that;

VW (whether this is Sheppards or VW UK is not my concern) make good all damage and return our vehicle within 14 days, completely free of charge.

Finally, regardless of the outcome of this issue it is my intention to take this matter as far as possible as, being sensible members of the public, we cannot bear the thought of this instance reoccurring and causing serious injury or death. I have already heard from at least six other Passat Owners who have had a similar problem and I am copying this letter to these people also.

I look forward to hearing from you in due course.

Yours sincerely

Cy Hesketh left an annotation ()

My 2006 Passat is sitting on the drive with the rear nearside caliper locked on. Is it simply a matter of replacing the EPB switch to fix it ?

Michael Parker left an annotation ()

Cy - join the Facebook group for advice.

Dave Browell left an annotation ()

Hi Cy
In response to you question, my '07 passat had exactly the same problem and the RAC man had to use a slave battery to the n/s rear caliper to motorise it to the off position so I could drive it the short distance to the garage.The caliper was not replaced although they advised it.The caliper has worked ok ever since
which is very little as I nolonger trust the 'plastic handbrake' system and leave it in gear.The switch may fix the problem as it indicates 'no volts' to that caliper but is cheaper to replace(£20ish)than tracing an intermittent wiring fault which could work out to be lots of hours.

Dino Monticoli left an annotation ()

High my passatcc which was 4 weeks old just before xmas suddenly decided to run me over as i was clearing the boot out at home,as it was parked on a concrete slope which drops down sharper at the end i failed in my attempt to wrestle with it and had to watch it roll up my neighbours wall, i am slightly luckier than some as a works car i have instructed repairing garage i am not getting back in car till told breaking system certified ok..... I can predict result allready Dino Monticoli

Simon Rees left an annotation ()

I bought an 'VW approved' '57 passat with 30,000miles 5 weeks ago. Yesterday I called at home briefly to collect my mail, leaving the car in my drive, running with the handbrake applied. Within 2 minutes I heard a crash only to find the car had rolled down a slope, travelled about 30yards and hit 2 vehicles causing a huge amount of damage. There must be a problem, we can't all have forgotten to put the brake on.

Martin Bell left an annotation ()

Facebook group:
61 members now!

mark left an annotation ()

I bought a Passat yesterday to replace my ultra reliable SEAT Leon and I'm already regretting my foolish decision, I was totally unaware of this issue with the EPB until I got home and was not able to release it, then later on unable to engage it! having now checked online I see that this is a very common fault which VW refuse to acknowledge, I was always under the impression that VW were among one of the most reliable cars you could own but now I'm having serious doubts and its looking like I'm going to have to get rid of this car for something even cheaper............thanks VW!!!

B G Nikolov left an annotation ()

My engine cut out while driving on the motorway and the EPB activated while the car was still travelling at over 60mph. VW took it in for tests and changed the switch, then denied anything was wrong. I am currently in litigation with them and seeking injuries compensation. They claim it is impossible for that to happen and I must have hit the brakes. Luckily I have the signed repot showing the new switch fitting, and three witnesses who managed to swerve around my stalled car in the middle of the M5.
Gina of Newbury

Roger Aspden left an annotation ()

I bought a 2010 Passat 110 CR line a month ago. I went into the garage 2 weeks ago as the Auto Hold did no work all the time on my drive which has a slight slope. After a brief look I was told that there was sometimes a time delay before it worked. Today I parked in the drive and put the parking brake on. After getting things out of the boot, I walked towards my house. Only to find that the car was following me down the drive. I managed to jump out of the way before the car hit both front & side wall causing a massive amount of damage. I had no Idea that there are so many recorded problems with this car which is lethal. I don't think I have any confidence in the car now as I was so close to being crushed.

Gary left an annotation ()

I have just gone through an issue with the EPB failing on my 2006 Highline Passat. Repair bill from main dealer £167. This has been intermittent for weeks so finally called out RAC and they got the car going by disconnecting the battery. This was only a temporary fix as I discovered when I got stuck again last Friday.
I will challenge the dealer when I collect later today.

Jane Foote left an annotation ()

Hi all

My car is booked into the garage today with the fault with the hand brake. I have a VW Passat Estate. I thought I'd do some prior reading if was a 'known issue' It appears it is to customers but not acknowledged by VW.

I will update the outcome today but useful to go in armed with this info. Also, my car is lacking it's last service and the VW guy suggested my warranty may be invalid for this reason. Will be interesting to see how this goes. My warranty expires May. Would it be worth me, then base don the above, to purchase an extended one? If they find a fault, is the fix permanent? If they don't - could this rumble on for many months?

I am signing up to the face book now. Happy to get involved in any campaign.

Interesting to know what kind of proof Watchdog require to push this forward? Any idea's?

D.Gilchrist left an annotation ()

Hi all Passat owners,

I am a VW Tiguan owner (2010 model) who is currently awaiting the return of my vehicle which has, surprise, a EPB failure fault. I was advised by the dealer, after their initial investigation 2 days ago, that the drive motor on the EPB system had a fault and required replacement. The dealer still has my car and I eagerly await a phone call regarding its return.

J N Mackenzie left an annotation ()

J N Mackenzie24/05/11

It was very enlightening to see all the previous EPB problems. I am the owner of an 07 2.0Litre TDI. I have had problems with getting the brake to engage on the button. So I have been parking and using first gear.
It has become very bad in the last couple of weeks so it is time for a visit to the VW dealer.
Thanks to all of you for the information it should come in handy as the dealers in my experience are extremely slippery.

Nigel left an annotation ()

06 SE FSI PASSAT. My EPB would not engage whilst stopped in a traffic jam on a hill towing a trailer, when it finally engaged, the EPB would not disengage, thus causing annoyance to other drivers. VW really need to sort this out

Joe melling left an annotation ()

German Roulette: Ask a vw car salesman who denies knowledge of the faulty passat EPB this question: If he stalled on a railway crossing in a passat car with the parking brake on. which hand brake would he choose(the trains is racing toward you at speed) the old traditional lever type,or, the EPB? Hmmm

My 06 passat with 42k on clock has rolled off my driveway twice. The EPB regularly sticks on and I have to go trough a procedure of dis-connecting the battery and locking and onlocking the car to re-boot the system.

I won't go into the dangers/cost of the indemic diesel injector failure on this model (06 onward) look on-line if you dare!

This will be the last VW with EPB and dodgy injectors for me. However,to be fair to VW, check out other cars (there are many)with EPB problems.

Martin Bell left an annotation ()

Facebook page is doing well with nearly 150 members now.
Seems it is not an isolated problem!

Mahesh Mendis left an annotation ()

I am having my VW passat 57 plate SE 2.0 TDI 6spaeed mannual for year. FGew months ago i couldn't release the EPB. and now it happen two weekly basis. Thank you for all the info. I think I will be taking my car to dealer toi replace the EPB switch.


Stephen Ward left an annotation ()

Stephen Ward 30/08/2011
I have recently bought a high mileage, ex reps, 56 plate passat 2.0 TDI estate. I have not had the problem that many on this forum are experiencing, However l am having problems with EPB with it not releasing automaticaly. The manual says that the brake will release when you apply gas and bring up clutch but this will not happen to my car when in reverse, on my drive and wanting to drive up the slope on to the road. Trying to find the bite with out any gas because your foot is on the brake while you press button, the car ends up rolling towards the house. The brake does not always release automatically when in traffic situations causing other drivers iritation as l struggle to release, only having to do it manually and end up stalling it.

David S. left an annotation ()

Ref. Stephen Ward comment : it may be interesting to check the car's history with a VW dealer. I have been told by a VW dealer that a lot of the EPB problems occured in the warranty period.

Jaz left an annotation ()

My 57 plate Passat SEL 6spd 170BHP developed a similar handbrake engage/disengage issue. I was quoted £130 for a new handbrake switch from the Verve (VW dealer). I asked if there was any generosity given that it was a known VW fault. No joy.

I purchased a new switch on a well known auction site for £22 and fitted it myself. It took me 4 minutes armed only with a screwdriver. So unhappy with VW on this.

Colin Pestell left an annotation ()

Mr C Pestell
I have had this problem with my 06 plate 1-9 td model twice in the last fortnight.The problem has been failure to release. My car shows a epb problem on the dash,but not on a full diagnostic programme.Perhaps VOSA and VW are waiting for death or serious injury before aknowledging there is a fault.I can understand VW not wanting to aknowledge this fault, But VOSA as a public body are an absolute disgrace.Also BBC Watchdog have not shown to be much better.

Colin left an annotation ()

I can't believe VW is getting away with this. I have been suffering an EPB issue, though luckily it is not with disengage or indeed more worryingly a random disengage. For me it is a failure to engage after EVERY journey. Initially it was a random fault - come to the end of a journey and attempt to apply the EPB... "ping" and an error message on the MFD. I found that repeatedly pressing the button would suddenly make it work.

Now it is failing to engage after every single journey. I have found the solution is to sit in the car for approximately 30 seconds after the ignition has been switched off and the error has occurred. After pressing the button the EPB engages and the fault clears! Not practical sometimes when you are in a rush!

Looks like I will be buying myself a switch and fitting it, I'm reasonably practical and refuse to pay the extortionate labour fees charged by main dealers! Is there an online guide to doing this?

Colin left an annotation ()

Forgot to mention I have an 07 plate Passat SEL 2.0 TDI 170.

C E Cooke left an annotation ()

I have a 06 plate Passat 2.0TDi Estate.
Nearside parking break locked on last week. RAC could not repair so they removed the motor.
Now in the local VW dealer who is asking £369.38 for a new motor and £126.65 for a new EPB switch.
Reading that a few of you above also got switches but quote only £20 I wanted to know if this included labour?

On a separte note they say that my Offside CV boot is going! I had the Nearside done a couple of years back. Should these really only last 4 or 5 years?

Jaz left an annotation ()

The £22 is for the parking brake switch only (online). However, as for labour, it literally took me 4 minutes to replace. Opening the fuse box cover allows you to push the switch out from behind. Then it's literally a multiplug switchover and push new switch back on. The multiplug has a spring loaded lock that needs a wee bit of pressure. Certainly not £100 worth of labour. VW did say that a software update is also required. My car has been fine without it. All my troubles disappeared after new switch fitted.

Clive left an annotation ()

Clive Bond
EPB problem on my 55plate TDI sport estate.Now in garage after wouldn't release last sat. disconnected battery and worked ok to get to garage. left it with them only to find out later it took them an hour to release brake to get it into the workshop. they have tried replacement switch but this still hasn't solved the problem. (still waiting)

A NOLAN left an annotation ()


Brake failed to disengaged yesterday , fault on dash
(bring to garage).Left for one hour and returned to find that it now works perfectly.This is obviously the start of it acting up.If it happens again i will order and replace the switch to see if it solves issue.
Not good enough VW should be a recall.

Conail Mc Brearty left an annotation ()

I have for the past 3 months been having the same problems with my Brake on a 57 plate Passat TDI, it will sometimes work and other time the warning comes up on the dash. it Recently stayed on and would not come off. I turned everything off and left it for a couple of minutes and luckily the brake came off. I am putting it into a local VW garage on the 3rd November 2011 for them to have a look at it. Let us hope that VW recognise it as a design problem before someone gets seriously injured !!

Nigel left an annotation ()


Passat 2.0 FSI (06) complete EPB failure, will now not engage after months of intermitent problems. The light on the switch is permantly on indicating that the brake should be engaged but it is not, i am afraid to drive my car just in case the EPB engages.

I have ordered a new switch (ref Jaz post)we will see if this is the remedy, if not its the dealer.

Jeremy Horton left an annotation ()

Useful information on how to perform a "terminal 30 reset of EPB control module."

2008 Volkswagon Group of America Technical Bulletin

After Installing a New Parking Brake Switch, Electronic Parking Brake, Does Not Respond, Warning Light On



Margaret P. left an annotation ()


4th November 2011

My VW Passat Estate 08 rolled into car in outdoor car park on 31st October this year. Similarly to others thought that I was going mad. I always switch off engine - engage brake and spend few minutes trying to find black i phone in black interior, find handbag in passenger footwell, take seatbelt off, engage EPB AGAIN to be sure, get out of car and check that brake is on AGAIN before locking car. Always walk away and double check that have bleeped at car to lock.

Later the same day car refused to start for the first time.. happened several times. Very stressful. Car went to recommended diagnostic garage. Electrics playing up. Have incurred £233 bill. Now has to go to VW dealer when I collect it TO BE FURTHER DIAGNOSED.
Just come back from Cornwall and whilst away commented to friend that car seemed to have moved several feet one day.

