If there's a silver lining in the rash of unintended acceleration claims that have popped up against Toyota as of late, it's that manufacturers from around the world are beginning to think about incorporating brake override systems in their products. General Motors has just announced that all of its vehicles with automatic transmissions and electronic throttle control will boast an "enhanced smart pedal" by 2012.
Essentially, the unit will reduce engine power in the event that both the accelerator and brake pedals are depressed simultaneously. We're having a hard time envisioning an event that would cause us to stand on both pedals at the same time, but hey, it takes all kinds. Hit the jump to check out the press release.

[Source: General Motors]

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GM to Expand Brake Override Software Globally by 2012


DETROIT – General Motors will expand use of "enhanced smart pedal" technology globally to all passenger cars with automatic transmissions and electronic throttle control, providing an additional safeguard to enhance customer confidence.

Also known as brake override, the change involves modifying existing electronic controls to reduce power to the engine in cases where the brake and accelerator pedal are being depressed at the same time. The global rollout will be completed by the end of 2012.

GM has had for the past several years a braking performance standard that applies to all cars, trucks and crossovers, requiring that the brakes can stop the vehicle within a specific distance. So brake override is an additional safeguard.

"News media analyses of government data consistently validates that GM's safety record on this issue is among the strongest in the industry," said Tom Stephens, vice chairman, GM Global Product Operations. "At the same time, we know safety is top of mind for consumers, so we are applying additional technology to reassure them that they can count on the brakes in their GM vehicle."

The rollout plan balances the speed of implementation with validation needed to assure that customers feel no deterioration in drivability.

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