NHTSA has announced a proposal that would require brake override systems on all new passenger cars and trucks. This will likely happen with the 2015 model year. The agency, 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. NHTSA says once the proposed rule change is published in the Federal Register, the public can comment on it.
NHTSA says that 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. The 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,” according to 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.
Hopefully, this proposal will become a rule. If so, I believe it will help to make our highways safer for the traveling public. I would also remind Secretary LaHood that the rule would help in the event a vehicle defect caused by an unintended sudden acceleration.
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