NHTSA Proposes Mandatory Brake Override Systems

Many people remember the highly publicized recall of Toyota vehicles for unintended acceleration. This unintended acceleration issue is not limited to Toyota vehicles and many vehicle manufactures have faced similar problems. The problem is somewhat rare, but its effects are very serious. The U.S. Department of Transportation is doing its part to solve this problem by proposing a rule requiring brake throttle override systems in all vehicles.

Brakes Take Precedence

The proposed rule would help drivers whose brakes and accelerator pedals are pressed at the same time. The brake override system puts the brakes in first position by forcing the car to brake if both the brake and accelerator are pressed simultaneously. Unintended acceleration has led to great injury and death, the implementation of this proposed rule would provide a great service to the American public by vastly increasing the safety of motor vehicles.

No Rule Comes without Controversy

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that the putting the rule into place will come with little cost to the auto industry. Most of the current vehicles have the system and the technology is widely available. The NHTSA also claims that the requirement will have little effect on the design of the vehicles so consumers are unlikely to notice the change.

Some professionals in the motor vehicle field, however, say that the proposed rule will affect consumers negatively. They claim that requiring a brake override system may affect the drivability of the car and will likely lead to other complaints from consumers. Regardless, many car companies have already taken the initiative to install the devices in their cars including General Motors and Toyota.

Car Companies Taking Heat for Unintended Acceleration

Toyota was sued by consumers for its unintended acceleration problems. The lawsuit was in the form of a class action and the press release cited the death of a California Highway Patrol Officer and his family because of unintended acceleration. It also cited 16 other deaths and 243 injuries involving unintended acceleration in Toyotas. The lawsuit alleged many faults with Toyota’s vehicles that led to death, injury and property damage for many people.

Cars are supposed to be safe and the American public trusts that auto makers are taking the time and care to make sure that there is nothing inherently wrong with the vehicle. When something went wrong in manufacturing or design and caused a crash the vehicle maker may be liable for any damages that are caused. A personal injury attorney can help those who suffered injuries in a car crash determine if they have a case and, if so, receive the compensation they deserve.