After a recall of 3.8 million vehicles, a quick zip-tie fix and several years of struggling with unintended acceleration claims, Toyota appears to have found a solution--for future vehicles, at least. The company has already begun fitting a brake override system to its cars.
The new brake override system enables the car to return the engine to idle if it senses the driver applying the brakes but unable to slow the car, keeping a racing engine from pushing the car past its limits. Installation on some cars began this month, and Toyota North America president Yoshi Inaba says it'll be standard on all Toyota and Lexus cars by the end of the year.
The first cars to get the upgrade are the Toyota Camry and Lexus ES 350, the models at the center of the latest safety issue.
Finding a satisfactory resolution to the problem will no doubt be a relief to Toyota, as it has struggled with the issue since 2007. After several incidents, at least one of which was fatal, Toyota followed up its 2007 action in mid-2009. An interim solution involving zip-ties was found, followed by a decision to shorten and replace the accelerator pedals themselves, but the newly-announced emergency brake override system provides a solution even in cases where the floor mats or pedals weren't the issue.
It appears Toyota's post-facto remedies referenced above will remain the only solutions for existing cars.
Models that were affected by the safety issue include:
2007-2010 Toyota Camry
2005-2010 Toyota Avalon
2004-2009 Toyota Prius
2005-2010 Toyota Tacoma
2007-2010 Toyota Tundra
2007-2010 Lexus ES 350
2006-2010 Lexus IS 250 and Lexus IS 350
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