VW will charge me £102 to conduct this check at and then whatever costs to put right. Have only found out about this page today. Totally shocked but thank goodness no one injured so far.

Extremely disturbed by report of driver whose EPB engaged whilst driving on motorway.

Colin left an annotation ()

This Technical Bulletin from VW USA would seem to be an admission that there is an issue with earlier models and the EPB switch!


Richard left an annotation ()

My 09 reg Passat, after a few fault indications is now refusing to release the EPB without repeated re-tries. It has also released the brake on its own a couple of times but has been caught in the act on a very gentle slope and has been stopped. Thought I was going crazy, but maybe not.

I always leave it in gear, but this is totally unsatisfactory.


Carl Rutter left an annotation ()

Passat 57 plate TDI sport,

Recently over the last two weeks begun getting intermittent problem with EPB. sometimes press button and it works, sometimes it instantly makes a ding noise and says refer to manual. I have to pull key in and out until it finally applies or disengages.

Have looked briefly online to be bombarded with websites and people saying how their EPB in passats are going wrong. Literally hundreds of people. Seems bad that VW are not seeing to the problem. Has made me wonder wether to buy VW again!

Mervyn Fermer left an annotation ()

My 08 plate Passat 2.0TDi Sport has just had total failure of the epb. Fortunately I was within a couple of hundred yards of a small garage who collected the car and have fitted a new switch. They told me this is a common problem. Have had car from new but now feel I cannot trust the epb system. VW need to issue recall, as apart from this problem I would have replaced vehicle with another Passat next year.

Nigel left an annotation ()

Put my car into VW Dealership after EPB Failure. Now working after diagnostic and software update. Cost £72

Throstur Vidisson left an annotation ()

My name is Throstur Vidisson and I live in Reykjavik,Iceland. I own a 2005 Passat with 110.000 kilometres on the clock. Yesterday the EPB lights started to flash and a warning beep started to sound constantly. The only way to stop the blinking and beeping was to stop the car and kill the engine. I went to the local dealer this morning (in fact the only VW dealer in Iceland) to have the fault analysed. When I described the fault to the Service Manager, and BEFORE he even saw the car, he told me that it was probably a broken down EPB motor. I asked him how much it would cost, and he told me that it would probably cost 100.000 thousand Icelandic kronur. He also told me that it was likely that both of them were broken down. If this was the case, the repair would cost me 250.000 Icelandic kronur with the work included! As it turned out the brake pads were gone south as a result of the burnt out motors, so the final sum I will had to pay was 306.000 Icelandic kronur! This equals 1.650 British Pounds, 1.915 EUR or 2.580 USD. Now, my question is this: How did the Service Manager know right away that both the motors were cracked? The obvious answer is that this is a common failure of a very expensive component. In my case this happens on a car with one owner and only 110.000 on the clock. This an obvious flaw in my opinion and VW should admit it before they lose a lot of customers, including me!

ch left an annotation ()

2011 1.6 TDI Passat, Parked on drive (very slight incline), knock on door 5mins later to see it halfway down road in neighbours wall! Gone to a 'Drive' garage who have since said there is no Fault. Could really of hurt someone. How can there not be a recall?!

Raj left an annotation ()

I have a Passat 56 plate. The brake fail intermitentley to engage and disengage. The local VW garage refuses to admit that it is a common problem and want to charge £49.50 for a diagnosis before saying what could be the problem. What a rip-off. Never buy VW car again!

Chris left an annotation ()

Bought a Passat CC 3 months ago on a 08 plate. Starting to have problems with the EPB not engaging, have not had it 'stuck on' yet. Emailed my local dealership and VW UK 3 days ago, still awaiting response......

Rachel Wilson left an annotation ()

I have a 2010 passat estate,I parked up at a local garage, Went inside to pay and when I returned to where I had parked the car it had gone!! 20 yards or so into a wall. Was told by my local vw dealership it was driver error and that I had removed the electronic key before removing seat belt. Repairs £1000, have totally lost confidence in the car. I have had no problems since but feel that I still donot really understand what happened and it is going to happen again

Morrison McEwen left an annotation ()

Morrison McEwen
I have a Passat estate tdi sport april 07
1st epb motor nside replaced @ 37365 miles 13/7/11
2nd epb motor oside replaced @ 41399 miles 5/1/12
£703 total price, VW say just wear & tear not a problem
dealer sending a cheque for 10% as a goodwill gesture
big deal !!!!
obviously dont value my custom !!!

Gary Devine left an annotation ()

As a member of the Facebook group about this very topic, I think everyone who visits this page should sign up. We can take it forward from there.

G Mcsweeney left an annotation ()

Have on 07 passat 2.0 TDI.
Had parking switch replaced and update on October 2011.
Was advised that the caliber housing was cracked.
4 weeks later the EPB wouldn't disengage. Tried unplugging battery etc but it wouldn't shift. A mechanic friend of mine released the brake and had a good look. He couldn't find any cracks with the housing and he swapped the left and right motors around and found that both work fine. He tried a new control unit to no avail. Took it back into VW who charged me £70 to look at it to then tell me that it is a cracked housing and water is probably getting in.
I said someone has looked at it and insists that there was no crack. They also cant say for sure that the cracked housing is the problem.
They want £515 for new motor that i know is ok!!

Has anyone else been told it was a cracked housing?


Graham Tait left an annotation ()

06 Reg Passat B6 2.0 TDi - both rear brake calipers failed in the space of 6 months at just 75,000 miles. Both times requiring RAC / AA to drag the car onto tow
truck with an expensive bill to follow! Breakdown chap just laughed when I mentioned Passat and EPB in same sentance - If this is not a manufacturer issue then what is..?

Chris left an annotation ()

Update. VW Passat CC 08 plate. VW garage fitted new switch in Jan. Had no problems so far touch wood. If the problem re occurs I'll post here. Chris.

Howard Simpson (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

Hi I have a 07 passat and had trouble disengaging the handbrake just after the waranty expired. I am a mechanical enginer so I investigated myself and discovered that the drivers side handbrake motor was faulty. The housing had cracked allowing water into the motor. I replaced that unit with one from a breaker. However two weeks ago the other side failed to release properly when I was on my way to the airport! Managed to get it to release and will investigate when I get back. However this was the first time in a long time the car had been parked overnight outside in a hard frost. I wonder if water has got in and frozen?

Howard Simpson (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

I took the parking brake motor off tonight and discovered that it was cracked and had water inside it!
Carefull examination revealed they are made by TRW. www.trwaftermarket.com/en/News/Electric-...

Their website states about this particular brake caliper "So, what can be done to increase service life?

Regular checks - in winter, dirt and salt collects on brake calipers. This leaves the pads touching the discs, resulting in high temperatures that place unnecessary strain on the brake caliper. This heat is also transferred to the drive mechanism in the EPB, which can dramatically reduce its service life."

So they are aware of the limited life!

Tony Stead left an annotation ()

Tony Stead 13 march 2012
06 Passat 20 tdi estate : have being having problems with the EPB for a number of years now, sometimes it will disegage automatically on starting off other times not.
Then in Jan 2010 parking brake warning light would come on while driving followed by engine management warning light resulting in a loss of power,sometimes by stopping and removing the key for a few minutes, lights reset and off you go, until a few miles further on, it happens again, other times it will not reset and you are stuck with the loss of power.
Its had the battery disconnected, been to more garages and on more computers than i care to remember. The last time it went to a main dealer was quoted at £69 for diagnostics, was in the garage for 3 days then was told the ECU was faulty and needed replacing at a cost of £1400 plus fitting. Decided not worth spending the money as they could not guarantee this would solve the problem ( thought they were the experts ). when i picked up the car was charged £279 for additional work still dont know for what.
Problems disappeared for 9 months but now problems have come back, but luckily its not rolled off on its own. all the best with your fight and lets hope nobody gets hurt before they recognise they have a problem.

Nick Baker left an annotation ()

My 56 Passat 2.0TDI has not (thankfully) rolled away on its own so far but I have been having increasingly frequent problems with the brake failing to engage or disengage. Found out this evening (and after advice from Martin at vwaudiforum.co.uk - very helpful) that the drivers side EPB motor is broken. VW wanted £220 for a new one or almost £500 fitted. Ridiculous. Apparently only £20 less than a complete caliper assembly when you'd have to bleed the brakes etc as well. I now know having done it myself that fitting a new EPB motor only takes 30 minutes. Motor housing is plastic and will crack under the strain of normal use. Once water gets in its only a matter of time until it gives up. With mine a symptom was increasingly noisy EPB operation before it failed. To get the car moving if it is seized on you remove the motor on the side that is stuck and back off the exposed spindle one full turn. This will release the brake. Re-fit the motor so you can drive the car but don't use the EPB until you can get a new motor fitted. VW have a serious problem with the TRW plastic motor housing. I have not (to my knowledge) had any problems with the button.
Now going to join the facebook group.

Mark Young left an annotation ()

Had the same issue on my Passat 06 estate - left hand side caliper seized a couple of months ago. I had the brake management module, switch and nearside caliper replaced - came to around £800 - £800 for a handbrake - whats wrong with a cable and ratchet!?. Anyhoo, just went to go to pull out of my drive for work this morning and same fault - presume its now the offside caliper this time. Very worrying as I have two young children and this could have happened anywhere with them in the car.

RichardP left an annotation ()

My 55 Passat tdi estate wouldn't release the EPB yesterday morning and gave the parking brake failure symbol & beeping tone. After trying the battery disconnect I was no furthers forwards. I could hear one of the motors operating and also noticed the car "sit down" on the left side. We have a gravel drive so I tried pulling off to confirm the drivers side brake was stuck on.

I rang my local dealer & spoke to a service technician who was very helpful. He told me to check the voltage on my battery which was ok. He then said carefully chock the car so it won't roll away then jack up the car, remove the wheel. The motor comes off with two torx 30 bolts, then you can wind in the hand brake piston with a torx40. It was easy. Now at least I'm mobile and have ordered a replacement motor & calliper from Murray's Direct for 144+vat which I'm happy with.

GaryB left an annotation ()

57 Passat 2.0 se diesel, same problem started about 6 months ago and has continued to get worse. The other day I parked on my drive and the brake would not come on after pressing the switch loads of times, it finally lit up and i started to get out of my car when it started to role down the drive and crashed into the garage door. Luckly my young son saw the car coming and managed to dive out of its way. How long will VW have to wait to recall these cars for the new EPB update on the new models before someone gets killed. SHAME ON YOU VW !!!

Jim Paton left an annotation ()

Passat 2.0 sport on a 55 plate. Had the car since new and it has only covered 13000 miles. Now appear to have the dreaded hand brake proble. Started with the cheap option of changing the switch to no avail. Appears that the rear left motor is at fault, quoted around £500 from dealer and around £275 at independant, is it better getting both sides done at once? Just another fault in the very long list I have now had with this car. Come on VW enough is enough, admit there is a fault.

G C King left an annotation ()

To all disappointed VW Passat owners with the EPB system. Today I have the dubious honour of joining your ranks.

I changed the battery in my ‘56’ plate Passat 1.9 Se TDI last week although attempts were made to maintain the supply it was lost. Having said that I experienced no problems on the day. The next time I used the car I got the warning lights flashing and a continuous series of alarm beeps as I drove. Unfortunately I needed the car for a long trip and did not have time to investigate it myself so, warily, I called the local dealer which is advertised as VW. Having put the car in I was told that it was the offside parking brake motor that was defective and that it would be £500 for the repair. At the same time they recommended that both sides should be changed - to be on the safe side ($$Ker-ching$$). I declined their kind offer but gave them the go ahead to change the motor but asked for the defective part to be given to me when I collected the car. To the credit of the garage they completed the job in good time. When I collected the car I was presented with my bill and a surcharge of £30 had been added and re-credited. When I asked what that was all about I was told that it is effectively a deposit for the old motor as it had to be returned to the supplier. When questioned further the assistant said that she had forgotten that I had asked for the part and it had already been returned. This is pretty efficient as I collected the car less than an hour after the job was complete. I had a chat with the mechanic and he told me that he had seen ‘hundreds’ of similar problems, even allowing for exaggeration, I got the impression that too many cars were having faults with the EPB. Strangely he was able to go into the workshop and bring out another defective calliper, when I enquired as to why he had this one his response was that it was a VW part. The one that came off my car ought to have been a VW part as it hadn’t been changed before so I didn’t understand the difference so it would appear that they have not fitted a genuine VW part. Why would a VW garage not fit a genuine part I hear you cry. Well it turns out that the local VW garage is not a VW garage. It seems to me that anyone connected with VW are very reluctant to let you even see a defective part.

