I think I might have mentioned this in another post before so bear with me here, but I was actually RUN OVER BY MY 159!
This happened about a year ago now. I had stopped the car on a very gentle slope to open a locked gate, but left the engine running with the handbrake on as it was only going to take a few seconds.
To my astonishment, whilst I was entering the code, I saw out of the corner of my eye the car rolling towards me!!! My first instinct was to try to stop it, but as soon as I did this, I realised it was far too heavy and swiftly moved my arm out of its path. Unfortunately I wasn't quick enough and it trapped my arm between the nose of the car and the gate itself - luckily the chain on the padlock broke and the car (and my arm) pushed through the gate.
I had no time to think about the damage to my arm as the car was now careering towards a wall with increasing speed (the handbrake was still 'on' by the way). I chased the car and managed to jump in and stamp on the foot brake which of course stopped it.
When I checked the handbrake itself, it was only about 2 clicks from the top. This should not have happened!!!!
I ended-up going to hospital to get my arm checked out - fortunately there were no broken bones but this was a frightening experience to say the least....
I then took the car to my Alfa dealer to complain about said handbrake. They gave me the usual crap - 'you've got to pull it on fully' and 'never leave the car out of gear when parked' etc. They neither apologised to me nor attempted to tighten it up, so I was left somewhat unimpressed.
I've never had any car do anything like this to me in over 17 years of driving. I now have no faith whatsoever in the 159's handbrake and always leave it in gear when parked - even if it's only for a few seconds.
I'd actually forgotten about this incident until very recently, when I was getting my rear bumper painted (due to totally untrustworthy rear parking sensors, but that's another story). When I returned to collect my car, it was parked next to a brand new '08 model 159. I asked the guys what this car was in for, and they pointed me towards the front end - a very crumpled nose caused by the car rolling into a wall whilst apparently parked!
I think it's high time that Alfa recognises the problem and issues a full recall to reset all 159 handbrakes. And whilst they're at it they can sort out the low-rev hesitancy on my 2.2, the stupid knocking noise in the dash and the bloody rear parking sensors.....