Some of the platforms that have electronic/electric parking brakes include:
• 2001-current Audi A4, A5, A6 and A8;
• 2010 Subaru Legacy and Outback;
• 2002-current BMW 7 Series and 5 series;
• Lincoln LS;
• Jaguar S-Type, XF and XJ;
• 2003-current Volkswagen models; and
• 2009 Buick LaCrosse and Cadillac CTS.
There are two variations of the system available. In the more-traditional “cable-pulling” type, an electric motor simply pulls the emergency brake cable rather than a mechanical handle in the cabin. A more complex unit uses two computer-controlled motors attached to the rear brake calipers to activate it.
It is expected that these systems will incorporate other features in the future. Some automakers already have a system where the emergency brake initiates when the car stops and then goes off as soon as the gas pedal is pressed preventing the car from rolling downhill.
To service these systems, it requires a scan tool. Do not try jumping 12 volts to the various pins of the connectors to extend or retract the piston or cables. Chances are you will set a malfunction code and turn on the brake light when the EBCM exercises the unit for the first time. The worst case scenario is that you could damage the unit.