Incidentally I got hold of the diagnostic report which threw up 3 error codes:

1. 02433 - Supply voltage sporadic for right parking brake motor – V283.

2. 02429 - Right parking power brake motor supply V283, clamping force not reached.

3. 02431- Left parking position brake motor late not V283, resistance reached to movement.

The faults were reset and then the diagnostic check was repeated which came up with 02433 again.

My interpretation of these results would be: have a look at the electrical connections.

Fortunately I have not experienced any of the real failures of the system where the car rolls away or locks up and cannot be moved. In my opinion there is a safety concern and the affected vehicles should be subject to a recall. If this is a genuine fault the affected vehicles should be recalled before someone is killed or seriously injured.

Mark Sendal left an annotation ()

Hi to all of the above. I am also joining you with an EPB problem. I have a 2006 2.0tdi sport estate with manual gearbox. I had heard before I bought the car that these EPBs can be troublesome, but thought mine would be ok. But no, yesterday it started with the EPB warning light coming on when I started the car but it released the brakes without a problem. I thought then it was just a faulty sensor or the like. A little later as I drove home I had to do a steep hill start and as I pulled away from a set of traffic lights with a large line of cars behind me, the EPB failed to release. The P-button and handbrake on symbol were flashing, as opposed to be on until you press the brake off. I had to switch off the car and restart it two or three times, and then it decided to release. However on flat surfaces it seems to work ok, but I tried it again on an incline and it did the same as before. So I now have to hold the car on the foot brake and quickly jump to the accelerator and hope I don't stall it! Surely this can't be safe practice, but until I can get the EPB looked at this what I have to do as need the car everyday.
Reluctantly I will be going to VW to get it sorted, but I also think it is about time they acknowledge that there is some real and potentially dangerous problems with these EPB systems.
Mark from Cranbrook in Kent.

Dan Jones left an annotation ()

Yesterday (26th May 12) my wife parked my 59 plate VW 2.0tdi Passat on the road. The road has an incline that the car was facing up. Applying the EPB & leaving our 5yr old son safely strapped in the front passenger seat with the windows open due to the heat outside (30 degrees).

2 minutes later she heard our son screaming "mum" and rushed down the side of the house to see my car rolling backwards down the road, the car crossed the road and as she tried in vain to reach into the car to re-apply the EPB, it smashed into a parked van on a drive - narrowly missing the front of the house that the car would have caved in! (The car had rolled nearly 100 yards).

Apart from a few bruises on my wife’s arm, luckily no one was injured in this incident - how easily they could have been!!!

At first I was sceptical if she had applied the EPB or not (as I'd not known of any other problems with EPB before). She is adamant that the EPB was applied and having read through the comments on this page I'm now really concerned about the safety of EPB! - I always leave the car 'in gear' which my wife doesn't (she will now)...

I'll be taking the car to the local VW garage 1st thing Monday morning to have it checked out.

Having read the comments on this page, I'm not aware if anyone has been seriously injured by EPB failure - but what happens when someone is seriously injured...??? It is inevitable that they will be at some point! Who will be held accountable - the car driver that can't prove that they applied EPB or VW!?
* I'm just thankful my wife and son are ok...

Dan – a concerned VW Passat 'EPB' owner!

John Barker left an annotation ()

I have a 2006 Estate - I have had the button replaced and both rear calipers replaced in the last 12 months at a cost of over £1200.00
Having read other annotations - it confirms in my mind that a serious design problem exists. I have spoken to VW customer Services and have been fobbed off - they are obviously in denial mode.
The costs I have had to bear are purely financial - I wonder if it will take serious injury or worse before VW will aknowledge this fault?

John Miller left an annotation ()

I really like the Passat Estate, but the latest one with EPB has been a perennial pain. I have to stop and reset almost everytime I pull away from parking.
I have no confidence in the system at all - I know it is an accident waiting to happen. In my opinion a handbrake should be just that and nothing more.
It is for this reason alone that I am trading in my Passat for a Mondeo Estate that has a normal handbrake and not some totally unnecessary fancy Gizmo.

Roy McEveley left an annotation ()

My EPB seems to have a problem to I have a passat cc 2008 and of late the (P) on the dash comes on intermittently also the brake works 1 minute then the next doesn't.
Also my wipers just stopped working in an absolute down poor while I was coming of the motorway, very scary.

I started looking for people who seem to have the same faults and I found this site.


RECALL: 2006 - 2007 Volkswagen Passat
NHTSA Campaign Number: 06V470000 www.nhtsa.dot.gov

Recall Date: DEC 05, 2006
Potential Number Of Units Affected: 57291


The brake vacuum line can fracture, calling for extra pressure on the middle pedal. Only 2.0-litre TFSI models are affected in the UK, and bosses say brake failure isn't likely. Passats made from 2005 to date may also suffer wiper problems as water gets into the electric motor.

Read more: http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/news/autoex...

hope this helps

pawel left an annotation ()

Passat cc 2008 2.0 diesel 140 parking 70k on the clock,i got problem with parking brake from two weeks.Tommorow visit in vw dealer,propobly need change swich.Cant belive how many cars was sold with that big mistake!!

James H left an annotation ()

Terrible design. I have three friends with Passats, all have suffered problems with the EPB. One issue resulted in a £500 bill from VW,. This was after being stuck at the Euro Tunnel in France for two days with small children as the brake would not release and the car could not be towed. This morning my EPB has jammed on and will not release. I have tried everything suggested here, but no joy. My car is now stuck in the drive and I'm very late for work!
Terrible terrible car, never again.

Howard Simpson (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

How to release the Parking Brake when its stuck on to get you out of trouble.

1. Identify which rear wheel is stuck by trying to drive forward, the stuck one will stick and skid! (if they both skid then the switch is faulty!)
2 Jack up car at that side and securely prop the car up with an axle stand or similar (safety first in case the jack fails)
3 Remove the wheel
4 Unplug cable from black plastic tube (electric motor)on rear of brake caliper
5 Remove the two torx bolts holding the motor on and pull it off
6 Use a torx driver to rotate (slacken) the shaft that the motor fitted into on the caliper until the hub can just be rotated (do not rotate the shaft any further!)
7 Refit the wheel
This will release the brake caliper so you can then move the car to get it to a garage or home. The other parking brake will still work. If you have got this far you can buy a new motor and fit it yourself as it will save you a fortune at the garage. If you dont feel confident to do this yourself give a copy of these instructions to the RAC man and he should be able to get you going!

vivienne left an annotation ()

what a disaster... i wish i had of looked at this site before we bought this car i will never buy a volkswagon car again so there loss!!!we have got the handbrake switch replaced at a cost of 126euro and now im in the process of getting the left hand rear calipar done refuse to go to main dealer getting the part myself thank god i know someone in the motor parts trade and getting it for 240 euro and my mechanic said it will only take an hour to fit at cost of 30 euro i probably will never use the handbrake again because i dont trust it SHAME ON YOU VOLKSWAGON,endangering the life of my family,get the bloody problem sorted on your next batch of cars!!!!

Keith Ambrose left an annotation ()

Hello all

I was the original poster of this issue and yes there has been a serious injury. A guy in Ireland was followed down his sloping driveway by his passat after it had been parked on the slope all weekend. All he did was open the car door to put his bag in it, closed the door and walked to open his gate. The car smashed him through the gate and knocked him out, fractured his skull and broke his arm.
VW said he could not have applied the EPB? They said there was one spot on his drive where the car would not have rolled away without the EPB applied.

I sold my Passat as ours rolled twice. Impossible to have left the EPB off on the slope where it occurred. VW are NEVER going to admit liability, can you imagine what that would cost them. VOSA, the government body, cannot replicate the fault so this will never go anywhere.

I gave up after 2 years of lobbying etc.

Sell your passats and move on........


Keith Palmer left an annotation ()

I have a 2007 plate vw Passat.
A vw driver for many years.
Recent service at vw dealer revealed a crack in the cover of the caliper motor and I was warned that if water got into the motor it would seize.
This is obviously a design fault and after reading all the above comments by the unfortunate vw owners I find it unbelievable that a once responsible manufacturer has let down so many people.
As has been said above this WILL be the last VW car bought by myself/family and anyone else that I can warn.

Alan Jackson left an annotation ()

Alan Jackson

How unrefreshing to hear and read so many passat owners having so much trouble with their EPB. I had both rear callipers replaced around two and a half years ago. Both went within about three months of each other. £1000 pounds or there abouts! VW dealers were not interested in resolving what was obviously a design problem and were only interested in my money! I now have a similar problem which has arisen recently and may have to replace another calliper and or the control module! I am at a loss as to why VW dont recall this problem and do the manly thing and admit to failure! It is and has been disgraceful behaviour for such a reputable company. How many sales will they lose because of this problem. Rant over.Disgusted VW customer!

Howard Simpson (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

For those of you who find this site and have a problem with the calipers. Do not let a VW or other garage fob you off with "the whole caliper has to be replaced". The electric motors are a separate item available from VW or aftermarket. They are a lot cheaper than replacing the whole caliper!

Olaf Christiansen left an annotation ()

Thanks for all who have added to this forum, very helpful. A bit scary where the EPB fails, I'll leave ours in gear from now on. Our 2007 Passat 2.0 TDI est EPB wouldn't disengage. Recovery guy said fairly common prob, and got it to disengage by disconnecting battery and reconnecting. VW garage have said motor housings have cracked both sides due to stones!! and need to be replaced for £950. Have let them know about this forum and wait ??

dave verrechia left an annotation ()

Dave Verrechia
EPB failed to dis-engage on my driveway. After six attempts it decided to work. I have a 2006 vw passat. Dealers totally unhelpful and only wanted my money eg £65 for 1hr 'diagnostics.' VW are a disgrace for not recalling this design fault!!!
Tested by switching on/off and both motors appear to be noisy and on there way out. I am going to replace the worst side first (drivers side) and take it from there. Will have to have a go my self to reduce costs.
I shall be venting my frustration by contacting vw customer care on 0800 0833920. If everyone phones this number and complains maybe someone at vw will deal with it as they should...RECALL!

Howard Simpson (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

This site has some excellent pictures and explanation of how the electronic parking brake works. He also mentions that every one he has examined is cracked!

James Orr left an annotation ()

I have an 06 VW Passat which had an EPB failure in September last year on one occasion leaving me stuck in traffic praying it would engage! I took the car to a VW dealers and they replaced the handbrake switch and I have had no problems until today 1 year later. I got in the car for the school run and the handbrake would not turn off. 2 hours later when RAC arrived it did turn off straight away and the RAC man followed me to the same VW dealers. I was told that if the problem was due to the switch it would be covered under the repair warrantee. They called two hours later to say that the switch needs replacing which is under warrantee but in addition the handbrake motor is now faulty and will cost £450.00 to replace. I was so disgusted I started to search this problem and was amazed to find your page. Any advice I am very reluctant to throw £450 away on this problem it just seems so unfair.

Martin Bell left an annotation ()

Just another plug for the Facebook group I set up for this problem
Now has over 350 disgruntled Passat-owner members. Come along for advice, moral support or just to vent your frustration.

PSUPete left an annotation ()

2006 Passat 2.0TDI 140BHP. EPB switched replaced November 2011 after a string of non-operations of the EPB. Determined it was worse when it was raining, but could not figure out why at the time. This seemed to cure the problem until on holiday in France this year, when a few days after heavy rain, the nearside brake refused to release. Recovered to local garage and caliper replaced. Mechanic showed me the motor which was full of corrosion and comletely seized up. That cost me €650 euros - not happy, to say the least! When we got back, I checked the motor on the other side, unsurprisingly this is also split. Temporarily fixed with some very good sealent, and will be swapped in due course. Must say I am appalled at VW's attitude over this as it is clearly "not fit for purpose", although it took over a year for them to react to the fuel injector issue, and then it was not a full recall only a "customer satisfaction programme". They should be doing the same with this issue. I am surprised that a group action has not been taken against VW as this is quite obviously a defective product. PS: I see VW/TRW have redesigned the EPB motor from 2008 on, but the new design is not retro-fittable.

Terry left an annotation ()

For the last 4 years I have been the very happy and contented owner of the above VW Passat. However, today my family and I were involved in a terrifying and potentially fatal incident as a result of the car's EPB. Whilst driving along a country road in the Scottish Borders my car lost all power without warning, and without enough time to get to a safe roadside spot. I was marooned on a corner, aware that a vehicle could come round the corner at any time from behind and smash into me and my family. When I managed to restart my engine briefly, a warning "Parking brake fault" appeared - hence the reason I know what the problem relates to. I was just relieved we took the rural route, we intended using the M8 but changed our minds at last minute - that experience on a motorway does not bear thinking about.

