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GM to expand use of brake override system

By Ben Rooney, staff reporter

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- General Motors announced Monday that it will expand the use of brake override technology to increase safety and ease concerns about defects across the automobile industry.

The move comes in the wake of a massive recall of Toyota vehicles for safety issues, including instances when drivers were injured or killed when their car accelerated without warning.

GM said the system will be used globally in all passenger cars with automatic transmissions and electronic throttle control by 2012.

The change involves modifying existing electronic controls to reduce power to the engine in cases when the brake and accelerator pedal are being depressed at the same time, GM said.

GM (GM, Fortune 500) said it has had braking standards for all its cars in place for several years, adding that the new system is "an additional safeguard."

In the past, GM has argued that the brakes on most of its cars are strong enough to stop cars even at full throttle.

GM said in February that it was able to bring the Pontiac Vibe, a car engineered by Toyota, to a safe stop within 169 meters from speeds of 60 miles an hour.

GM already uses a technology similar to brake override on the Corvette ZR1 and Cadillac CTS-V, which have engines so powerful they threaten to overwhelm even strong braking.  To top of page

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