We have blogged several times on the controversy over whether certain Toyotas had a tendency to suddenly accelerate. The relevant government regulator -- the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) -- said the problem wasn't cars that accelerated out of the blue, but drivers who unintentionally accelerated when they meant to hit the brakes. We blogged specifically on lawsuits claiming that cars should be equipped with "brake overrided" technology that shuts down the accelerator when the brakes are applied.
Now, as described in today's Washington Post, NHTSA is proposing that brake override technology be required in all new cars and light trucks. But the required technology would only deal with situations where the brakes and accelerator are "on" at the same time, and that's not very often according to safety advocates:
But safety and industry experts said the proposal doesn’t address the larger issue of drivers who mistakenly press down on the accelerator when they mean to apply the brake. Such “pedal misapplication” is a much larger problem, said Clarence Ditlow, executive director of the Center for Automotive Safety. Relatively few drivers apply both the brake and accelerator at the same time, and cases of accelerators becoming jammed are not common, he said.
The agency is still studying the pedal misapplication problem: "NHTSA has been working on regulations to address the placement of gas pedals relative to brakes to prevent such mistakes, but there has been no indication when a proposal might be offered."