The U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) today proposed new rules on 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." Supposedly, NHTSA did some research which indicates a "Brake-Throttle Override" rule will reduce risks of sudden unintended acceleration by making application of the brakes "override" the threottle control system.
Said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood:
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. 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.
Still blaming the driver, as you can see, not the electronic control system design or manufacturing defects.
NHTSA did state that that the proposed rule "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 problem is not a dosconnection, but a run-away connection.
The proposed rule 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.
Stating the obvious, NHTSA Administrator David Strickland proclaims:
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. 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.
You can comment on the "Brake-Throttle Override" proposal, which is here.