For years, Toyota has refused to install brake override technology, despite mounting complaints about runaway cars. Most other automakers employ the technology, which guards against a sticking accelerator by ensuring, in the words of a Chrysler spokesman that, “if the brake and the accelerator are in an argument, the brake wins.” Toyota announced that it would finally adopt brake override in December, but the decision came too late to prevent its present catastrophe, reports the Washington Post.
The system, which uses the computers that now control the engines of most cars, isn’t even particularly expensive to install. “Spread across a lot of cars, the money involved would be negligible,” said an engineer at another automaker. “But it’s a critical skill issue—we can only find so many people who can do this kind of work.” And Toyota isn’t the only company to eschew the systems—Honda doesn’t use them either.