BMW i3 Parking Brake Issue

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New member
Mar 23, 2023
Hi, I've had my 2015 BEV i3 since it was a year old. It's only done 33k, but lots of short journeys, which it's ideal for.

Was just parking up the other day and noticed the parking brake would not work. You can press it down, but the upwards motion is "limp". The light on the switch does not come on anymore.

I've tried various searches online, but anyone had a similar experience. Def not taking it to my local dealer given the shoddy service and missing item last time it was there.

Tempted to have to go at replacing it myself.

Problem is I'm carrying a brick around which I place under the tyres when I park up. I'm sure it won't roll away in P mode, but just being extra cautious given the handbrake is not engaging.

Appreciate any suggestions, comments or similar experiences.
Jay, had the same issue, when my i3 was pretty much "new" (2015). Dealer fixed it under warranty, so unfortunately I can't help you in any respect except to let you know that apparently has happened to other people.
Thanks for the reply RonRPH

just ordered a replacement whole switch from BMW, checked a few you tube vids on how to remove the centre console and just went for it.

switch replaced - only 5 screws needed to be removed

a few dashboard alerts popped up, was thinking I'd need to get the warnings reset, but they ended up clearing up themselves

glad is was just the switch and nothing else that needed sorting

job done and not having to deal with an overpriced BMW dealership!
If you have this problem and need to dismantle the centre console please follow this guide.

1. Using a soft plastic prey tool run along the seems of the joints around the cup holder bezel.
2. Once lose carefully remove the top cover of the centre console.
3. Now using a torx bit (T25 as far as I can remember) remove the two screws.
4. You should not be able to pull back the portion of the centre console that has the handbrake switch.
5. Be careful to remove the cables
6. Remove the 3 smaller torx screws (T15 as far as I can remember) holding the switch in place.
7. You can now remove the outer cover of the switch using a small flat screwdriver and directly press the two buttons if you wish to temporarily operate the handbrakes (obviously you would have to reconnect the cables).

It is a relatively easy fix (replacing the entire switch) in my opinion, however I am tempted to try and repair the broken switch button. I'll post back if I do attempt it.

Hope this helps anyone