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Toyota Recall Leads To New Safety Proposal

WASHINGTON, DC -- (WWJ) The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration wants all cars to have systems that cut off acceleration the second a driver's foot hits the brake. The proposed new rule comes in the wake of Toyota's 2010 sudden acceleration recall, blamed on accelerator pedals that became trapped under floor mats.

"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," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "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."

Several carmakers, including Toyota have begun voluntarily installing the "Brake-Throttle Override" systems. Many experts believe that could have prevented several tragedies, including the death of a California family, who died in a crash that was blamed on a stuck accelerator pedal on a Lexus vehicle.

"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," said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland. "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."

The government hasn't talked about a timetable for implementing the proposed rules. Carmakers and other will have the opportunity to make comments on the proposal.

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