Thursday, April 12, 2012

Brake Override System May Be Implemented Soon

According to an article posted by Reuters, the NHTSA plans to pass a mandate stating that all vehicles must have a brake override system to prevent unintended acceleration.  The mandate could be enforced as early as 2014.

What does that mean for car enthusiasts?  Well, if you're like some rally car drivers who use the left foot braking technique, it will mean that you will have to change your driving style.  The brake override will completely disable the throttle and there will be no way to use the brakes and throttle in unison to balance the car at the limit.  No word either if this will apply when a driver is trying to do a heel-toe downshift either.  Unless there will be some kind of a reflash available in the aftermarket, or maybe a switch to disable the feature, this will limit the amount of corrections a driver can make while driving. 

This legislation may help drivers with less skill or awareness, but the downside is it will hinder drivers who rely on using the brakes in conjunction with the throttle during spirited driving.  In any case, if you ever find your vehicle stuck with the throttle wide open, don't panic!  Remain calm and shift your car into neutral and you will be able to slow down.  Alternatively, you can kill the ignition by turning the keys to the off position or on some cars with push button starters, you hold the button in for 3 seconds to stop the ignition.  Just remember that with no ignition, you lose the power brakes so you will have to press the brakes harder to stop.

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