Japanese automakers to install brake override systems

16:15, March 11, 2010      

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Seven Japanese automakers are likely to install braking systems that will allow drivers to stop their cars even if the accelerator is pressed down, company officials said Thursday.

The companies -- Toyota, Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Suzuki, Fuji Heavy Industries and Daihatsu -- are expected to install the new braking systems in light of recent massive recalls by Toyota and Honda that have damaged the reputation of Japanese cars.

The installation of the new system is expected to push up the cost of vehicles slightly, but is already installed on many models sold by European automakers.

Toyota has announced that it will install the new braking system into all its new models, while Mazda said the system will be fitted to new cars, and is considering adding it to past models.

Before the announcements, Nissan was the sole automaker installing the system on its cars.

The decision by the automakers comes amid a crisis for Toyota that has seen millions of its vehicles sent to dealerships for repair because of brake and accelerator faults in some of its models. Worldwide, media has questioned the safety of cars made by Toyota, which has sent the company's global market share down and led President Akio Toyoda to travel overseas and explain what his company is doing to improve standards.

Critics have pointed out that if the braking system had been installed, the Toyota recall may never have happened.

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