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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, Looking to see if anyone else has had any problems with the electronic e-brake. Our 2018 Avenir has had 2 instances of the brake activating and not being able to be deactivated via the button. The situation happened 2 times, about 2 weeks apart. The first time the problem happened just down the street from our house after the car was put into park, we could drive the car back to the house safely with the brake still activated. The problem went away after parking the car overnight. The second time happened when the vehicle was in motion and like the first time it didn't lock up the rear wheels and my wife drove it (with some difficulty) to the dealer. The inspected the brakes and said there was no wear and they didn't detect any brake burning smell. They found 2 error codes but couldn't reproduce the problem so they did a re-calibration per some tech bulletin. The re-calibration apparently re-syncs the brake module to the button (sounds odd to me). Nothing was replaced and GM won't authorize any proactive replacements unless it happens again.


Anyone else experience something similar?
 

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Had mine for 18 months now and haven't seen that problem. Wonder if the push button might be the problem. But with all the computer stuff who knows . Be watching to see if it happens to you again and what the dealer does about it.
 

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I have not had the problem either. The brake also releases automatically just by accelerating. Does yours do that? If it happens again I would go back to the dealer and tell them to correct it. It sounds like a problem with the linkage getting stuck. Don't let them snowball you.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yep, it usually does automatically release, but both times this happened it didn't though. I'm wondering if mileage factors in too. We have 21K miles on the car right now, we're doing close to 18k/year. It stays in a garage overnight so exposure to weather is somewhat limited - although it has seen a small amount of snow and of course the heavy rains last winter. It's my wife's daily driver and she's driving our daughter all over the place every day (hence the mileage), it's getting well used.

We'll have to see if it happens again and see what parts the dealer decides to replace.
 

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We've had the same... did you try holding down the parking brake button for about 10 seconds? That does some sort of "reset" that released the brake for us.

Also had the calibration applied .... hasn't come back, so there's that.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
1 month later...

Well the problem happened again last night, too late to have the dealer see it first hand. We had to have the car towed, there was no way to drive it with the stuck parking brake. It left my wife and daughter stuck in an intersection when it came on. I dread to think what would have happened if it had been earlier in the day with busy cross traffic, she could have been t-boned! It was a major inconvenience having to drive out to go pick them up last night and wait an hour for the tow truck to arrive, at least no one was hurt, just a number of angry motorists honking at the car when she was stuck.



I have opened a case with GM corporate, and they are looking into it but seem to be saying that unless they see the problem or can get an error code from the computer there's very little they can do. We do have a picture of "Service Parking Brake" screen when the brake was locked up this time... the dealer did see the problem last time and did the "brake calibration" but this is now about 1 month later and the problem happened again, I'm really quickly losing confidence in this car being able to safely transport my family.



I hope the dealer was able to see the problem, we haven't heard from them with any kind of diagnosis yet, granted they have only had the car since they opened at 7a this morning.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
yep, we tried holding the button down, it didn't make any difference, the brake continued to stay engaged. Not sure if it was for 10 seconds though, but it was for at least 4-5 seconds.



The flatbed driver tried a few things too but ended up putting the rear wheels on some sort of skids to get it up on the bed of the truck.
 

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After reading your post the first time I didn't realize the brake was activating by itself. I thought it was getting stuck after you activated it. That's a pretty serious issue. If it were me, I would bring it back to the dealer, ask for a loaner and tell them you will be leaving it there until the problem is resolved. If they refuse that, look into your state's lemon laws.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
update July 27:
The dealer agreed that the car was dangerous to drive and requested to keep it another day to run additional tests. Turns out that meant driving it home with a diagnostic computer attached to see if they could replicate the problem. They were unable to replicate the issue. They cleared the 2 errors again, did a recalibration on the body controller and another recalibration on the parking brake controller and asked us to monitor it. I just love how they want me to put my family at risk to see if the problem comes back.


I have a separate case opened with GM Corporate... here's where it gets strange... They have pulled all the repair history from the dealer for the vehicle and have determined that the recalibration of the parking brake performed in June doesn't count as a repair, yet somehow the recalibration of the parking brake and body controller performed last week was a repair. So although they actually saw the problem in June and didn't see the problem a month later and both times there were identical error codes that they read (and documented) and cleared, and the corrective action both times was a recalibration... only one counts as a repair. That makes no sense to me, but probably provides some legal or financial protection to GM.


Apparently the June event has a note that says the technician couldn't duplicate. The one this week didn't have that exact wording but was also not replicated by the tech. It was very difficulty to get a straight answer from the GM Support person why one was a repair and one wasn't - there is clearly some training on how to handle this sort of situation related to consumer safety. Multiple times she referred me to an external site to see the specifics of the California buy back law when I was trying to ask why one recalibration was considered a repair and one wasn't. In my view they attempted to fix the same problem twice and both times couldn't tell me what happened - I think all she was trying to do was get me off the phone.



