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Faulty Handbrake Ford Cmax?

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I've noticed a couple of other posters on this forum have had a similar problem as me and would like to hear from anyone else who has had this.

(I know it sounds odd, but I swear its true...)

My car a Focus Cmax was parked at the top of a hill (on the flat, but at the top of a hill) with the handbrake on. After approx 10 minutes the car ended up inside (:eek:)a building at the bottom of the hill with the handbrake still on. There was even resistance when we tried to drive it out of the building which proved the cable hadn't snapped, but it was still on. Now this is obviously very serious but confusing to me, especially as I know that when leaving the car I reached back into it & put the car into 1st gear. I can believe that it maybe wasn't fully in gear and it somehow 'popped' out of gear, but I can't quite work out how the handbrake was on for 10 mins, then failed, then was on again...:???: Believe me, it was the scariest thing I've ever encountered, having a car crash through a wall inches away from me!

But if it's happened to you - or if you have an idea about the mechanics of it, please can you let me know.

Many thanks.

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Hello and Welcome, Katiecoodle.


Sorry, cars are not my thing :( But I'll move this thread to a Forum where the car buffs lurk :) Hopefully you'll get the help you require ;)






Any advice I give is honest and in good faith.:)

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Sounds truly bizarre.


How steep was the hill? It sounds totally infeasible to my (untrained) mind that the handbrake could go off then on. Much more feasible would be that the resistance decreased slightly allowing movement on a bank, but has not then re-increased.


Have you had the vehicle assessed by an independent mechanic? I assume you are facing some sizable charges here unless you can prove mechanical/manufacturer fault...?

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You are not the first that this has happened to. Fords don't have a good reputation for their handbrakes on all their models.


The linings are too hard and the self adjuster can seize with the brake dust.


Pump the pedal about ten time and with your foot firmly on the pedal, pull the handbrake lever up and down about ten times.


If you have 7 clicks or more then you will probably have cable stretch which you or a hand friend can adjust yourself, but it will entail removing the center console to do it. The plastic is not quite as brittle at is seems to be, but don't be too rough removing it.

  • Haha 1
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thx for the replies. yes the bodyshop have commissioned a brakes test which I'm assuming will show nothing serious but potential 'adjustments' as seems to be par for the course after this type of accident sadly.

Regarding the charges, my excess is £250 (yikes) and obviously the owners of the building will be claiming on my policy, so the insurers will sort it all out, but I'll expect a hike in my premium. Not fair really as I feel like I did all the right things but I guess its a case of proving it.

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Not sure if we're missing the point here though... is this the op's liability or Fords?

All good claiming from insurance but if this is a manufacturing fault/defect then this must be taken further with Ford.

I had a new Volvo S40 (the current new model) and for the life of me, could not figure out why I thought it was in a spot when it clearly was not and was in-fact, at the bottom of a SLIGHTLY steep hill.


I didn't think much of it until I started to look around in forums and found others had the same problem.


I take it from the talk about clicks and what not that it is a conventional handbrake rather than the button/electric handbrake the new cmax has?


Volvo (owned by Ford and has ford components in it too!) initially put it down to a slight glitch until they opened up and told me that it was a known issue internally but were not releasing it as a recall. I think eventually they did after a watchdog thing on it but anyway, the point was, if there was any damage on the vehicle, or other cars/buildings, I would have 100% claimed it on them as I only had the car for a week at that point - and later found out it was Volvo's fault.


Remember... it went into a building, it could have gone into someone and potentially been fatal.

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