General Motors says it will install a new brake safety measure that can prevent unintended acceleration on all its new vehicles worldwide by 2012.
The announcement comes as federal regulators consider making the technology mandatory on new cars and trucks after Toyota’s big problems with vehicles that can speed out of control. Congress is also exploring the issue after a series of hearings last month on Toyota’s recall of millions of vehicles over gas pedals that get stuck or trapped on floor mats.
GM has not had major problems with unintended acceleration, but the company said it was taking the step as a means of reassuring customers about the safety of its vehicles.
A brake override reduces power to the engine when the driver steps on both the brake and accelerator. It should also slow a vehicle if the gas pedal is stuck.
GM plans to install the software for the system in the electronic throttle control systems of newly manufactured vehicles. The automaker already used it in several models in the United States, mostly high horsepower vehicles like the Chevy Corvette.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which regulates auto safety, is exploring whether to require the brake override on new vehicles. Toyota has already said it would use the system in most new Toyota and Lexus vehicles by the end of 2010.
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