I naively believed my experience must be an isolated incident,then found this website.

To add insult to injury, I look forward to receiving a hefty bill from my local VW dealer for them fixing whatever has caused this problem today!

To add further insult to injury, this is my first experience of any problems with my Passat - that despite my car had just had a major service at my local VW dealer two days previously!

Clive Barnett left an annotation ()

I needed roadside assistance to get me home following a handbrake fault on my auto. '57 reg Passat.

It took VW dealer £700 of my money to find the fault and replace the part. Why with their so called fault finding equipment did it take so long? This time it was the control unit.

I feel right ripped off having already had the switch replaced less than 18 months ago.

VW will not accept any responsibility to their customers.

Clive Barnett left an annotation ()

Further to my previous comment the dealer rang to say that when they conected the new control unit they found one of the calipers would not work.

So another £500 plus to replace. Total bill for the handbrake system to pass the MOT £1200.

No financial help on the horizon from VW.

Joan P left an annotation ()

Have a 2007 VW passat and the epb has always been temperamental. I have got into the habit of double checking it has engaged before I leave the car. Last month I parked the car in my drive, lifted out my baby daughter and came into our house. Five mins later I heard a crash and my car had rolled forward inti our gate post causing £1000 Worth of damage. I am sure I put in the brake, but was starting to doubt myself until finding this blog. I claimed the damage through my insurance and when I explained to the mechanic what had happened he said he sees a lot of cars with the same problem. I will never again buy a car with an epb.

Nick left an annotation ()

Hi, I'm Nick from Sheffield , I can write a book about my 56reg passat 2litre est. Bought passat January 2011. 1 week after injector fault £980 (dealer paid under guarantee)June 2011 injector fault paid myself+AA repair cover. July 2011 injector fault paid myself+AA repair cover.August 2011 again.I thoth I will die. Finally March 2012 a friend who also owns a passat told me that he received a recall letter for the injectors. I went to vw dealer and they admitted to change all 4 injectors. All passats between 2005-2009 must go to dealer to check for free if their injectors are good. Now I had problems with EPB and thanks to you people I know how to fix. This EPB is a shame for VW is not practical. I want a passat with normal hand brake, or next time I will buy a Toyota av

DD left an annotation ()

26th November 2012, my wife left her 61 plate tiguan parked with grandmother and 2 young children in it whilst she walked the dog. After a phone call from grandmother she quickly returned to find the epb had failed and the car had rolled in to the road and hit a van. we know the epb failed as the keys were not in the ignition hence car should not move. Luckily all okay in car but very shaken. Tiguan now with vw dealer, initially diagnostics showed no fault but luckily a senior memeber of the service team made the sensible decision to keep the tiguan for a week and look in to it further. This is not the first time it has happened as i have also had it fail on me when parking. I will update you all when we get the car back.

Paul Turner left an annotation ()

I've had this problem ie EPB failure (stuck in 'off' postion so could drive to dealer accompanied by extremely irritating 'beep') at cost of £400 for new motor - 'luckily' have extended warranty with Warranty Direct who refused to play ball because motor not mentioned under insured items....!!!
Eventually, they caved-in after I wrote to them explaining that motor is integral part of EPB & that they should have realised this when taking my money in first place.
I only mention this as an incentive to anyone who has ext warranty with WD but fully sympathise with everyone wrt this dangerous & ill-designed excuse for a hand-brake.

vivienne left an annotation ()

I read a tragic story in the newspaper on tuesday in relation to a mother out walking with her toddler in his buggy in belfast.An empty volkswagon golf rolled down a hill and ploughed into them the mother survived but the toddler died instantly,the car has now been taken in for investigation to see if there is a faulty handbrake tragic accident that should never have happened .

vivienne left an annotation ()

Read a tragic story in the newspaper on tuesday about a woman who was out walking with her toddler in his buggy in Belfast when an empty volkswagon golf was rolling down a hill and ploughed into them. Sadly the toddler died,the VW Golf has now been taken away for investigation to find out was it the electronic hand break.A very tragic accident that should never have happened.

PSUPete left an annotation ()

Tragic as the accident in Belfast is, Golfs up to now do not have an electronic parking brake, as far as I am aware. Worringly, it is going to be fitted on the 2013 model which is just about to be launched. That said, I have never had the epb release, but I can see how it may not be applied, as it easy to drive off and not set the autohold switch to on. Unless you stop on a hill, you don't realise it is not on, and you have to remember to check the motors have applied the parking brake when you remove the key. Easy to miss if you are distracted. I can see why VW recommend leaving it in gear. I see on the new Passat the autohold is automatically on when you start the engine, so you can't forget to set it. No doubt this will annoy some drivers too!

Cameron MacDonald left an annotation ()

Cameron MacDonald owner of a 2006 2.0TDI VW Passat. Had a few problems with the EPB sticking on and not coming off. I am a diesel mechanic to trade, So i spoke to a few mates and came up with this. If the EPB sticks on again turn the car off and plug in the two front seat belts. Restart the vehicle and with foot on brake press the handbrake switch. It should come free and allow you to get away to your destination.

Cameron MacDonald left an annotation ()

Forgot to add also. Had these problems like everyone else so touck matters into my own hands. I replaced both electronic calipers also discs and pads all round. (front and back) I got a phonecall from my wife tonight, 2 days after fitting new calipers. To say she cant get the handbrake off. I ran through what to do and away she went. So it seems that i may need a new dashboard switch now also.

Till now i have'nt involved VW at all but will be contacting them shortly to have a wee chat.

Howard left an annotation ()

Very interesting! Good luck with your chat with VW, and please keep us posted. Cheers, H.

J Finn left an annotation ()

Like many, many others here, I have a failed EPB on my 2006 Passat Estate 2.0 TDI. Although it failed, it did not fail with the break on, so I was able to drive the car, with all the usual annoying alarms and flashes! This is the second time it or something connected to it has failed in the last two years. Previously, a calliper and associated motor unit(?) had failed, costing me nearly a £1000 to get fixed. I wrote to VW, expressing my concerns and asked them to contribute to the bill as a good will gesture. No one will be surprised to learn that I never received a reply from VW. My confidence in VW motors and in their customer services has been seriously reduced, and I regret I shall not be buying from them again.

Paul Turner left an annotation ()

I've just suffered a similar problem; I pressed epb button & all the alarms kicked-off so I switched engine off & re-started. Pressed brake-pedal then epb button & brake released but alarms still evident although brake works fine???!!! Changed epb switch but problem still prevails so will try to clear error-codes using vcds(vag-com). Will update later folks.

John B left an annotation ()

John - I gave a 2006 passat 2.0sport diesel and at 50,000 miles started having EPB problems. Main problem is EPB sticking on leaving me immobilised. Fault squally clears after 10 mins of trying. I replaced the switch with one bought off eBay (£ 15) - took about 10 mins. Thus seemed to improve thins for a few days but problem is back. Reluctant to go to a main dealer as this forum shows what I am likely to be charged.
Will try the various reset procedures but not hopefull. Surely VW must acknowledge a problem here

Alan Jackson left an annotation ()

Well here we go then! Copy of Email sent and response from VW eventually!!!!!


Do any of your VW representatives ever read these forums?
Please please please give us VW owners some kind of support! After all it is in your title CUSTOMER CARE!!!!!!!
We after all support you guys by buying and putting our faith in your product only to be ignored when bringing to your attention what is obviously a problem that needs to be by the very least recognised and investigated if not recalled by yourselves.

Yet another VW dismayed owner.

Alan Jackson

Thanking you in advance hopefully!

And their reply:

Reference: VW-2013/02-040497

Dear Mr Jackson

Thank you for your recent comments regarding a forum concerning the electronic parking brake on the Volkswagen Passat. Please accept my apologies for the delay in our response.

Volkswagen UK monitor the performance of all components, across the model range, to enable necessary action to be taken should recurring issues be highlighted. These reviews are chassis specific, which enables us to identify a definitive number of vehicles affected by any such problem. We cannot take evidence from independent internet forums as we have no means of confirming how the vehicles have been maintained or driven. Nor can any forum provide such an in depth study as Volkswagen UK carries out itself.

Moreover, we can only respond to individual contacts; in order for us to be able to comment upon the causes of any issue, we would need a diagnosis of the issue from a Volkswagen Approved Retailer.

Thank you for contacting Volkswagen UK.

Yours sincerely

Michelle Farrar
Customer Service Advisor
Volkswagen Customer Services Centre

Tel: 0800 333666
E-mail: customerservices@volkswagen.co.uk
Internet: www.volkswagen.co.uk

This needs to gather speed guys and girls so send them your response to this problem and the lack of customer satisfaction. Yet another cop out! Should be recalled!

Nick Baker left an annotation ()

The problem is at least partly a poor design of the EPB motor housing. The plastic housing where it seals against the caliper body over the O ring is far too thin. The O ring is too large in cross section or too hard a compound. This can all be verified if you (as I have) replace the EPB motors yourself. It is extremely difficult to get the motor onto the caliper over the O ring, even using silicone grease. I believe that over time this strain causes the plastic housing to split, letting in water and causing the motor to fail. Apart from the dashboard button problem I think most errors picked up by the system are probably due to misleading operational data collected by the car when the motors are failing, causing it to misinterpret the status of the brakes. In my view the problem lies ultimately with TRW who OEM the brakes to VW. The same problem exists on some Audi models and others that use the EPB system. It is not restricted to Passats. In my case, since replacing both EPB motors when the system picked up faults and replacing the dashboard button has cured the issue and I have not had a problem since. My vehicle is a 56 Passat. TRW modified the brake motor/ caliper coupling design in about 2008 and also modified the electrical connector so that the two cannot be mixed up.

D Cooke left an annotation ()

I have a 58 plate passat 2.0 L Diesel estate 140bhp in which the electronic hand brake button has failed. Continually had error messages. Dealership replaced the dashboard switch and did diagnostics which reported some issues with the motors too. A new switch does seem to have solved the problem but I do not think a four year life span for an important 'non-wear' component like a new handbrake switch is acceptable. The dealership were not aware of any recall or discounts available on such a repair so I will also contact VW UK.

Keith T left an annotation ()

At the time of my last service in September 2012 I started to get problems with the EPB on my 2006 Passat estate. I asked the garage to fix it but on collection they told me they hadn't done anything as "it takes ages to try and locate the fault-don't worry , just carry on using the car and use the gears if necessary to park" Rather stupidly I took them at their word and now I read this correspondance going back YEARS!
I've been lucky so far, the car hasn't rolled on its own accord but the next time I'm in the garage I intend to let them know what I think.I now feel my car is a disaster waiting to happen. If everyone does this surely someone at VW has to wake up?

Roger Aspden left an annotation ()

My Passat 2010 EPB failed just after I bought the car 2 years ago. VW said as in all these hundreds of incidents worldwide that the computer says no fault found. They will never accept liability as the cost of recalls would be huge. Not to mention the bad publicity. Both VOSA and Watchdog refused to address the problems with the motors and EPB switches. Probably because this is such a complicated fault which is difficult to diagnose.I was also told to leave it in gear on slopes.
Good luck at VW.

Paul Turner left an annotation ()

This is by way of an update to my previous log in January - finally took car to VW dealer in S.Wales where they informed me that both epb motors had failed!
I reminded them that they had replaced one of the motors only 14 months/6k miles previous & that it should still be under VW's parts' warranty; they tried to say that if the motor had been 'stressed' I'd have to pay the bill but, having a good knowledge of how this system fuctions I put them on the back foot & the following day they rang to say they'd stump-up for that particular part.
I rang VW Customer Service (such as it is) to complain about the short lifespan of these motors(car has only 52k miles on clock) & they're dealing with my complaint at the moment - I'm not holding my breath but if they do offer me some financial recompense(or not) I'll certainly mention it at a later date,
Thanks for reading, Paul

Chris Rees left an annotation ()

Hello - Which? magazine is looking for someone who has had a Passat electronic parking brake problem to be a case study - please get in touch with me if you're interested.
Chris Rees

A Duncs left an annotation ()

I've the same issue on my 06 Passat with the EPB letting itself off on one occasion and jamming on on multiple occasions. When it jams on there is a high pitched him audible under the bonnet, which I'm assuming is a faulty relay, and I can only release the EPB by disconnecting the battery. I now keep a small 10mm spanner in the glove box so I can detach the battery and never use it in wet weather.
I'm hoping for some time in the Summer to remove the break motors to check for cracks in the housing.
This is an issue accentuated by bad weather.

