In Wake of Toyota Recalls, Mazda Adds Brake Override to All Cars

Posted: Apr 05, 2010 10:47 a.m.

Following months of controversy about unintended acceleration claims in Toyota vehicles, Mazda has announced plans to add a brake override system to all of its cars.

The Detroit News reports that the Japanese automaker “will add brake-shift override systems to all of its new vehicles by the end of next year, as Congress and federal regulators consider whether to mandate it for all automakers.”

A brake override system is a simple safety device that cuts a car’s throttle whenever its brake pedal is depressed, so that the engine can’t accelerate while the car is braking.  Some Toyota owners who have claimed unintended acceleration incidents report that, even while they depressed the brake pedal, their car continued to attempt to accelerate, with the engine and brakes fighting one another.  Brake override should prevent such a scenario.

The News notes, “Toyota Motor Corp. said it would add brake-shift override systems to all vehicles by next year, and on most models by the end of this year.” 

The systems are already present on many cars.  The New York Times notes that brake override has “long been favored by German manufacturers like BMW, Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen, and is also used by Chrysler and Nissan.”

Kicking Tires notes, “Mazda has no reported issues of sudden acceleration,” but “consumers are now very aware of the issue,” so automakers are adding the safety feature to many cars.  The upcoming 2011 Mazda2 will be the first Mazda to carry the feature.

Check out the latest Toyota recall news and information, including how the company's recent troubles affect our rankings. If you're in the market for a new car, check out the U.S. News rankings of this year's best cars as well as this month's best car deals.