Consumer Reports tests Brake Override

Consumer Reports has a new video they’ve produced, showing the before and after for brake override systems, and it’s eye-opening.  They took a new Toyota Avalon (pre recall) and a Toyota Camry (post recall) and tested them, comparing their results to previous test results on the corresponding vehicles.  Click past the jump for the video and my analysis.

The Avalon is supposed to stop in about 140 ft, from 60 mph.  In Consumer Reports’ test, it took 513 feet, which is almost 4 times as long!  And that’s just the first test they ran on the Avalon.  If you get up to 60 mph again, and this time pump the brakes one or more times, you no longer have the ability to stop a runaway car with just the brakes.  That’s scary stuff.

On the Camry, the same tests were conducted, and with the brake override system in place, the car stopped just as well as if the gas pedal weren’t pushed at the same time as the brake pedal.

The brake override system is a bit of software in the car’s main computer, which ignores most throttle input in the case of the brake pedal being pushed.

A neat thing the Consumer Reports video shows is that driving enthusiasts won’t be hampered by this system, and neither will off-roaders, boaters, and other drivers who may need a little gas with their brakes.

All in all, I think it’s a great safety feature to have, and would definitely have helped Toyota’s runaway cars.

by John Suit

Source: Consumer Reports


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