Toyota has announced that it will install brake override systems in all new Toyota, Lexus and Scion vehicles by the end of 2010. The announcement comes after months of reports claiming unintended acceleration in vehicles manufactured by the automaker, and a subsequent recall of nearly four million vehicles.
Toyota had previously stated that the unintended acceleration was caused by a faulty floor mat that caused the vehicle’s acceleration peddle to stick. However, the automaker fell under intense scrutiny after reports of deaths and injuries began to surface.
So how will the new system work? “Toyota spokesman Mike Michels says the brake override software system will shift the engine to idle if it detects the driver is attempting to apply the brakes without success,” explains AutoWeek.
“Of course, this only works for new vehicles,” grumbles Motor Authority. “Existing vehicles subject to the recall have only the accelerator pedal replacement as a solution.” Toyota is set to outfit these vehicles with reshaped accelerator pedals and replace the floor mats.
Reports of this dangerous acceleration problem have hurt the automaker’s otherwise superb reputation. “Toyota’s recall, at least the third involving more than 100,000 U.S. autos in the past two years, dented a reputation for high quality established in surveys such as those by researcher J.D. Power & Associates,” writes BusinessWeek.