Lawmakers say that Toyota should do more brake override retrofits

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 25, 2010

Lawmakers are criticizing the Toyota Motor Corp. for not doing enough to ensure the safety of its models with its move to retrofit the brake override systems on half of the US vehicles that were recalled for unintended acceleration.

Jim Lentz, the president of Toyota Motor Sales USA, said that the software upgrades on seven models (about 3.3 million vehicles) serve as an "additional measure of confidence" for the customers.

Lentz told the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on oversight that cars that will be upgraded include those that have a pushbutton start and all Camrys.

Lentz clarified that Toyota won't be installing brake override technology on the 3.3 million other vehicles that were covered in the recall. This override technology cuts off engine power when the brake and gas pedals are depressed.

He added that to install this would take "a tremendous amount of engineering resources" and that the upgrades make the cars safer but he can't say that it's a 100%.

Furthermore, Toyota is applying the change to all new models starting on the end of 2010. He said that Toyota hybrids are already fitted with a braking system that gets a similar result.

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