2010 Lexus ES 350Enlarge Photo
It's been ongoing for months--years, really--but we've all heard about Toyota/Lexus's efforts to remedy problems of sticking accelerators and unintended acceleration in their cars. From misleading statements to zip ties, Lexus finally has a solution: fix the vehicles.
So how will they do it? With a new brake override system that puts the engine at idle if the computer detects that the driver is applying the brakes but the car isn't slowing. That way, no matter the cause of the unintended acceleration, the car won't drag itself forward. Of course, this only works for new vehicles. Existing vehicles subject to the recall have only the accelerator pedal replacement as a solution.
The rollout of the system has already started this month on the Toyota Camry and Lexus ES 350--the same model loaned out by a southern California Lexus dealer and driven by a California Highway Patrol officer who was unable to successfully stop to car, leading to an accident that killed all four people in the car. Several other cases of Toyota vehicles accelerating on their own have been reported recently.
Back in September of 2009, Toyota issued an official warning about potential unintended acceleration due to improperly installed floor mats. After a few temporary fixes, the company recalled 3.8 million vehicles to replace the mats. Of course, the whole recall was essentially a recall of the previous 2007 floor mat/gas pedal interefence issue, which wasn't adequately fixed in newer models.
Toyota believes the new brake override method will solve the problem once and for all. It plans to install the system on all Toyota/Lexus vehicles by the end of the year.
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