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April 19, 2012

NHTSA Proposal for Override Brake Systems Implementation

brake pedals.jpgOn April 12, 2012, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released a 98 page proposal to upgrade the current safety standards of vehicles by implementing brake-override systems in all vehicles. The proposal is aimed at preventing runaway car crashes. Federal safety administrators propose that all new cars and trucks have brake-throttle override systems. This means that a vehicles brake system would work even if the gas pedal is stuck while the driver is trying to brake (ie: sticky pedals or pedal entrapment issues), therefore; minimizing the risk of driers losing control of their vehicles in emergency situations. A perfect example of this problem is the Toyota's unintentional acceleration problems from 2009 and 2010, where Toyota vehicles were accelerating and the drivers could do nothing to stop the vehicle and therefore crashes occurred and people were injured. As a result of the acceleration problem of certain Toyota vehicles, a recall of over 10 million vehicles went into effect. The NHTSA brake-override proposal would stop that from happening ever again.

If passed, the proposed rule would go into effect September 1, 2014, but would exclude vehicles that weigh over 10,000 pounds. One of the important issues is that if this rule goes into effect, it would cost little to implement, considering that most new vehicles have the software already. Toyota, Ford Motor Company and Chrysler Group LLC already have the brake override systems in all their vehicles since 2011.