The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has announced plans to update the agency's current vehicle safety standards. In order to protect drivers in the event they depress both the accelerator and the brake pedal at the same time, automakers will be required to install a bake-throttle override on new vehicles moving forward. The hope is that the systems will curb instances of unintended acceleration. The new standards will apply on all cars, trucks and buses regardless of weight. NHTSA says many manufacturers are already including similar systems on their products.

The update will replace Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 124, Accelerator Control Systems. The public has 60 days to comment on the proposed change, which may be viewed in full PDF form here.

Early last year, NASA engineers found no electronic cause for the claims of unintended acceleration levied at Toyota. The report prompted Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to blame the cases on "pedal misapplication." Hit the jump for the full press release.
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USDOT Proposes Updated Safety Standard to Prioritize Braking Control, Reduce Risk of High-Speed Unintended Acceleration for Nation's Cars

April 12, 2012

'Brake-Throttle Override' requirement will reduce the risk of high-speed unintended acceleration involving a stuck or trapped accelerator pedal


WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) today proposed to update existing safety standards to ensure drivers can better stop a vehicle in the event both the brake and accelerator pedals are depressed at the same time. NHTSA research indicates a "Brake-Throttle Override" requirement will help reduce the risks of high-speed unintended acceleration and prevent crashes involving a stuck or trapped accelerator pedal by allowing the driver to maintain control through normal application of the vehicle's brakes.

"America's drivers should feel confident that anytime they get behind the wheel they can easily maintain control of their vehicles - especially in the event of an emergency," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "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."

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. The proposal would amend Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 124, Accelerator Control Systems, by updating the throttle control disconnection test procedures for all passenger cars, multipurpose passenger vehicles, trucks and buses, regardless of weight. For vehicles that have Electronic Throttle Control (ETC) and a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) 10,000 lbs. (4,536 kilograms) or less, the proposal would also require manufacturers include a Brake-Throttle Override (BTO) system to ensure the vehicle would stop if both the brake and the accelerator pedals are simultaneously applied. Many manufacturers are already including BTO systems in their vehicle fleets.

"We learned as part of the comprehensive NASA and NHTSA studies of high-speed unintended acceleration that brake override systems could help drivers avoid crashes," said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland. "While NHTSA's defect investigation program will continue to monitor and consider consumer complaints of any potential vehicle safety issues, this proposal is one way the agency is helping keep drivers safe and continuing to work to reduce the risk of injury from sticky pedals or pedal entrapment issues."

Members of the public are encouraged to provide comment on NHTSA's "Brake-Throttle Override" proposal and will have 60 days to do so once the proposal is published in the Federal Register. View the proposal

For additional information on NASA and NHTSA's studies of high-speed unintended acceleration, visit www.nhtsa.gov/UA.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 124 Comments
      Soul Shinobi
      • 2 Years Ago
      SO LONG AS IT'S DEFEATABLE. Some of us can heal-toe.
        Peter
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Soul Shinobi
        And some of us like to left foot brake at AutoX.
        Peter
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Soul Shinobi
        Some of us can left foot brake as well. Must be defeat-able.
      Grendal
      • 2 Years Ago
      Thanks a lot, Toyota. Toyota: "It wasn't us - it's the drivers!" NHTSA: "Okey-doke."
        nomadsto
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Grendal
        But it really was the drivers! Same with Audi
          Joe
          • 2 Years Ago
          @nomadsto
          thats just the problem.. It was the drivers- so now they are being protected from their own stupidity
      JRS_4500
      • 2 Years Ago
      The only thing is that this shouldn't be forced... People should have a choice. I don't want to end up driving an idiot proof autonomous car some day. According the line of thought that introduced this, you could make all sorts of horrible things standard that would make car enthusiasts miserable. I respect people that would really benefit from this stuff or want it, but it should NOT be forced!
      nismokid02
      • 2 Years Ago
      Sure blame the car. How about getting states to raise the bar on driving tests?
      John M
      • 2 Years Ago
      So much for left foot braking with your foot still in the gas. Next thing they till only let you apply full throttle if the steering wheel is straight.
        GasMan
        • 2 Years Ago
        @John M
        They already do that. Driven a powerful sedan like a 330i or G37 lately. If you are powering out of a corner the fun police give you a serious wedgie. Gotta turn off the nano-nannies.
      pavsterrocks
      • 2 Years Ago
      The more I read about the upcoming car tech and regulations, the more I am convinced that I will be keeping my current car forever. Good thing it's a nice car.
      CKeffer
      • 2 Years Ago
      Yet another problem that would be better fixed by tightening the nut behind the wheel rather than a technological fix. Good bye heel and toe down shifts, rocking a stuck car (something no amount of traction control can fix), and this should make manual transmission operation on a steep hill interesting as well, though I suppose systems like hill assist might be able to pick up some of the slack there.
      ELG
      • 2 Years Ago
      :( spooling a turbo with the foot on the brake is so much fun
        Rotation
        • 2 Years Ago
        @ELG
        Yeah, it is. I did it in my Audi many times. Even though Audi had an override system. The systems only cancel the gas if you press the brake, holding the brake then pressing the gas still works.
        MKIV
        • 2 Years Ago
        @ELG
        LOL... I drive a MKIV Supra and brake spooling is a must. I can totally relate to this comment.
      Danny
      • 2 Years Ago
      Buzz off, NHTSA!
      Zack
      • 2 Years Ago
      mmmm "bake-throttle override"
      The Blind Squirrel
      • 2 Years Ago
      They should just require a clutch pedal...
      Dennis Baskov
      • 2 Years Ago
      Maybe in the next attempt, NHTSA will require all vehicles to shove ****** up their occupants asses. Seriously, how much f*cking stupid can this get!?
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