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New Avensis T4 : Electronic Handbrake Failure

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I have a Sept 09 reg Avensis T4 Auto Tourer with approx 4300 mile on the clock. About 10 days ago, having stopped at traffic lights, I pressed the parking brake switch to set the brakes on. When I came to releasing the brakes I had a message on the display that said, in effect, the brake could not be released.

The handbook said to release the EB (Electronic Brake) I would need to insert the supplied "allen" key into a hole in the boot and turn it 600+ revolutions (about 20 mins!) I decided I would call out the breakdown service.

The breakdown guy eventually gave up using the allen key after 600+ turns and used his own tool and he managed to release the brakes eventually. By doing this the brakes need to reset at a dealer. Drove to the dealers who had not heard of this problem. They ordered a replacement “Parking Brake Actuator Assembly” which took time to be delivered because of the volcanic ash situation. Car returned 5 days after the failure with a replacement part.

I told the After Sales Manager that I did think the tool was fit for purpose. As it was possibly the first time he had come across this problem I didn’t expect him to offer a solution. I would be interested to hear if any one does know of a better tool to use in this situation.

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