Coming from an engineering background and working in the tech field for 30 years, I would expect a recalibration to be needed when something has worn, stretched or become corrupt in memory. Think of a position sensor to activate the parking brake on and off. It's binary (on/off) but it needs to know which way to go or how far to pull a cable or push fluid to activate the brake. After a year or normal driving the system suddenly needs a recalibration tells me something has changed somewhere in the system. Yet nothing is apparently worn, everything passes the visual inspection and GM won't authorize replacement of anything that doesn't have an error code and can be replicated by the tech. At this point the dealer is basically hoping it doesn't activate again as their hands are tied by GM on what they can do. By the way, there is a tech bulletin on this, so apparently it's been seen multiple times before - at least enough times to send a notice out to the dealerships. The tech bulletin says to inspect and replace 4 parts for wear and perform the recalibration. Unfortunately I wasn't given a copy, but the parts were brake pads, brake fluid, an actuator and I don't remember what the last one was.



So I will see where this goes next week. I have asked for a root cause, but I don't think they will (or can) tell me why the parking brake activated 2 times while the car was in motion (at low speed) and why it wouldn't release once it self activated, leaving the car in the middle of an intersection one time and in the middle of the road twice. The only similarity between the situations was the car had been recently parked with the parking brake activated and the parking brake self-activated after the car came to a stop and started moving again.
 

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Dealer telling you to take the car and wait until you are in another possible dangerous situation to see if there is an error code is lame. One of their employees should drive the car around for a few days or until the problem reoccurs. Sounds like they are trying to cover their butts, possibly helping them to stall off a lemon law buyback. Please keep us posted, as there are more than a few of us with the new models.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
So we had another parking brake activation event today in a drive through. My wife was putting the car into park and dropping it back out to drive as we sat in line in the In-and-Out drive through. During one of these when we started moving forward the parking brake self activated again, although this time the brake service error didn't come on screen, instead it said to release parking brake. My wife quickly turned off and restarted the car and the brake didn't release by itself, but holding down the parking brake button did release the brake. This doesn't seem quite the same as the previous failures since there was no service message, but those previous ones came on when the car was moving faster and traveled some distance. This seems marginally more normal but we didn't activate the brake and I have never seen the car set the parking brake by itself if the car is put into park (and not shut off or a door opened). Has anyone else experienced the brake turning on by itself when the car was put into park only? I'm wondering if I'm missing some use case where this happens for a safety reason.
 

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Unless they have changed something from 2018-2919, that should not happen. Mine activates manually only but will deactivate automatically when the accelerator is pressed. Check your manual to be sure.
 

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I have had on several occasions had the parking brake set by itself when I put it in park and the car was not absolutely stopped. I believe it is a safety check. Not saying that this is your issue, but the car must be at a complete standstill when engaging the parking brake.
 

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2019 essence parked in garage on sloped ramp. I backup then put in drive and start to coast down ramp after about 15 feet the break hits hard once at round 3-7 mph. The car has been sitting overnight each time. Can not reproduce after driving. Spoke with Dealership. they say there is some run away function that will break under 30mph when no driver response.
I said i will watch myself and see if i am shifting with no foot on break as i backup up hill
and sift to drive. I could not remember if foot on break or not. I just hope this is not one of the strange breaking situations as I read in this forum.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Latest update. The problem happened again less than a week after the 2nd recalibration. Neither the dealer or GM could explain what the calibration was fixing, or why a year old car’s brake system needed to be retrained on where the parking brake position was. Anyway, to make a long story short, GM is buying the car back under the California Lemon Law. They only tried to fix it twice, but I guess that since it’s a safety issue they don’t have to keep on trying. Now the question or another Enclave or something else.
 

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Glad they are taking care of you. It is still a nice vehicle and doubtful that you would have the same problem with another one, especially a 2020 model. If you are going to shop other brands, check out the Grand Cherokee. Had mine for seven years and loved it. I traded it in only because the E has such a nice quiet, comfortable ride, and the GC warranty was ending. I wouldn't hesitate to buy another one.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Glad they are taking care of you. It is still a nice vehicle and doubtful that you would have the same problem with another one, especially a 2020 model. If you are going to shop other brands, check out the Grand Cherokee. Had mine for seven years and loved it. I traded it in only because the E has such a nice quiet, comfortable ride, and the GC warranty was ending. I wouldn't hesitate to buy another one.

