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Parking Brake Indication - US vs Non-US market - WHY?

979 Views 15 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  MagikAram
I noticed something earlier that spiked my curiosity.

On the US market, the cluster reads "BRAKE"
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On Non-US market, it has the traditional parking brake symbol "( ! )". I've noticed Subaru has been like this for decades.
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What could possibly be the reason? I think its correlated with MPH vs KPH face.
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Possibly one is in English and the other is universal being an icon? Seems like they should all be just an icon. That is odd though. That would jibe with your MPH KPH theory.
My Nissan Altima iirc used the same universal brake symbol and not 'BRAKE' for the handbrake, so I think it varies from brand too, I'll have to see how it looks for my family's Foresters as those aren't built here but in Japan.

It does seem like all Subaru's (and possibly a few other brands) are like this with the MPH speedo only. The KMH speedo face seems to use the ( ! ).
I personally like the icon rather than the literal word for indicating brake.

Also, why does Subaru use the literal “CHECK ENGINE” instead of the icon? In the end, it’s whatever, I am immediately called to attention.

(My Saturn also doesn’t have the CEL icon, it’s “service engine soon” instead)
Moved the Forester around a bit yesterday so I had a chance to see what the 'BRAKE' light would be, and to my surprise, there's two lights. One says 'PARK' and another 'BRAKE' both next to each other, and both come on initially when the car is started. However once all the christmas lights turn off, and the electric brake is engaged, only 'PARK' is lit. Same for when in Drive/Reverse and the electric brake is engaged. I could not in fact trigger the 'BRAKE' light.
What year forester?
2021 Forester Premium
Weird... I'd assume it would be like our impreza since the cluster uses pretty much the same board.
My assumption is because our Impreza's use a manual brake vs. the electric parking brake of the Forester. If anyone has an Impreza with an electric parking brake then that may be more apples-to-apples comparison.
My guess regarding the difference between icons and words being different is based on market research that was done and trying to make the larger group of buyers happier where it is cost effective. Subaru's sold in Europe may all get the icon "!" instead of "BRAKE" just because it the same car will be sold in or resold easily in different language markets where as in the U.S.A., possibly more people liked having "BRAKE" instead of an icon. Some and possibly most of the buyers are like that. We probably have a larger female population purchasing Subaru vehicles and maybe that is the tipping point.?? Again all guessing here based on my job with a company that makes plasma cutting and welding products. We have to make the same thing differently for different markets.
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Universal symbols are used almost everywhere except the US. Even the speedometer are still using the old measurement system. My professor said "for a country that claims to be so independent, the U.S. is one of three countries on the planet whose colonists still embrace the Imperial system of measurement based on a long dead king's shoe size". Let that sink in.
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I let it sink in and it doesn't really mean anything in actuality. Also, I don't have any idea what you mean by "old measurement system". It matches the countries measurement system of choice, and as someone who lives here and has used the imperial system for my whole life, it isn't confusing or hard to understand. So, I don't understand your point. Also, Subaru seems to be one of the only brands who does this - so it definitely isn't related to that. Most brands use the same symbol set in every country.

Also, not to knock your professor, but I hardly see how independence has anything to do with measurement system. If anything, using a lesser used measurement system makes you even more "independent". If the rest of the world suddenly decides to change the meaning of a meter, then the countries using a different system aren't affected, and only would be if they decide to adjust their measurement system.
Fun thing about the U.S. Imperial system, it's actually based on the metric system, that the definition of a mile is 1.6 & some change km, reason being the need to do trade with other countries.

Measuring systems need to be well defined and easy to confirm between people that they're the same, for accurate trade to take place.

As for the reason why the rest of the world knocks on the US, to calculate changes in measurements, you only multiply/divide by 10, which makes for extremely easy conversions and math. Unless you've memorized the number of feet in a mile, then you have to do some lengthy calculations to know that 3200 feet = .606060 miles. Whereas 320 meters = 0.32 kilometers. The issue is conversions between measuring systems, and even between measures in the same system of imperial. A mile by itself isn't really an issue of measure as it is a decent length used for long distances.
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Right. So how many feet in half a mile? How many ounces in a gallon? (Surprise - there are two gallons 3.79 litres and 4.54 litres).
I grew up with the Imperial system but you can't beat a base 10 system. No need to convert. Besides, my speedometer looks way cooler going to 240...;)
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I also think 0-100 sounds more "pretty" than a 0-60.
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