WASHINGTON (April 13, 2012)—The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is proposing an update to current safety standards to ensure drivers can better stop their vehicles when both the brake and accelerator are depressed.
NHTSA wants to establish a requirement for a “Brake-Throttle Override” function in vehicles. An outgrowth of the agency's research into floor mat entrapment and related problems, the BTO requirement is designed to allow drives to maintain control of vehicles with stuck accelerators through normal application of the brakes, NHTSA said.
The proposal would amend current accelerator control safety standards by updating the throttle control disconnection test for all vehicles regardless of weight, the agency said. For vehicles with a gross weight of 10,000 pounds or less that are equipped with electronic throttle control, the proposal would require BTO systems to ensure that vehicles will stop if the brake and accelerator are applied simultaneously.
Interested parties will have 60 days to comment on the proposed rule once it is published in the Federal Register.