Michigan Cadillac Dealers and Country to See New Light Mandate: Maybe

April 13th, 2012

Car Pedals of the Future? No, but the point is made. Photo by Auto Blog.

DETROIT – That National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) may have Michigan Cadillac dealers and all others across the country listening intently as a new mandate is being proposed. The NHTSA has proposed a mandate that would require light vehicles have a built-in override mechanism that would allow the driver to stop his or her vehicle if the accelerator pedal gets stuck.

Some may recognize this problem from the Toyota Motor Corp. From 2009-2010, there were millions of Toyota and Lexus models recalled due to this exact problem: unintended acceleration. Not only did Toyota have to pay $48.8 million for not ordering a recall in a timely manner, but the company’s reputation was made questionable.

It seems with these issues in mind, the NHTSA believes this mandate will offer drivers more control over their own vehicles.

“America’s drivers should feel confident that anytime they get behind the wheel they can easily maintain control of their vehicles — especially in the event of an emergency,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a statement. “By updating our safety standards, we’re helping give drivers peace of mind that their brakes will work even if the gas pedal is stuck down while the driver is trying to brake.”

Michigan Cadillac dealers may have heard that the NHTSA Chief, David Strickland, proposed the mandate after NASA and the NHTSA conducted studies about high-speed unintended acceleration. As Mr. Strickland pointed out, these studies showed “brake override systems could help drivers avoid crashes.”

Once the proposal is published in the Federal Register, it will be held for a 60-day public comment period. After the review period, the NHTSA will update anything as needed before finalizing the requirement.

Many automakers such as Chrysler Group, Ford Motor Co., General Motors, Hyundai Motor Co. and Nissan Motor Co. already have some form of override mechanism in some or all of the models in their lineups. Although no cost was placed on having to change the designs of the other models without the technology already, the NHTSA said that the shift could be done “without significant difficulty or cost.”

Check back with MI Auto Times for details.

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