Rolling, rolling, rolling . . .
Your EMERGENCY brake (also used as a parking brake) is the required mechanical backup system on all cars & trucks in case the hydraulic system fails so you really ought to get it fixed.
Old myths die hard.
The D.O.T. refers to the mechanical system as the Parking Brake. Nowhere outside Honda's index of the English language Element Owners manual is it called anything other than a Parking Brake, and, "Backup system means a portion of a service brake system, such as a pump, that automatically supplies energy, in the event of a primary brake power source failure."
Part 571.105: Standard No. 105; Hydraulic and electric brake systems.
Scope and Purpose:
This standard specifies requirements for vehicles equipped with hydraulic and electric service brake systems, and associated parking brake systems. The purpose of this standard is to insure safe braking performance under normal and emergency conditions.
Hydraulically braked or electrically braked passenger cars, multipurpose passenger vehicles, trucks, and buses with a GVWR greater than 3,500 kg (7,716 lb) "
The requirements for a Parking Brake System can be satisfied by a automatic transmission if it includes a parking mechanism and the vehicle has to be in the Park position when the key is removed. There are NO requirements for the Parking Brake to be able to stop the vehicle once in motion. As best I can determine, Honda doesn't have to provide a separate mechanical Parking Brake on Elements equipped with automatic transmissions to meet D.O.T requirements.
But considering the recent recall for ignition switch/ parking position interlock failures, it's probably a good thing that they did.
"S5.2 Parking Brake System. Each vehicle shall be manufactured with a parking brake system of a friction type with a solely mechanical means to retain engagement, which shall under the conditions of S6, when tested according to the procedures specified in S7, meet the requirements specified in S5.2.1, S5.2.2, or S5.2.3 as appropriate, with the system engaged-
(a) In the case of a vehicle with a GVWR of 4,536 kilograms (10,000 pounds) or less, with a force applied to the control not to exceed 125 pounds for a foot-operated system and 90 pounds for a hand-operated system; and
(b) In the case of a vehicle with a GVWR greater than 4,536 kilograms (10,000 pounds), with a force applied to the control not to exceed 150 pounds for a foot-operated system and 125 pounds for a hand-operated system.
S5.2.1. Except as provided in §5.2.2, the parking brake system on a passenger car and on a school bus with a GVWR of 10,000 pounds or less shall be capable of holding the vehicle stationary (to the limit of traction on the braked wheels) for 5 minutes in both a forward and reverse direction on a 30 percent grade.
S5.2.2 A vehicle of a type described in S5.2.1 at the option of the manufacturer may meet the requirements of S126.96.36.199, S188.8.131.52, and S184.108.40.206 instead of the requirements of S5.2.1 if:
(a) The vehicle has a transmission or transmission control which incorporates a parking mechanism, and
(b) The parking mechanism must be engaged before the ignition key can be removed.
S220.127.116.11 The vehicle’s parking brake and parking mechanism, when both are engaged, shall be capable of holding the vehicle stationary (to the limit of traction of the braked wheels) for 5 minutes, in both forward and reverse directions, on a 30 percent grade.
S18.104.22.168 The vehicle’s parking brake, with the parking mechanism not engaged, shall be capable of holding the vehicle stationary for 5 minutes, in both forward and reverse directions, on a 20 percent grade.
S22.214.171.124 With the parking mechanism engaged and the parking brake not engaged, the parking mechanism shall not disengage or fracture in a manner permitting vehicle movement, when the vehicle is impacted at each end, on a level surface, by a barrier moving at 2 1/2 mph.
S5.2.3 (a) The parking brake system on a multipurpose passenger vehicle, truck or bus (other than a school bus) with a GVWR of 4,536 kilograms (10,000 pounds) or less shall be capable of holding the vehicle stationary for 5 minutes, in both forward and reverse directions, on a 20 percent grade.
(b) The parking brake system on a multipurpose passenger vehicle, truck, or bus (including a school bus) with a GVWR greater than 4,536 kilograms (10,000 pounds) shall be capable of holding the vehicle stationary for 5 minutes, in both forward and reverse directions, on a 20 percent grade."
"S7.7 Parking brake test. The parking brake tests for any vehicle on different grades, in different directions, and for different loads may be conducted in any order. The force required for actuation of a hand-operated brake system shall be measured at the center of the hand grip area or at a distance of 1 1/2 inches from the end of the actuation lever, as illustrated in Figure II."
"S7.7.1Test procedure for requirements of S5.2.1 and S5.2.3.
S126.96.36.199 Condition the parking brake friction elements so that the temperature at the beginning of the test is at any level not more than 150 °F. (when the temperature of components on both ends of an axle are averaged).
S188.8.131.52 Drive the vehicle, loaded to GVWR, onto the specified grade with the longitudinal axis of the vehicle in the direction of the slope of the grade, stop the vehicle and hold it stationary by application of the service brake control, and place the transmission in neutral.
S184.108.40.206 With the vehicle held stationary by means of the service brake control, apply the parking brake by a single application of the force specified in (a), (b), or (c) of this paragraph, except that a series of applications to achieve the specified force may be made in the case of a parking brake system design that does not allow the application of the specified force in a single application:
(a) In the case of a passenger car or other vehicle with a GVWR of 10,000 lbs. or less, not more than 125 pounds for a foot-operated system, and not more than 90 pounds for a hand-operated system; and
(b) In the case of a vehicle with a GVWR greater than 4,536 kilograms (10,000 pounds) not more than 150 pounds for a foot-operated system, and not more than 125 pounds for a hand-operated system.
(c) For a vehicle using an electrically-activated parking brake, apply the parking brake by activating the parking brake control.
S220.127.116.11 Following the application of the parking brake in accordance with S18.104.22.168, release all force on the service brake control and commence the measurement of time if the vehicle remains stationary. If the vehicle does not remain stationary, reapplication of the service brake to hold the vehicle stationary, with reapplication of a force to the parking brake control at the level specified in S22.214.171.124 (a) or (b) as appropriate for the vehicle being tested (without release of the ratcheting or other holding mechanism of the parking brake) may be used twice to attain a stationary position.
S126.96.36.199 Following observation of the vehicle in a stationary condition for the specified time in one direction, repeat the same test procedure with the vehicle orientation in the opposite direction on the specified grade.
S188.8.131.52 Check the operation of the parking brake application indicator required by S5.3.1(d)."