UPDATE 1-US proposes brake override for all passenger autos

Thu Apr 12, 2012 3:59pm EDT

April 12 (Reuters) - U.S. auto safety regulators on Thursday
announced a proposal that would require brake override systems
on all new passenger cars and trucks, likely by the 2015 model
year.	
    The U.S. Department of Transportation safety regulation arm
in a 98-page proposal said costs to auto manufacturers are
expected to be "close to zero" because most automakers already
install brake override systems that can stop a vehicle if the
accelerator pedal gets stuck open.	
    "Almost all" 2012 model year automobiles sold in the United
States are equipped with brake-throttle override systems,
according to a notice on the proposed rule change by the DOT's
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.	
    If the proposed rule passes a 60-day comment period and
becomes a final rule by October 1, the brake-throttle override
requirement would go into effect on Sept. 1, 2014, NHTSA said.	
    "The NHTSA proposal aims to minimize the risk that drivers
will lose control of their vehicles as a result of either
accelerator control system disconnections or accelerator pedal
sticking or floormat entrapment," said a NHTSA press statement.	
    DOT Secretary Ray LaHood said in the same statement, "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."	
    Jeremy Anwyl, vice chairman of autos and sales analyst
Edmunds.com, was critical of the proposed rule.	
    "There's the risk that an override system could provide a
false sense of security for drivers, especially in cases where a
driver accidentally applies the wrong pedal, and an override
will do nothing to solve the problem," said Anwyl.	
    "While this mandate might help prevent some other causes of
sudden unintended acceleration, a brake override system could
impact everyday drivability and generate other sorts of customer
complaints if not executed properly," he said. 	
    The proposal comes after much-publicized unintended
acceleration claims made against some Toyota Motor Corp 
models, which caused a worldwide recall of nearly 19 million
vehicles from late 2009 to early 2011.	
    Toyota maintained from the start of its worst safety crisis
that the issue was linked to floormats pinning gas pedals down
rather than a systemic electronic problem. And in early 2011,
LaHood announced that a federal probe essentially agreed with
Toyota.	
    "There is no electronic-based cause for unintended
high-speed acceleration in Toyotas," LaHood said in February
2011.	
    Once the proposed rule change is published in the Federal
Register, the public can comment on it. Here is a draft of the
proposal:
We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (1)
minipaws wrote:
Lahood is building an $800,000,000 road in his hometown even though tri-county population has decreased since 1980. I don’t believe a word the guy says!

Apr 15, 2012 6:40am EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.