Paul Turner left an annotation ()

I've read on UKPassats website that the motor bearings are the root of the problem (due to water/dirt ingress via a split in the casing) & that one member has stripped-down a motor & cleaned/re-greased the bearings to good effect.

Paul Turner left an annotation ()

Hi all - just an update on my previous offering....
VW Sinclair at Bridgend, S. Wales honoured their 2-year parts warranty & replaced one EPB motor foc; I had to pay for the other motor (around £430 fitted) as my Extended warranty company (Warranty Direct) refused to cover this item - even though it's an integral part of the rear brake mechanism.
VW customer services were sympathetic & requested VW Sinclair contribute towards the second motor (as if it was their fault...?!) & said also that 'as the car is now 7 years old & hasn't been continually serviced by VW Sinclair then the dealer was not willing to contribute financially - mileage is not taken into account'; although it is when you come to sell/buy a car eh?
I hope this helps someone, cheers, Paul

Alan Pitcher left an annotation ()

I now have a parking brake issue after being towed back from Nottingham to Gloucester in my 55plate Passat. The tow was due to the turbo blowing up. And the list of things I hate about this car keeps growing.

Robert Keen left an annotation ()

I have an 07 Passat TDI.
EPB failure first occurred in August 2012 when arriving home I couldn't apply the handbrake. AA called but couldn't really find anything wrong and as a last resort disconnected battery to hopefully re-boot software. It seemed to have worked.
No further problems until April this year when same thing occurred. I disconnected battery and again "problem solved".
In addition to EPB failure I'm recently experiencing problems with starting the car which I suspect is connected with the EPB problem in that the starting circuit is "seeing" the handbrake not applied. This happened this morning but seemed to self cure after a few hours.
I have spoken to my local VW dealer, EuroCanterbury, who have offered to examine the car but I'm reluctant to let them have it until it has permanently failed.
Reading all these previous annotations does not give me any confidence that they can actually solve this.
I am really surprised that VW don't seem very interested either.

Paul Turner left an annotation ()

Hi there - your starting problem is probably a failing camshaft-positioning sensor; I had similar experience with my 2006 Passat. Hope this goes some way to help you

Robert Wade left an annotation ()

The root cause of OUR problem (I have the same in Passat estate) is computers controlling cars ! Computers are incredibly stupid, as suggested by Nick Baker (Mar 2013.) Sobering thought - these computers have tracks fractions of a millimeter wide and microns thick (deep). One track burnt out and in place of your 100 mph luxury transport you have a ton and a half of immobile metal. Is this GOOD ENGINEERING ??

It seems to me that there are two issues here :

1. Switch failures as a separte cause (mine was replaced c 1 year ago, now the probelms are returning)

2. The "not fit for purpose" motors used on the EPB system - no doubt sourced from the lowest tenderer, by VW.

When we bought this car I fully expected this unessesarily complcated feature to cause problems - my wife said I was a stick-in-the mud ! Truth is we are all, from time to time, impressed by clever but in truth useless, gimos ! Good luck to all and thanks for all the imformation.

C Wallace left an annotation ()

Yet another EPB fault on our 2006 Passat, within last year replaced both callipers after them not releasing, now the EPB is no engaging, yet more expensive bills looming to determine and repair the fault (for now). I am disgusted to discover that so many other VW owners are experiencing the same problems and VW are refusing to accept that there is a fundamental fault with this EPB system. I for one would be interested in pursuing a product recall by VW, supported by the evidence above and no doubt countless other owners who unaware of this being a common fault. As far as I'm concerned the EPB is not fit for purpose and extremely dangerous - my car just rolled down my drive tonight heading towards my son, I had applied the EPB but it failed, fortunately I was able to apply the foot brake and bring the car to a halt. I am not willing to let this matter rest and seek support and suggestions on how we can unite to pursue VW for a product recall...

Martin Bell left an annotation ()

Just mentioning this again. If you want to contact other Passat owners with the same problem, join this Facebook group:
There are already over 500 members!

Keith T left an annotation ()

like everyone on this site I have an EPB problem but my question today is how does the car pass the MOT if the EPB isn't working?

Martin Bell left an annotation ()

@ Keith T - Short answer - It doesn't. You will need to get it fixed to pass the MOT.

Roger Aspden left an annotation ()

Volkswagen have been in denial about the problem for so long. VOSA are just as bad. Instead of sorting out VW they suddenly made the EPB part of the MOT test.
How is that for double standards.
Perhaps VW would sort out your MOT for the car.
good luck

Keith T left an annotation ()

when did these failures first come to light?

I'm getting an estimate next week to repair the EPB from the garage I bought it from (and regularly serviced since purchase) and it would be interesting if they knew about the EPB problem when they sold it to me.

Paul Turner left an annotation ()

Keith, they'll totally deny any knowledge of a problem; that's my prediction, cheers, Paul

Robert Keen left an annotation ()

Following my annotation of 2nd June my 07 Passat TDI broke down on 5th June. It wouldn't start and couldn't release EPB. AA attended and with help from their technical support the patrolman got me going. Took car straight to my local VW dealer from where I bought it and it has been regularly serviced and I with whom I have a good relationship. Diagnosis indicated that pushbutton should be replaced and software re-booted. All done at a cost to me of £241.27. Still working OK since this work done. Keeping fingers crossed.
Service staff at dealership would not directly acknowledge that this was part of a widespread problem until I made it very clear that I had researched it extensively and was able to offer some informed comments.

Howard left an annotation ()

ATTENTION all fellow sufferers.
Here is a link to the Which magazine website dealing with potential recall issues. I found it in the latest (July) issue of Which? magazine in an article headlining the epb problem with VW Passats.
You know what to do, do it and let's take VW to the cleaners! Cheers, Howard .


Howard left an annotation ()

Ok there's a problem with the link I posted. Don't lose faith, for this one works!


Doorbundle left an annotation ()

Electronic Brake on my 59 Reg Passat 2.0 Diesel Bluemotion 2 Estate has begun to fail to disengage automatically when applied and then pulling away at junctions, traffic lights etc.
VW Dealers are aware of my problem and want the car back for 'diagnosis'.

Keith T left an annotation ()

Update on my EPB problem-the garage ( where I bought it and had it regularly serviced) said it needed a new rear brake motor. Cost me just under £400 with the nice comment that the other one might go and that would be another £400. Their position was that it was just the same as worn brake pads or a worn tyre that needed replacement. My attempts to get a reduction given the fact it looks like a design problem and the low mileage, 77,000, fell on deaf ears. Contact VW was all they could offer.
So that's my next step. I've already contacted Which but no news from them as yet.

A Duncs left an annotation ()

Which?have just sent an e mail saying that they are having a meeting with VOSA on 21st August recommending a recall due to safety grounds. Finally some progress!

Keith T left an annotation ()

I've had one too, so hopefully Which can put a good case together. I also emailed them a copy of my bill and my letter to VW Customer Care in cse they might help.

Doorbundle left an annotation ()

Just had an Email from Which?, as below.

From: Claire Evans <claire.evans@which.co.uk>
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
Sent: Tue, Aug 13, 2013 06:17 PM
Subject: Which? Report a fault submission

Dear Sir or Madam
Many thanks for logging the details of your car's fault on our Report a Fault database.
We would like to share the information you supplied with VOSA at a meeting on Wednesday 21 August, and then subsequently with Volkswagen. The aim of our meeting with VOSA is to get them to go back to VW and ask for the fault to be re-investigated as we believe it should be the subject of a safety recall.
Please could you email me back to confirm that you are happy for us to share the information you have already provided?
Please could you also tell us the year and registration number of your car and confirm we can also share this with VOSA and VW?
Many thanks
Claire Evans
Cars Editor

2 Marylebone Road
London NW1 4DF
t: 020 7770 7667

Howard left an annotation ()

Good, isn't it? Someone on our side at last. Cheers, Howard.

Paul Turner left an annotation ()

That's very good news & thanks for posting; would it be worthwhile everyone logging their faults with 'Which' or have they enough info for their purposes? Cheers, Paul

C Wallace left an annotation ()

I think the more who log complaint, the stronger the case. I've logged problem using earlier link and also received an email from which as per above.

Keith T left an annotation ()

It has to be worthwhile for everyone to contact Which. The more cases the better.
Personally I reckon the users of this site only represent the tip of the iceberg-how many people have suffered with this unaware that this site exists?

Doorbundle left an annotation ()

Has anyone so far shared this with the UK Passats website?

Doorbundle left an annotation ()

Just received this from Claire Evans, Which Cars Editor.

Dear all,
Many thanks for consenting to share your information and contact details with VOSA and VW. We have shared the info with VOSA today and will share it with VW soon.
At our meeting with VOSA today they asked that anyone with an EPB complaint complete one of their Vehicle Safety Defect forms, and using these they would consider whether to investigate each case individually.
I anticipate that they will contact you soon to ask you to do fill out their form. I appreciate that this may involve you duplicating the information already provided, but would request that you do complete their form so that there is the best chance of them finding cases where they can investigate the problem further,
many thanks for your assistance,
Claire Evans
Cars Editor

Simon Rees left an annotation ()

Simon Rees
I posted a comment on this site back in Feb 2011 when my Passat rolled away after parking on my drive, hitting two other parked vehicles. Luckily there were no injuries as there were nobody in any of the 3 cars. Even though I have now sold the car I would like a "Vehicle Safety Defect Form" to complete and see if I can get any compensation for the insurance excess that I had to pay and subsequent loading of my insurance premium as I had to admit full responsibility for the "accident" when making a claim.
Where can I get this form?

PSUPete left an annotation ()

The VOSA Vehicle Safety Defect Report form can be downloaded from the .gov.uk website - https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio...

derek left an annotation ()

i have a 2007 passat in begining 2011 my epb failed and my car was immobile got AA out the managed to free it took to dealer the motor was knackered got repaired nasty bill end if 2011 same again got AA out said the motor was broken i told him it wasnt long replaced was informed it has two motors back to garage and nasty bill was told by vw mechanic who i will not mention his name that this is a very common fault that common they always keep plenty epb motors in stock now over the last 3 days ive had the warning lights coming back and the sound of the motors getting louder and longer to respond i cant afford to be hit like this again any ideas what i can do anyone know if these epb motors can be reconditioned and if so who can do it i reckon it should be after all it is a motor. i ve read all through this website and all these people cant be wrong the scarey thing is we have 3 passats myself my wife and my daughter its certainly putting me of buying anymore

Doorbundle left an annotation ()

Derek, Not exchange, but Aftermarket Calipers..From TRW VW's OE Manufacturer!


G Robbins left an annotation ()

Some shots, as my NS (2007) has failed on, so unable to get off drive. https://plus.google.com/photos/100529624...
Seq of failure, best guess is .
1. Moisture ingress through end seal (loads of white powder). 2 Small bearings seize. 3. Casing is brittle (PPS-GF40 - fibreglass/Polyphenylene Sulfide mix - brittle)
Not fit for purpose in my opinion (6 yrs 'use' is not sufficient to state wear & tear)

A Duncs left an annotation ()

I completed everything for Which? Also giving them permission to pass my information on to VOSA but I've not heard anything since. Is that just me or has it all gone quiet?

Keith T left an annotation ()

Me too.

I sent Which an email asking what's happening but no reply.

It's all very frustrating-all I can think is keep on emailing and chasing Which.

We can't let go now!

Paul Turner left an annotation ()

Hi Derek - don't forget that any parts that are fitted by VW have a 2-year' warranty; I had an epb motor fail after only 14 months(6k miles-ish) & they replaced it foc (albeit saying that if the motor had been 'stressed' - tho' not as much as I've been - they may not change it).
Just let them know that this is a well publicised weak-point of this model of Passat etc...cheers, Paul

Doorbundle left an annotation ()

I Emailed Which? today to query whether / not the meeting with VW had taken place. No reply as yet.
I also fitted a new EPB Handbrake swith to my vehicle, it made no difference. So sent it back. big issue, my car is due for its 2nd MOT next week,EPB may be an 'issue'. The car is otherwise in good order and everything else works fine. We'll see.

PSUPete left an annotation ()

As I have not heard from VOSA post the Which? meeting, I shall download and submit a Vehicle Defect Form. Suggest everyone else does the same.

A Duncs left an annotation ()

I've given up waiting and just filled in the form PSUPete linked on 23rd August.
In the comments section I've linked this site and recommended they read it.

