U.S. considering making brake override systems a requirement

The Obama administration may consider requiring automakers to install a brake override system; a feature intended to prevent sudden and unintended acceleration – a situation that has caused the recall of millions of Toyota vehicles.

Transportation secretary Ray LaHood made the comments at a hearing held by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Energy and Transportation.

The main goal of the brake override system is to deactivate the accelerator when the brake pedal is pressed. Once the system is installed, it will stop the car from accelerating even when both the brake pedal and the accelerator pedal are pressed. Known as the “Smart Pedal” the feature is currently installed on most vehicles worldwide including cars from BMW, Chrysler, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan and Volkswagen.

While the system has been available from other automakers for several years, Toyota did not install it on its vehicles. It plans on doing so now starting with the Toyota Camry, Lexus ES and Toyota Avalon. It said it will later install the feature on the Tacoma, Venza and Sequoia models.

– By: Stephen Calogera

Source: NYT