Well, I took a look at the Hyundai Palisade this past weekend as a possible replacement to our lemon Avenir. I would encourage others to look too! It's a surprisingly good package and fills the gaps that Buick left wide open with their cost reductions and poor engineering. The Palisade is missing a few things, but the trade off is some really good technology and a much more refined package. This may sound like I'm a sales person for the Hyundai, but I'm just fed up with the cost cutting that GM is doing to increase their profits and I really think they have overdone it with the current offering and let the market catch up and in the case of the Hyundai, surpass them. GM has a clearly inferior product now and the car is only in it's 2nd model year. I suspect they are going to have to rush a refresh to market in the next year or so to try and catch up.



Things the Hyundai has that the Avenir doesn't: heads up display (HUD), highway drive assist (real lane-keep/level 2 autonomous driving, not the lane bouncing that the Avenir has), interior accent lighting in 64 colors on the front and rear doors and center console, rain sensing wipers, 2nd row seat release from the trunk (no more 3rd row seat collisions!), one touch entry from both drivers and passenger side 2nd row seats, heated and cooled 2nd row seats, a more flexible Qi charge pad that can charge a phone with a case on, a power cover for back seat sun roof (not manual - requiring the driver get back to 2nd row to close), blind spot displays on the dash when activating the turn signals (pretty cool- uses the tach or speedo display to show that side's blind spot), a full digital dash (not the pretend digital with analog gauges overlayed on digital backgrounds), a responsive entertainment interface on the center screen (no more 1 second delay until it beeps on input), 2 speed liftgate that activates when standing beside car (instead of the foot sweep at the logo). Much nicer leather (this is more subjective but the quilted leather feel and look of the Napa leather is much nicer compared to the Avenir's rather plane look and plastic feel, not to mention the mismatched brown colors on the leather trim on the Buick)... and most importantly, the auto-stop disable button - the Hyundai has one - although the stop/start is much smoother than the Buick's!!!!



Things that the Avenir has that the Palisade is missing: power folding mirrors and camera rear-view mirror (which I hated since it was low resolution and hurt my eyes to look at - it looks a little blurry and doesn't have the detail of a high res screen/camera and it gets dirty too easily even with the water sprayer on the lens). The Palisade also doesn't offer seat vibration alerts, which I'm not too bothered about losing because I will also not miss the forward collision warning which is way too sensitive and has nearly caused accidents on our rural streets when trash cans are along the side of the road, especially the curves - the trash cans trigger the alert and braking, so we ended up turning all that off. The Palisade doesn't offer a side step as an option but it's easier to enter than the Buick and the 2018+ Enclaves molded side step is pretty useless since it's a little too shallow to properly step on and forces a much wider sill to step over during entry. There may be other things I'm forgetting but I was really impressed with the Palisade, it has a ton of features that Buick can't or won't offer any time soon. I expect the Hyundai could easily sell for 20K more and still sell out (it's sold out at most of the dealers in our area - there was only 1 available to test drive at a dealer that was charging 5K in markup on it). Maybe the 2020 Avenir will gain some features to set it apart, like the rumored front seat massage, but it's not out yet and it's still going to be missing the other items I listed above.



The Buick has a little more HP but after a test drive in the Palisade and driving the Avenir before and after the Palisade test drive, they feel like they have the same usable power. I also think the Palisade looks a little more distinctive... while this is a very subjective opinion, the original Encalve that we got back in 2010 looked great, especially with the (usable) factory molded side-steps. The new Enclave doesn't look special and doeasn't stand out, in fact it's very generic and I feel that it is missing something, although I haven't figured out what.



Yes, it's a pretty lob-sided comparison. Throw in the 10 year, 100,000 mile powertrain warranty on the Hyundai and it just gets better. And it's $10k less expensive, so after GM takes the $13k off the buyback price due to "use" (25k miles in 16 months), I'll break even and shouldn't have to pay anything out of pocket. If I decided to swap for another Enclave Avenir I'd still have to pay GM that $13k, which is just salt in the wound after all the problems, so I think that the decision is very easy and we'll be saying goodbye to Buick/GM until they get their act together and offer a more compelling and reliable package - however this will probably be our last SUV since our daughter is approaching college age and GM is moving away from hybrids and only has small EV offerings, so it's doubtful that we'll be GM customers again since the rest of the lineup isn't interesting to me (right now).
 

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Maybe it is the anomaly they refer to under Fig 15.

EBCM Software

If the electric parking brake is inoperative and there has been a previous repair to the brake actuator, the inoperative condition may be caused by a software anomaly in the EBCM.

If there are not any DTCs set and the brake actuators have previously been replaced, program the K17 EBCM with the latest calibration available using Service Programming System (SPS).

Check out this link:
https://gm-techlink.com/?p=10173
 
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