While all Toyota and Lexus models are expected to be sold with brake override systems by the end of 2010, there are still plenty in customers' hands that don't have the feature. A brake override system will effectively cut engine power if it senses the brake and gas pedals are being pressed at the same time, a handy feature if you find your car suddenly accelerating.

Until now, Toyota has been retroactively adding the brake override feature only to certain models affected by its recent recalls, specifically the Toyota Camry and Avalon and Lexus ES and IS models. Yesterday the Japanese automaker announced that this list is being expanded to also include the Toyota Tacoma, Venza and Sequoia. This means that anyone who brings one of these seven models to a Toyota dealer for a recall fix, whether it be for the floormat or sticking pedal recall, will also have the brake override feature added to his or her vehicle (except Sequoia owners, who Toyota says will get a letter about adding the brake override feature separate from the recall campaign).

In its announcement after the jump, Toyota claims the brake override feature is not an "integral part of the recall remedy," but rather an extra measure of confidence for its customers. The announcement itself came the day before Congressional hearings on Toyota's pedal problems take place in Washington D.C.


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[Source: Toyota | Image: Paul Ellis/AFP/Getty]

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Toyota Extends Brake Override Feature to Provide an Additional Measure of Customer Confidence

TORRANCE, Calif., February 22, 2010 – Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc, today announced that it will install a brake override feature on an expanded range of customers' vehicles to provide an additional measure of confidence. This braking system enhancement will automatically reduce engine power when the brake pedal and the accelerator pedal are applied simultaneously under certain driving conditions.

The following year models have been added to the list of vehicles which will receive brake override upgrade: 2005-2010 Tacoma, 2009-2010 Venza and 2008-2010 Sequoia. Toyota previously announced that the system would be installed onto the 2007-2010 Camry, 2005-2010 Avalon, and the 2007-2010 Lexus ES 350, 2006-2010 IS 350 and 2006-2010 IS 250 models.

The brake override feature is not an integral part of the recall remedy, but is instead being added as an extra measure of confidence for Toyota owners. It will be installed on Tacoma and Venza at the same time as the recall modifications are performed.

Notification to customers regarding brake override installation for Sequoia will be sent separately from the current recall campaign for sticking accelerator pedals.
In addition to upgrades on existing vehicles, this feature is scheduled to be incorporated into future new production of most models sold in the United States by the end of 2010.

"Expansion of this brake override feature underscores Toyota's commitment to building the safest and most reliable vehicles on the road, as we have for 50 years, and to ensuring that our customers have complete confidence in the vehicles they drive." said Jim Lentz, President and Chief Operating Officer of TMS.

Detailed information and answers to questions are available to customers at www.toyota.com/recall and at the Toyota Customer Experience Center at 1-800-331-4331.