US May Require Brake Override Systems

Obama administration 'looking at it,' LaHood says
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 2, 2010 12:24 PM CST
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 2, 2010, before the Senate Commerce Committee hearing on Toyota.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
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(Newser) – The Obama administration is considering ordering automakers to install brake override systems in their new cars, Ray LaHood told the Senate Commerce Committee today. “We’re looking at it,” the transportation secretary said, in a hearing on the runaway Toyota problem. “We think it is a good safety device, and we’re trying to figure out if we should be recommending it.” The systems ensure that a car stops if its brake and accelerator are pressed at the same time.

Many automakers use the system, but Toyota began installing it only recently, and then only on a few models. Senator Jay Rockefeller opined that all Toyotas should have the safeguard, to which LaHood replied that the administration would recommend it for all cars, not just one company. Later, Toyota executives will testify, promising that they’ve fixed the problems, and that their cars “are among the safest on the road today,” according to their prepared testimony.

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