Doorbundle left an annotation ()

Wilco! Vehicle defect reprt going in tomorrow.

G Robbins left an annotation ()

For info :
A form being sent to VOSA (ours NS jammed on, rather than came 'off'). However we still consider this a Saftey issue as both caliper casings cracked upon inspection and one bearing had seized. Also - readers may confirm or otherwise, we believe (an informed guess ?!) the switch 'errors' are early inclination that the EPB control unit is receiving high amp loads etc (as motors work harder as any one of the 3 bearings in plastic gears become corroded), therefore those folk with any error should get both motors looked at ASAP (ie VAG COM will show actual values)and therefore don't ignore early warning signs.
To quote Albert Einstein "Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler" .. umm . It cost be £3.65 for a complete new brake cable last year for my son's Vauxhall Nova !

Steve F left an annotation ()

I have had the same annoying handbrake problem on my 2008 Passat Highline Estate for the last 6 months. The brake would fail to engage and release when you needed it to!! Repeated button presses would eventually do the trick but I have always left the car in gear when parked so no experience of a runaway vehicle.
Having read the many posts on this site I decided to purchase and replace the dashboard switch as this seemed to be the cheapest option plus I have a deep rooted hatred and mistrust for main dealers, for some strange reason - not sure why!!! I bought a switch from this site for £11.99, there are of course many other sites selling similar products.
It took me about 2 mins to change the switch. You have to prise out the old switch which is held in with a couple of weak spring clips. I used the blade of a swiss army knife to do this, worked a treat. Touch wood the problem seems to have completely disappeared and the EPB works every time - happy days

G Robbins left an annotation ()

Steve.. lads VW is 2006.. We replaced 3C0927225C with a 3C0927225C.. (ie we appeared to have the latest switch anyway) Fault light cleared for a day or so, possibly pure coincidence. Seems the 225B's could be suspect..
You state 2008 model.. you poss have planentary gear motors also(not wobble gears), I assume you've checked the black plastic casings are not hairline cracking !

Doorbundle left an annotation ()

Defect Report sent to VOSA. I would urge anyone who has not done so to send one in without delay.

G Robbins left an annotation ()

Calipers & motors repaired and working fine. Cost £18 for quality 2 part glue. Casing came apart with ease and both were cracked. 1 bearing had seized, which was freed with plusgas and both units re-greased. Didn't need any electronic reset tool, as both calipers wound out full and the system re-synced. (VW Passat). Removed battery before stating job and took about 3 hrs.
Did not rebuild internal gearing (quality bearing would only cost £35max for both sides)as would have needed to remove snap ring and replace with other. (all possible) Completely covered unit with thick black waxoyl after re-assembly. Both units are so much quieter now and 'P' light goes out immediately as lift clutch (there used to be about '.5' ish sec delay)

mark left an annotation ()

Note for G Robins, who did the work on your brakes, I need to get mine through its MOT next week and I don't have £1000 to spare. Thanks

G Robbins left an annotation ()

Attn Mark (and others)
Depends on your skill level and time, took 6 hrs ish overall. I'm not a mechanic Our black casing split cleanly and was able to re-glue with Loctite 330-50/40ml Kit (+£15! yet did the job). We did not rebuild internal gears, although parts seems very readily available. IF your gears (plastic) are split or totally seized then looks like a £200 OEM replacement caliper, as the casing/motors are not sold separately as we know, (although can be swapped off obviously and the brand new piston/cylinder returned.. ) We are writing to VW and will keep you posted.

As photographic evidence and investigation suggests the casing cracks FIRST, just a hairline at end due to leverage and strain from the motor not 'cutting' on load quick enough (I'm not an engineer either). It seems this is the cause as our OS motor only have a very thin hairline which had not joined right across base, and the internals were dry and had no signs of corrosion. Once the casing is no longer sealed, moisture ingress(salt etc)and then white powder EXPANDS the whole seal around/under rubber ring and degradation is exponential then; a lottery which (£2)bearing fails first, or overtime they all present higher friction to the motor/EPB/ECU controller and 'errors' start appearing on dash. Just our theory. However you look at yours, it isn't going to get better.. ours fortunately stuck on, outside our house, otherwise would have been so much more costly to get home.

mark left an annotation ()

Ok, one of mine has already completely ceased unfortunately but thank you for taking time to answer, appreciate it.

ash left an annotation ()

Push button failed in 2010 on our 2007 passat. We considered urselves lucky that out car rolled into a footpath which preventd possible damages and injuries. This is a s serious safty problem and should be addressed before someone looses a life.

D Cole left an annotation ()

2008 Passat Highline Estate
Electronic Parking Brake problem. I am also having problems with the EPB sometimes it works other times not a chance. This has now being going on for months but I refuse to take it to a garage as it looks like it costs a lot of money. This fault seems to be VW's problem and I think they should rectify it.
D Cole

Keith T left an annotation ()

You have no chance of anything from VW. As far as they are concerned it's no different to brakepad or tyre wear. Makes no difference what the mileage is or if you've used VW maindealer for servicing.

I had to get mine repaired with MOT imminent. £300 bill and when I picked it up, it malfunctioned the first time I used it. Back to the garage who fitted a new switch, unit cost next to nothing. Garage and VW insist this meant I had experienced 2 problems not one. What's the probability?
The garage also gave me the good news there was no guarantee the other side wouldn't go.

"Which" has gone quiet and I see no light at the end of the tunnel.

Anyone feel different?

Paul Turner left an annotation ()

The only positive point with these epb motors is that if one fails & VW replace it there's a 2-year warranty on the part; it's very likely that the new motor will crap-out well within this time-scale (I had one fail after 6K miles)so go to them to get the work done is my advice - you may pay once but probably get away without charge after that.

Keith T left an annotation ()


You're probably right about the new one being replaced although I'm not sure if in the final analysis it's down to the garage who fitted it. My concern is if the second one ( the other side) goes. My garage tells me I'm liable.
My main point in my previous entry was that the real culprit -in my view- was the brake button NOT the motor.But the garage gets more money for replacing the motor.
I now have no faith in VW, my garage or Which.

Did anyone get anywhere by contacting Vehicle Safety?

Doorbundle left an annotation ()

Paul, Keith, I had an initial acknowledgement Email from VOSA, and also from Which?, I too was expecting to hear more from Which? on the outcome of their meeting with VOSA and VW and the publication of their article on the Passat a month or so ago, but nothing so far.
I was also expecting a follow up contact from VOSA, again, nothing. This surprises me.
My vehicle goes into the dealers tomorrow for replacement of the EPB Module The electronic diagnosis had not revealed the problem, the faulty module was diagnosed the old fashioned way, by 'substitution' of components from another vehicle last week, it has taken some months to get this far,the dealership tells me that as I reported the issue (EPB failing to auto release/disengage during journeys) between 40 and 50,000 miles and following a vehicle software update, and when just out of the 3rd year of warranty and that it took so long to diagnose, that the cost will be covered 50% by VW and 50% by the dealership as a matter of goodwill. I guess it helps that the car has always been dealer serviced through VW service plans. The dealership tells me that all other EPB components are in good condition and functioning correctly. I will report back on here and on FB as to whether or not tomorrows replacement of the EPB module solves the problem. I will also ask the dealer whether the faulty module will be returned for further examinatio by VW to analyse the fault, or simply binned.

Doorbundle left an annotation ()

New EPB fitted as above, entirely FOC under 'Goodwill'. The faulty EPB Module will be returned to VW for examination. All EPB functions appear normal at present.

S Hamon left an annotation ()

Like so many others the EPB light, on my VW estate 2.0l Diesel 06 reg with 100k miles, started flashing after car had sat still for two weeks with rain and wind blowing in from the passenger side. Tried the disconnect battery route but this had no effect. Listened to hear if the motor was working on each wheel and decided that the nearside one did not "whirr". As the car was fortunately facing the right way local independent garage were able to recover me for a rear wheel tow. On inspection they identified the calliper on nsr wheel was stuck fast and needed to be replaced. The cost was £350 but they genuinely advised that the osr should probably be done but not the switch. As the rear discs and pads were at MOT fail point they are replacing them as well, which makes sense as the wheels have to come off to do both jobs and the MOT is only 3 months away. Total bill inc VAT will be about £1050 which is painful but I suspect a lot less than VW.
They advised that VW give a "rebate" if the callipers and motor are returned, is this so they can hide behind "we can find nothing wrong"! Worse still even if the motor was working you cannot buy the calipers on their own - more money grabbing by VW!!
I have also spoken to VW customer care who report that VOSN have found nothing wrong so no recall and indeed VW have instructed dealers not to offer any more goodwill - though I suppose this is advisory!
Do I think they are rip off merchants - difficult as cars today are more and more complex and electronics only make it more expensive to diagnose. a friend once said that extyended warranties were a good idea but these can cost £400 pa so over 4 years that would be £1600 and I am included to self insure on these matters.
Full marks to my garage near Wrexham!!
Will consider using car at regular intervals to ensure moving parts do not seize up, using gears to park with, facing in direction where recovery can be done, asking at services for an inspection for rust seizure etc.

G Robbins left an annotation ()

Mr Hamon
Some shots, as my NS (2007) has failed on, so unable to get off drive. https://plus.google.com/photos/100529624...

Can you keep the motors ? (and post on to me ?)
Useful evidence


DuncanM left an annotation ()

I have a 2010 Passatt CC and just had shock of my life, just parked as normal, EPB on, got out, shut door, on checking phone noticed car rolling towards road, jumped in drivers door hit the EBP nothing, hit the brake pedal but by this time drivers door which I flung open caught brick gate post which halted the car but bent the door so much it is now completely misaligned and wont shut, I felt really bad thinking I may have done something wrong but found you guys and I am shocked, I have company car but may now insist I want a different car with no EPB.

Barrie Stewart left an annotation ()

My 2008 Passat 2.0 Tdi Sport recently became stranded due to the N/S/R EPB caliper/motor becoming jammed. AA recovered the car to my local dealer (Advantage in Stirling) and they reported that the caliper was siezed and the motor was badly cracked. The motor and caliper were replaced and I paid the bill of £509 (this was with 10% off as Advantage said I was a loyal customer with 2 cars being serviced at that garage).

4 days later the other caliper/motor siezed. Facing another £500+ bill I contacted VW UK who have said they are offering "No Support"

I have contacted various newspapers and motoring magazines regarding this matter as it turns out that VW replace these parts FREE OF CHARGE for owners in the USA. If they are doing this in the USA then why are VW UK burying their head in the sand here in the UK!!!!

Ray Cattley left an annotation ()

VW Passat EPB failures - Safety, Quality failures.
VW failures to respect their customers.
I had noticed there was no handbrake in brochure so after reading this web page have decided not to buy new VW Passat or look at any VW Group product with EPB in future.
Had similar response from VW when EBS failed on 3 year old Golf about 4 years ago, which was similarly reported by numerous VW owners across the range at that time!
(NB I see still on going on Honest John web site)
Perhaps Toyota have learnt the lesson about not respecting customers so I wish you success & I think VW will benefit long term too!
One suggestion might be to call AA and RAC and ask if they can share call out data for VW Passat EPB failures as these might further show extent of problem.
Hope your efforts work to make VW realise that they can no longer hide issues like this with modern communications!

A Duncs left an annotation ()

I've just had a letter from VOSA about the EPB fault investigation. The summary of it is 'tough luck'.

Doorbundle left an annotation ()

I spoke at length with Mr John Corcoran ( VOSA) today, VOSA are well aware of the EPB issues and the Facebook page, which they term 'anecdotal', they will only deal with matters of fact that are reported to them via their Vehicle Defect Report Form (Link below in this post). Broadly, according to my take on what I was told, many of the EPB issues are down to 'Operator error', high mileage and possibly product life or maintenance issues, and the 'harsh operating environment in which the EPB motors / calipers are required to work". I made the point that if they were designed to operate in that 'harsh' environment then the standard of manufacture should at least be up to coping with that environment for the life of the vehicle. VOSA are still in conversation with VW and Which? re the issues. He appeared surprised at my experience of VW and the Dealership going 50/50 with the whole cost of my replacement EPB control unit, and is to contact my VW dealer regarding the outcome of the examination of the unit which I was told would be returned to VW Germany for examination. Mr Corcoran said that any EPB defects should be reported via the VOSA Defect report forms, and urges anyone who has not so far used the forms to do so without delay. I mentioned the (anecdotal?) US of A VW mass recall re Passat EPBs, an identical product again he was unaware, but would be greatful for any supporting evidence re this. With my limited knowledge of the US situation I tried to emphasise the apparent difference in attitude towards 'Customer Care' of VW of America and VW GB with regard to customer service and 'safety' issues. Possibly due to the litigious nature of US society? I re-iterated my view that so long as EPBs were fitted to VW products, they could not count on my future custom, Mr Corcoran said that he (and VW UK!!) were well aware of many other B6 Passat owners who were taking that stance, and that they would take their business elsewhere. Herewith the link to the VOSA Defect report https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio... Please use it.....Best regards

Paul Turner left an annotation ()

Nice work Doorbundle - I'll be putting-in my six-pennyworth, cheers, Paul

Barrie Stewart left an annotation ()

I have just sent a copy of the VWoA Technical Bulletin for the reprogramming of the EPB controller. This was done in the US for free and yet if we want in here we need to pay for it.

