Yesterday, we started to hear reports that more companies might be looking into installing a fail-safe feature to help correct issues with unintended acceleration. The recall that has plagued Toyota seems to being causing rapid change in the industry, at least with Japanese auto makers. In following with Toyota’s decision to install a brake override system in their vehicles moving forward, Mazda has announced that they will also pursue this kind of solution.

Angular Front Exterior View - 2004 Mazda MAZDA3 5dr Wagon s Manual

Angular Front Exterior View - 2004 Mazda MAZDA3 5dr Wagon s Manual

The new technology will allow the brakes to take priority over the accelerator input in the case that both are simultaneously depressed. Mazda spokesperson Kotaro Minagawa said, “We are not aware of any malfunctions or instances of runaway Mazda vehicles or related accidents that would necessitate a brake override system.” That said, it is easy to see why a company might want to try and protect itself from the same misfortune that Toyota has seen with their eight million plus car recall situation.

Minagawa wasn’t able to say when the new override system would be implemented in the Mazda cars. This seems to be the stance of the industry, with Honda Motor Co., Suzuki Motor, Mitsubishi Motors and Subaru also considering adopting a similar system. For most of these companies, the timing has not been established as they are still studying the situation. Nissan is ahead of this curve with nearly all of its cars having a system that prioritizes the brakes over the accelerator when both pedals are depressed. Nissan isn’t the only one, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen and Chrysler also have a similar type of system.

Bottom line—the auto industry is in for more safety changes and more electronics to be added…sort of makes you long for that annoying carburetor and hand cranked windows. Okay, maybe not the windows, but an accelerator that fails to the closed throttle position would be more reassuring.


[Source: Automotive News]