Not to pick on maesto77 here (apologies in advance, maestro ), but that's what many people believe (myself included until I started working for a Major OEM Based in Detroit).
Originally Posted by maestro77
I've seen it implied here in this thread, but just so we're all clear here, people:*
It is a PARKING brake. Always.
It is not an EMERGENCY brake, not ever.
Yes, we all like to talk about "a touch of e-brake" to "swing the ass out" so we can set up for the next turn. I'm guilty as charged, your honor.
Sure, we all know you CAN use the PB for stopping, but you better stop pretty damn quick, because there is close to ZERO ability on the part of the parking brake to absorb heat (energy) from trying to slow a vehicle at speed. You'll get one shot at stopping a lightly-loaded vehicle, level ground, at low to moderate speed. That's it.
After a close reading of the Volt manual: it never mentions using the parking brake to slow the vehicle, even if the hydraulic brakes fail -- that's why there are two separate hydraulic circuits (by law, actually).
Oh, and while I'm on a rant:
There's no such thing in the OEM world as a dashboard -- it's an instrument panel.
There's no such thing as a firewall, because it's not designed as a wall or other barrier against fire. Possible customer response: "Why do I have a firewall? Is it because there's a reasonable probability of a fire occurring?" It's therefore called a dash panel.
*Kelly McGillis to Maverick: "Are we clear, lieutenant?" "Crystal."
2012 Crystal Red / Black, #10,860, delivered Dec 14, 2011.