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I've read that the passat's parking brake is a push button system. What happens if your car battery dies? Is it some sort of switch that is off-on when you apply juice to the parking brake? How does it work? Not that the passat diesel is here yet, but I'd like to get one.

The worse case would be if when you lose power, it automatically applies the parking brake so if main power ever cuts out, the parking brake might cause the rear wheels to lock up.
 

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There have been some reports of the electric parking brake having problems, like grabbing when you want to go, etc. It's also the hill holder, it holds the car when you are not driving and prevents the car from sliding backwards. The problem is when it doesn't work...

Benzes no longer use brake by wire because they had so many issues with it too.
 
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