I have also asked him what it will take before VOSA/VW issue a recall for failing EPB's - ie someone getting stuck in the fast lane of a motorway due to their EPB becoming stuck.......

Barrie Stewart left an annotation ()

^^^^^^^should have said, that Technical Bulletin was sent to Mr Corcoran at VOSA

Tony left an annotation ()

Tony H I have already had to replace my EPB and to my horror I've now found the second caliper has now failed , however this time the parking break motor doesn't seem to work at all and has stuck on keeping one wheel locked , as I know already I'm going to have to incure the cost to have the second caliper replaced , after a recovery , I was wondering if anyone had any more information on if there will be a uk recall and can we recover any costs , the first time it happend was last year and I put it down to one of those things but now that I have read page after page of other peoples experiences I was wondering how far anybody has gone with this already and if anybody knows of some useful information on getting out costs recovered from vw any help would be appreciated further more has anybody had trouble with there steering column locking and not recognizeing the key , another apparent common fault to the B6 passat

Barrie Stewart left an annotation ()

Tony - IF (and its a big IF) VW eventually issue a recall for Passat EPB's then you should get your money back that you paid for the EPB repair if it was done at a VW dealer. I was told this be VW Customer Services. However, as it stands just now, it doesn't look like VW will be recalling them as they dont seem to think there's an issue and VOSA dont seem that bothered either.

PSUPete left an annotation ()

Interestingly, the 2014 US Passat has a conventional parking brake. Take a look at http://www.vw.com/en/models/passat/galle...

Doorbundle left an annotation ()

"Lessons have been learned".......Obviously.

Mark Wilson left an annotation ()

I had the sad news that my 2006 Passat SE saloon 2.0 TDI has just started giving me warning Parking Brake Failure, took it to Citygate Watford who said that's not a common fault, smiled and told me I needed new Parking brake motors on both sides, then gave me the good news that it was going to cost me around £900,
I love my Passat Comfort, Ride, Handling, Spec all in all a great car, let down by micky mouse engineered brake motors!!!!!!

Barrie Stewart left an annotation ()

Mark, VOSA are looking for a car with an EPB fault THATS NOT HAD ANY EPB FAULTS REPAIRED YET. If your car is still on its original calipers/motors/EPB ECU/EPB Switch then they may be interested in your car. It may result in VW repairing it for free or at a discount depending on what you can negotiate with VOSA and or VW.

Rich Calcutt left an annotation ()

Hi, i have just encountered a problem with the EPB on my 57 plate passat estate. without warning the rear off side callipers have stuck in the on position so the car cannot be moved!! You can hear the electric motor activating when the park brake switch is applied but the brake is staying on. As far as i can see these are the original callipers & motor and will be on the phone to VW Group in the morning. I dont want to be left with an expensive repair bill when bad engineering is the problem. I expected better for a VW!!?? Rich Calcutt

Robert Asher left an annotation ()

My 2009 Passat cc 2.0 Diesel manual just had an EPB failure 2 nights ago and ran across my parking lot 50 metres into a fence causing extensive damage to the front of my car. I'm lucky the airbags didn't go. I'm now at my dealer to get a diagnostics done and will get back to you regarding their response.
I am taking the stance this is their issue to resolve as well as the damages caused due to this failure. I'm just fortunate the car park was practically empty and nobody got injured other than my car.

Robert Asher left an annotation ()

I have just been from my VW dealer and was told the diagnostics show the EPB is fine so this must have been human error. He also stated..."In the manual" it is the owners responsibility to ensure the Park light is on before getting out of the vehicle.
I have parked in the same spot every week day since I have owned this car (Sept 2012) and never had a problem...now it's my fault?
Any idea the direction I should take to fight this? I took it to a body shop for an estimate...told him what happened and he said he's seen several of the same situation with VW and Audi as I'm told it's the same manufacturer.
Any help or advice would be grand!

Barrie Stewart left an annotation ()

It is IMPERATIVE that you fill in the form below. VOSA need to be made aware of as many EPB issues as possible and the only way they will listen is by filling in this form.


Re the car rolling away, I have nearly been caught out myself however it was my fault. The problem I had is - IF the AUTO HOLD is switched on as you are parking the car and you either open the door or remove your seatbelt before pressing the EPB button then what happens is the car automatically applies the hand brake due to you (me) opening the door or removing the seatbelt but then a fraction of a second later I pressed the EPB button to apply the hand brake but as the car had applied the EPB automatically - i had actually just switched it off. The car was then sat on my drive without the EPB being on. As I was getting out the car started rolling. Fortunately I managed to get back in and stop the car.

This is a very poorly designed system!

Robert Asher left an annotation ()

I have done what you requested Barrie and thanks for the advice.
You are so right about a badly designed system. They should have an alarm to indicate the EPB is not engaged if you open the door or pull the key out as it is so easy to miss. I have parked at the same spot thousands of times and this one time the EPB decides not to work...how do I know it didn't as I am expecting it to so why would I be looking at it like I'm expecting it not to work? Something seriously needs to get done and I think they should be paying for damages to my car as it will run into the thousands!

G Robbins left an annotation ()

Robert & Rich.. thanks I've sent a PM to you (please check in box?) I'm collating as much info and facts as I can gain . Regards
Report to VOSA as Barrie suggests which I know has been done. Please post progress . Many Thanks

Barrie Stewart left an annotation ()

Right folks, following advice from Chris @ the Car Complaints Bureau and some interested members of the press I need everyone to drop an email to the following address with the following details -

Send it to - passatbrakes@gmail.com

Name and address: ...
Car Reg:
Car Model / year:
EPB Fault: i.e. - EPB stuck on and car was stranded or EPB failed and car rolled away
Date fault occured:
Mileage on the car at the time:
Parts required for repair:
Who repaired it:
Cost involved:
Any other relevant info:

(I have posted the same thing on the EPB Facebook page so if you reply on facebook then there's no need to reply here and vice versa)


Robert Asher left an annotation ()


Thanks for the support and I have just sent my info to the website link. I have also fired off a rather large complaint to VW Customer Services hopefully adding some fuel to the fire.
I encourage everyone else with these issues to get your info in as it makes a difference in numbers and looks like the ball is gaining momentum!


Barrie Stewart left an annotation ()

If anyone is not keen on sending me their address for any reason then that's fine, just send me the details above without your address.

Nice one Bob, many thanks :-)

chris leung left an annotation ()

Following all the posts I've experienced the same problems on my 2006 passat intermittently . Keen to not line VW's pockets with gold I did a bit of investigation. The servos in the calipers all seemed to be working fine and the mechanics moved freely, so I shifted my attention to the switch itself. ***Beware if you interfere with the position of the calipers/servo the brakes needs to be reset electronically with specialist equipment (try ebay)

The odd thing I found was that after just removing the switch from the dash, removing the front facia of the button and replacing it all, the problem stopped temporarily without me doing anything else. This led me to believe it was the switch itself. I think it's an injustice to call it just a switch given there are so many wires that lead into, not sure what's inside it....

Anyway I squirted wd40 into every gap in the switch and left it to drain over night....hey presto it's been working for weeks without any problems.

Having experienced issues with digital automotive electronics in the past I suspect that in my case there was a small current flowing across certain pins due to contamination. This was enough to fool the computers into thinking that a fault existed (gone are the days of huge mechanical switches and high current cables). The wd40 probably flush away the contaminant

As a zero cost option taking 10 minutes effort it's worth a shot. if my problem comes back I'll just by a new switch and take my chances.
TIP: use a very thin blade to pry out the switch from the dash. A feeler gauge blade did it for me without causing any cosmetic damage

A Duncs left an annotation ()

I've just replaced the EPB button on my 06 plate and it's made no difference sadly. To remove it I took off the cover to the fuse panel and pushed it out, very simple.
My problem is always worse after rain so my next plan is to check for anywhere water may be getting into the electrics around the motors.

anon left an annotation ()

i have all the above probs with mine and now my EPB is intermittently activating while driving! i have reported to VOSA today. I've already had the car get stuck outside the house with brake stuck on and had to pay to get towed and fee's for new caliper/motor on one side. I have the doggy switch issue which u have to press like 5-6 times before it works each time, it's not so bad releasing but to get it on takes many more tries, it's pot luck really. Then this new issue where it comes on by itself is scary when im driving down the road and all of a sudden the car tries to slow down and i can hear the back brakes trying to come on, at first i thought it was an engine issue but then realized what it was, the wheels don;t lock up thankfully but i also get a little light going on on the left on my gear stick the one that says something like EDR OFF, this stays lite up as OFF when it happens and i get a warning light on dash showing car with skid marks type thing plus parking brake warning light and also have a passenger airbag warning light on saying it's faulty according to the handbook, all electrical im sure, it's off to the garage very shortly for another hefty fee i cannot afford to pay, i will be selling the car this time as i can't afford to pay for another EPB issue again, no more VW's for me sadly. I just pray VOSA gets this recall going to sort this out, the internet is flooded with people with the same issue, every mechanic and tow truck driver i have spoke to tells me how most of their work for VW is on the EPB and calipers locking up, those who have internet and who have time to register on forums and blogs and complaint to VOSA make up a very small minority of all those suffering from this issue, i hope they factor this in when they work out how many people may have this problem. It's a well known problem in the industry of tow truck drivers and mechanics. Good luck guys...

Roger Blick left an annotation ()

Hi all ,First (and hopefully last) incident in same nature as others read on this site. Stopped car (Passat CC 6 speed manual 10 plate) to post a letter got out locked car. turned round from post box 20 yards back to see car rolling away down a gently sloping road. Car careered through a junction to hit and wreck a BT junction box and wall to a private house. THANKFULLY nobody involved as in a road with a junior school. nightmares of possibilities.
Roger Blick west midlands
17th October 14

G Robbins left an annotation ()

Sorry to hear this. So glad no one injured. Have you posted same on http://www.honestjohn.co.uk/forum/post/i...
and there is a facebook site.. https://www.facebook.com/groups/17263865...
Did you or 3rd party move car after impact, and any 'independent' evidence / photos or statements etc that rear pads where actually : a. clamped on rear disc or b. not activated at all.. Any issues of warning lights leading up to this. It seems from other posts (unbelievable) unless you have Full VW or equiv service history, No immediate warning lights then this is driver error and you are negligent. ie Vehicle is not in road worthy condition or you have ignored key warnings. You should it seems always park up in gear (and leave steering lock not aligned to slope etc as Highway code explains) If you are able to find time do post in Facebook group as it is documented factual evidence that VAG are not taking this serious design fault seriously.
All the best , as damage to 3rd party, the time and paperwork obviously increases for you, and the cost re. Insurance grows as you know. Most folk don't have the time and resilience to keep fighting and roll over.

Robert Asher left an annotation ()

I'm sorry to hear this issue is still gaining momentum without any resolve. It pains me to say I have taken this as far as I so desire and last month I traded in my Passat for a Mazda with a manual hand brake. As I had lost all confidence and trust with VW...plus the fact this EPB failed 5 more times since the last big crash with my car but was fortunate to catch it before I got out of the car. The last time this happened was the day I was driving it to the dealer to trade it in. Since the dealer I traded it to not only sells Mazda but VW as well, they will be crystal clear the issues with this car.
Needless to say I will never ever consider purchasing a VW or any of its affiliate companies VW own. This is down to the unprofessional stance they have taken to save them money (recall) and complete disregard to the health and safety of their clients or innocent bistanders who may get in the way when their product fails us.
I wish you all the best for success to get them to realise the situation and resolve it for you.

