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Dangerously stupid e-parking brake location of modern cars

Many new cars today are opting for the e-parking brake & there is no denying that it frees up space on the center console. Most owners will also prefer flipping a lever versus a mechanical handbrake which can sometimes be cumbersome to disengage. This is a "premium" feature that will inevitably make its way down to mainstream cars (new Creta has it too).

My main problem = its STUPID location! End of the day, this is a small lever that can & will be accidentally engaged. On a recent outing, I'm driving with my friend in the passenger seat and suddenly, the 530d starts decelerating . After being disoriented for a second or two, the warning on the instrument console reminded me that the e-parking brake has been activated, mistakenly by my friend. I'm pretty sure its happened to others too.

This can be outright dangerous if it happens on the highway. Imagine being rear-ended by a truck! The primary issue is the e-brake location and I'm extremely surprised that manufacturers didn't think of this. The center console is where the co-passenger rests his hand too. Humans have a tendency of fidgeting with their free hands & it's far easier to engage an e-parking brake than to pull up a mechanical handbrake. The problem can be amplified if you have a mischievous youngster on the front seat (in some cars, the e-brake switch is easily accessed from the backseat too!).

My suggestion is to move it to the dashboard. I would prefer to have it on the right of the steering so that only the driver can reach it. However, I do understand that the passenger would sometimes need to access it. In that case, it can be to the left of the steering (on the dash). But for heavens sake, placing it in such an easily accessible spot where we rest our arms is just asking for trouble. I'm willing to bet that we'll see a lot of crashes once the e-brake gains volumes via mainstream cars.

Some do have it on the dash. Mercedes - being safety-obsessed Mercedes - has smartly placed it out of accidental reach, and so is the case in a handful of other cars. The dashboard is the only place to have this control. All Indian car manufacturers read Team-BHP and I hope this thread influences some of them.

In the current E-Class, the e-parking brake is located on the right of the steering wheel. In the Jeep Compass the switch is located on the centre console, within easy reach of the front passenger. Weirdly, in the VW Passat, the switch is on the passenger's side of the centre console, which is clearly a carryover from the left-hand drive markets.

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