Volkswagen Tiguan's auto hold Function
The confusing / dangerous way the Volkswagen Tiguan applies the handbrake is causing my family a lot of grief.
To hopefully summarise the issue:
It's too easy to accidentally apply the hand brake. In my mother's case, the iPhone fell off the dashboard, and activated the hand brake. When accelerating on the motorway, the hand brake did not release, almost causing a serious accident.
When Auto hold is enabled the parking brake is applied automatically once parking. This can unfortunately leads to complacency, thinking the handbrake is automatic. But there are many cases when Auto hold can be disabled:
- As soon as one of the conditions indicated on is no longer fulfilled:
- The driver door is closed.
- The driver is wearing a seat belt.
- The engine is running.
- If the engine is not running smoothly or there is an engine fault.
- If the engine is switched off or stalls. 
- If the accelerator is depressed when the clutch is simultaneously engaged.
 Confusing since:
If the Auto Hold function has been switched on using the AUTO HOLD button before switching the ignition off, the Auto Hold function switches on automatically when the ignition is switched on the next time.
Confused yet? Too much trust in Auto hold can result in your VW Tiguan rolling down a hill. This also happened to my mother.
The manual states that Auto Hold will switch on automatically if the following conditions are met AT THE SAME TIME:
- The stationary vehicle is held in position on flat ground or on an incline with the footbrake.
- The engine is running smoothly.
But often that doesn't appear to be the case!
tl;dr the parking button with the accompanying Auto hold toggle appears poorly designed & confusing. This can be at best costly and at worse dangerous. ALWAYS check the parking brake's red icon is illuminated carefully.
When I Google "tiguan auto hold not releasing" I see THOUSANDS of results.
Update: I'm told the DSG is much improved from 2018 models, however ours is a 2013 model. Furthermore the handbrake button is moved to right of the steering wheel. So VW must have known earlier models were troublesome!