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Old 29-02-2016   #1
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Electronic parking brake problem

Has anyone had an issue with the electronic handbrake? Mine has stuck on and nothing will release it. I've connected every seat belt in the car, even though it's only me in it, I've switched the engine on and off a hundred times, I've tried the little manual switch between the passenger seat and driver seat - nothing. The rear wheels remain locked.

I've tried driving forward and backwards to the point of the rear tyres groaning against the tarmac.

The dealer that supplied the car told me to ring the recovery service so they could have a look at it. Then said that he hadn't had this problem with a 500X which made me think that there has been a problem with other models from Fiat.

The other problem will be loading the car onto a recovery vehicle because it doesn't want to go anywhere. Whoever invented electronic handbrakes?
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Old 29-02-2016   #2
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Re: Electronic parking brake problem

I've had the occasional initial release failure which is quickly recovered by selecting neutral, clutch up and then try again.

You say you have tried the manual switch but did you have the footbrake pedal pressed at the same time. If not the button will do nothing.
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Old 29-02-2016   #3
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Re: Electronic parking brake problem

I should have said it's an automatic. It doesn't start unless the foot brake is pressed anyway. I've tried everything and Googled this fault. It seems common on some other makes of car but I haven't found any comments directed towards Fiat.

I've had the car for about a month and touch-wood things have been ok. This would have been a serious problem if I had just finished a big shop and the boot was full of frozen food. Luckily its just stuck on the driveway pointing inwards. The dealer said the recovery company will lift the rear wheels off the drive and tow the car away with the drive in neutral.
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Old 29-02-2016   #4
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Re: Electronic parking brake problem

The fault has cleared itself. I opened the car door using the key fob rather than putting my hand through the door handle, and the electronic brake switched itself off when it was supposed to.

Obviously something isn't right and the car has been booked in with the dealer to get this fixed.
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Old 01-03-2016   #5
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Re: Electronic parking brake problem

I had this happen to me, I tried to start and drive off but the electric parking brake did not disengage. After 15 minutes of frustration, I found out that I wasn't pressing the brake hard enough, thus the electronic sensor didn't register the pressure and won't allow the parking brake to disengage.

I was told this can be adjusted, so its more sensitive and doesn't require a lot of pressure on the brake.

PS:
similar situation to my boot, the door would require a little force to close properly, otherwise the warning light would be lit on the console. The dealer adjusted the door boot during my last service and now it closes without any force/pressure.
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Old 02-03-2016   #6
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Re: Electronic parking brake problem

There has been a software update for electronic brakes fitted to Fiat 500X DDCT because something caused the brake not to release when it should do. The dealer applied the update and told me that everything should now be ok.

I don't know when this update was released, but the car is only a month old. Surely Fiat would tell the dealer who would then contact customers that have purchased the DDCT (automatic) version? It seems the customer must experience the fault before getting the software update.

I've been told that my vehicle now has all of the latest updates.
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Old 04-03-2017   #7
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Re: Electronic parking brake problem

I've had this problem twice. In settings on the stereo you can deactivate the parking brake. I then unhooked my battery to do a computer reset and it worked. A friend said gunk gets up under the car and there's a pan covering it and it needs to be cleaned out. Fiat USA did not have a solution.
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Old 04-03-2017   #8
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Re: Electronic parking brake problem

I had this problem on my 2015 popstar manual. There is a hardware switch sensor that detects clutch pedal position which disengages the electronic brake. Once replaced all has been well so far(keeps fingers crossed)
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Old 18-04-2017   #9
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Re: Electronic parking brake problem

I have had the same problem develop with my 500X over the bank holiday weekend. 3 times when I have tried to release the parking brake over the bank holiday weekend, the light goes out implying that it has released but the car will not budge as the brake has not de-activated. Each time I have been on my way to work so have had to phone for a taxi as not enough time to call out and wait for breakdown to come. Each time when I have got home I have managed to get it to release after messing about with it and then today when I came home and was going to call breakdown service it made a loud bang and released. I have had the car for 3 months and had nothing but trouble with it. The brakes make a terrible grinding noise, there is a knocking noise and the boot open light keeps coming up on the dash! Car has been in the dealer for all these issues, none of which have been fixed but they did manage to break a panel inside the car and scrape my paintwork badly. Still arguing with them over repairing this and Fiat customer service have been useless. Sent them emails with photos of the damage and have followed this up with 4 phone calls and so far 4 weeks later had no response whatsoever. I have told them that I am going to reject the car if they don't sort all these issues out in the next 7 days. So upset and not what I signed up for when I spent my hard earned money on a new car
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Old 04-07-2017   #10
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Re: Electronic parking brake problem

Electronic parking brakes are an answer to a question no one asked. A true manual emergency brake should be standard for every car. This electronic parking brake is useless as an emergency brake because it cannot be modulated and, as you've discovered, it is problematic when there is some sort of electric failure. For parking on a manual transmission car you leave it in first or reverse, turn off the car and you have a parking brake. On an auto transmission car you simply leave it in park. No need for the gimmicky electronic parking brake. Then there is the "keyless" ignition for which you need to have the expensive-to-replace or duplicate "keyless key" on your person (like a real key). What this complicated system does is save you the strenous physical effort of putting the key in the ignition lock and twisting it.
For those with wrists that don't work, that's wonderful. For the rest of us, it's a waste of money to buy and maintain. Just another answer to a question never asked.
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