Jon Larcombe left an annotation ()

I've got an '07 plate 2.0L (170 BHP) Passat Estate Sport TDI, on which I 've just had a major service (160,000m). It passed its MoT test, but on advisory notices were cracks in the plastic covers on the EPB motors (the covers are not replaceable by VW) which could mean water, salt and dirt getting into the works and seriously damage the system, and the rear suspension bump stops were broken off - hence a loud bang over bumps! I've had several incidents of applying the EPB and finding it off when I get back to the car (but always leave it in 1st or Reverse depending whether it's facing uphill or downhill) - I've never taken to the EPB and reading the stories here confirms my fears.
The VW dealership quoted just under £800 for replacement motors and labour. I've bought a pair of rear brake calipers complete with motors and mint covers from a breaker on eBay, off a 2010 Passat so 3 years and a lot of miles newer, and will fit these myself in the next few months. I got him to confirm the condition of the motors and covers as part of the deal for £250 incl. courier. I'm going to get a new switch and install to be on the safe side. Whilst the dealer had my car in, I asked them to fit new Heavy Duty rear springs and shock absorbers, as my car was regularly bottoming out and the rear end was was low. The Sachs H/D springs and shock absorbers I purchased from EuroCarParts for £232, and the dealer fitted them for £150 +VAT labour, although they can't offer any warranty on the parts, as I supplied them. What a difference, the new springs were 5.2 cms /2 1/2" longer than the old ones, and now they're fitted the rear of the car is 7.5 cms / 3 1/2" higher under normal conditions (I went for H/D springs as I regularly carry between 100 and 110 kgs of kit for work in the back). The handling has been transformed, no longer wallowing around bends, roundabouts and no bottoming out over bumps and rough conditions. The whole car feels so much more stable now. The original owner was a sales rep for a seed company , so I suspect he'd been driving around with a bit of weight in the back knackering the standard springs. Can anyone tell me if there should be the "autobrake" function my car or was this a later feature - it doesn't work in my case, but can it bew enabled/disabled like EPS system. 4 months after I bought the car in Nov 2011, I was driving to work happily when the engine light came on and the engine shut off - no interest in re-starting - recovered to the main dealer 5 miles away - told service staff what had happened - some sucking of teeth, while they asked for the details - "sound like the injectors have failed" oh **** I'm thinking, how much are they? Just over £800 ...........each plus labour!!! Fortunately, they checked on the computer and said, ah this one's subject to a Recall but this hasn't happened as it's been serviced by an independent, so I got £3,500 worth of injectors and labour for free - what a load off! Now the interesting point, anyone who's been charged for the replacement of the faulty injectors can claim the money back as it's and official recall. Hope this may help someone or many! I have to say my local VW dealership have been absolutely first class and very helpful - they were under no obligation to fit the springs and shock absorbers that I provided, and in general I am exceedingly pleased with the car - it goes like a sports car, now handles like a dream and still does 41+ mpg..

Jon Larcombe left an annotation ()

There is one thing I meant to include above but forgot, the parking brake has always supposed be used as a secondary braking system in case of failure of the main brakes - I've tried applying the EPB at speed, and found it will try to apply for an instant then clears. Do VAG get out of this by the dual circuits of modern hydraulic braking systems, or should the parking brake still be able to be applied as a secondary braking system..........?

Nigel Lorriman left an annotation ()

I have a 2008 VW Passat with 89,000 miles. It has been serviced at a main dealer since new. Last Friday the O/S rear EPB seized and I was unable to release it. The car was recovered to the local dealer and he has reported that there is a crack in the EPB housing on both the O/S and N/S EPBs. This has apparently allowed water ingress which has caused the motor to fail. WarrantyWise have refused to pay for the repair, quoting their opt-out clause that 'Water Ingress' is not covered. I am disputing their "Weasel Words" to quote Quentin Wilson's phrase. Surely the failure is the point at which the crack appears, not when water gets in, given that the EPB is subjected to a lot of water under normal driving conditions and the casing is an integral part of the whole unit. The total cost of repair is between £530 and £1400 depending on whether just one motor is required, or both motors and one actuator are needed. The dash warning light didn't appear until I went to release the EPB, so I can easily see how it could have stuck off, rather than on. Maybe with only one working the car could roll down an incline. Thankfully, my Passat has a DSG 'box, so is always left in park (i.e. 1st gear) when it is parked up.

G Robbins left an annotation ()

Hi Nigel
100% agree, you should pay £0
I've PM'd you.

RJT left an annotation ()

HI. I have a 2014 Passat which had a failure on the EPB and rolled off my drive. I am awaiting a VW inspection, but I am interested in knowing more if people have a newer version of 2014 and had the same issues. As I can only see older cars on this page.



Phil Chester left an annotation ()

My EPB failed just after Christmas (stuck on but eventually released) and I had to stop using it and leave the car parked in gear, after reading through this forum and taking note of all your experiences I decided to go on Amazon and look how much a new EPB switch was because someone had said that around 90% of the time this was the problem, anyhow I found a supplier from Belgium who supplied and delivered the switch for £8.99 !!!, it took me about 60 seconds to change it and now all appears ok. Piece of advice for everyone, this was a simple job to do (and I`m no vehicle orientated guy) so don`t let VW or their dealers rip you off.

warren heath left an annotation ()

I have an 06 plate Passat 2.0 tdi estate covered 65000 miles.Couple of weeks ago when applying EPB I kept getting ping and message on dashboard saying handbrake fault consult owners handbook.Checked out handbook which said basically take to dealer.handbrake was operating could hear motors moving and car wouldn't move when button was pressed.Came out to car two days ago and handbrake was locked on both sides.Recovery vehicle took car to my trusted repair garage who freed off the brakes , checked all parts and found it was electrical fault.Fault eventually traced to water damaged TCM which is located under centre console.Question now is , how is water getting to centre of car ? cost is going to be approx. £1000 so how do I prevent this from happening again ? Have discussed with garage and suggested wrapping in polythene or similar but I have reservations that this is only avoiding main issue ? Any suggestions would be welcome . Cannot afford to change car although this seems to be best way out .

dave verrechia left an annotation ()

Had the same problem with my 06 passat. It was a faulty epb switch on the dash.
Can't understand what their telling you unless you have a water ingress?
There is a problem ALSO with the 06 passats that leaves etc can gather under the wiper scuttle panel and block the drain holes. This can then lead to eventual water overflow into the car.
Hope this helps

GaryOR left an annotation ()

I have a 2013 Passat on which the EPB failed today. Car rolled past another car causing damage to my driver door and the 3rd parties bumper.

Booked in for Monday with VW for a check. Will post the results here.

William left an annotation ()

I have been having the same problem as the rest of you people for the last 4 month s My passat is an 09 Highline Have just changed the switch but the information on the dashboard says I have the same problem. Vw needs to get there finger out and stop ripping us of.

warren heath left an annotation ()

Since my last big spend on the module , I have also had to have 2 new rear calipers as all the seals were found to be split 5 weeks after the module was replaced !!!!!!!!!!!

Matt left an annotation ()

I too am sick of the 07 passat epb not engaging or disengaging, I was at braking point physically and mechanically. It never been right since i bought it, but this month has been the worst. £280 when one epb motor started leaking fluid, Then the other day I parked in town and I couldnt switch the hand brake off, after a million trys and fiddling with wires and kicking the car it finally deactivated just as I was about to call break down.
Went to Jct600 and they just fobbed me off claiming it would be a £100 just to tell me what I all ready know( THERES A PROBLEM WITH THE EPB. I wonder if they would be more of a help if I parked the car infront of there workshop doors and put the brake on, knowing it wont turn off again. Looking at buying an old audi with manual handbrake now due to annoying me so much.

John Yeoman left an annotation ()

John Yeoman Dated 21 October 2015

I am currently in dispute with my VW dealer regarding the failure of the electric braking system on my 2011 VW Passat 2.0 Sport Saloon. In August, 2015 backed up a slope in a car park. When parked. I moved over to the passenger side to leave the car and within a couple of minutes it took off down the slope of the car park and slammed into two other cars. I was in the car and I couldn't do a thing about it. What if my grandchildren had been there and un-belted. Thank God no one was in the way otherwise serious injury or even worse fatality could have happened. Having read previous correspondence on this site it appears that I am not alone. Seeking financial compensation for insurance excess and devaluation of the car through damage. Always now park in gear.
This has still got to be a serious safety issue. Is anyone aware of legal action being taken? john.yeoman@hotmail.com

PhilM left an annotation ()

My wife had an issue with the EPB on our 2012 Passat two days ago. The car was parked on a side road as she left to get our children from school. She returned to find it in a similar spot but bumped up the kerb with bricks behind the wheels and a note on the windscreen. Apparently it had rolled down the slight incline across a t junction and ended up hitting a lamp post in front of a shop. Luckily no one was injured and minor damage to the rear bumper and lamp post. The shop manager and a member of staff had pushed it back up the road as it was blocking the high street. Am shocked to find that this is not an isolated incident and that it is possible for this to happen! The car is currently in the garage being inspected. I have also reported this on the VOSA website.

DavidY left an annotation ()

Less than two years ago, I'm sure TW Twickenham replaced the Driver's side motor of the EPB after failure. Cost approx £500. Now it's gone again, but they're claiming that previously it was the NEAR side they repaired, and therefore I have to shell out another £500.

It makes me feel sick. VW have had such bad press over the emissions cheating, yet are still willing to ride roughshod over loyal customers.

Their Twitter help @VWUKHelp asked me to email - so I have sent them all the details. I doubt they will do anything. If anyone else wants to jump on the Twitter 'conversation' I'm @djy_writer.

PAUL MARLAND left an annotation ()

HI.. i have a 2.9 tdi 09 plate vw passat ....at the moment i have it on my drive with the parking brake stuck and the car will not light up the ignition lights ..battery fine ..all battery connections have been cleaned and the main earth to body cleaned also ...it just clicks in the key fob area when i try and start it ...no ignition light sequence will show at start up only the steering lock light ...iam really stuck with this

A Duncs left an annotation ()

I've had my EPB lock on a few times but never had the extra electrical issues. All I've ever had to do is disconnect the battery, (I assume) to release a stuck on relay. You can hear it humming when stuck on and you open the bonnet.

Samantha chamowskyj. left an annotation ()

My 07 Passat exactly the same I have had it six months had the switch done twice and still no different I recovered it from a fence the other week and thought I was going mad and hadn't put the break on only to discover all the others on here what a piss take! Why is no one sorting this out surely with all this on here that's evidence enough????

Stuart Gill left an annotation ()

Hello all,

Regrettably i have recently had, nearly an exact scenerio happen to me with VW and their EPB. With the same outcome. Ive had my VW tiguan for a year with no issues. My car was parked on a very slight incline at my sisters house for a good 20-30 mins when suddenly the car rolled a good 60 metres hitting two cars (luckliy no one was hurt). After some terrible customer service and being passed here there and everywhere the finding were surprise surprise no fault with the EPB. All i have been hit with is in the owners manual it states the car should be left in gear. This is not how the car is sold the salesman describe the handbrake as trustworthy and you should put your your trust in the car. Not at any point do they tell you excuse me i would leave that car in gear just incase the handbrake fails because you know what every customers reaction would be. Ive been told that it states in the highway code to leave the car in gear however like you said this is an advisory not a lawful act. The reason im so annoyed is i have one year old son who everyone with children will know its impossible to get that child out of the car without leaving the car first. I dont feel the car is safe and regrettably feel like i have no other option because of finances as to take the car back. I have a copy of the diagnostic report and going to contact watch dog myself to see if i can get any help on this situation these cars ARE NOT SAFE! Someone is going to be injured or killed i feel that strongly about this any help would be greatly welcomed thank you Stuart Gill

Richard Jones left an annotation ()

I bought a 62 plate diesel Manual Passat just over 12 months ago - handbrake problems started with the error message, which normally cleared by releasing and reapplying the handbrake. I also experienced being convinced I had applied the hand brake and finding the car moving - fortunately not before I had vacated the car. However this has progressed to occasions where the handbrake would not apply and sometimes not release, most recently today. There is clearly still a problem with this car that VW have not resolved, and having read the previous annotations I will inform my (independent) garage of them, particularly as their diagnostics tool has not previously identified any problems when investigating this.

J Israel left an annotation ()

Hi, within 24 hours of collecting a one year old VW Tiguan (lease) and after being parked for nearly 2 hours on our very steep drive (we’ve several witnesses to that effect) it rolled down, hitting and writing off our second car and taking out our neighbours fence. Now attempting to reject as faulty but the dealer had a VW retailer investigate and based on a review that cost £90 are telling me there was nothing wrong with it. I can’t believe how much testimony there is of this issue yet no one seems to be holding VW to account.