NHTSA proposes new brake overrides

April 13, 2012 12:00 AM

In the wake of the Toyota recall scandal, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is proposing a new mandatory system for all cars that could prevent fatal accidents of that nature from occurring again, reports Autoblog.

The cases of "unintended acceleration" in Toyota vehicles were first blamed on mechanical flaws by the automaker, but were later found to actually be the result of pedal misapplication. The drivers of the cars in the various accidents pushed down on the gas rather than the brake - or possibly both pedals at the same time - and the car jerked forward unintentionally rather than stopping.

Now, the NHTSA has proposed a new mandatory safety feature called a "Brake-Throttle Override." Essentially, this system would ensure that in case the gas and brake are applied at the same time, the car will stop, not accelerate.

"America's drivers should feel confident that anytime they get behind the wheel they can easily maintain control of their vehicles - especially in the event of an emergency," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "By updating our safety standards, we're helping give drivers peace of mind that their brakes will work even if the gas pedal is stuck down while the driver is trying to brake."

Drivers should make sure their brakes are in working order with regular auto maintenance. Brake service & repair is often a quick procedure and could potentially save a life.

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