And while we are solidly in left brain mode, here the explanation of Toyota’s brake override. You can start on a steep hill, even brake with your left foot, says Toyota. Let their presser speak for itself:
The brake override feature is designed to be unobtrusive in normal driving conditions. It is designed to manage vehicle acceleration caused by interference with the accelerator pedal and is otherwise undetectable under normal driving conditions.
Using the accelerator pedal position sensors, brake light switch circuitry, and the vehicle speed sensors, this intuitive and intelligent extra measure of confidence helps ensure that vehicles can be controlled in the event that the accelerator pedal is trapped.
When the vehicle throttle is opened beyond the idle position, at speeds greater than five miles per hour and then the brakes are firmly applied for longer than one-half second, the override feature will reduce engine output to the idle position, allowing greater braking performance. If the brake pedal is then released and the engine speed does not return to normal operation, the vehicle should be brought to a stop with brake override, the engine shut off and the vehicle evaluated by a Toyota dealer.
The feature has sophisticated control logic intended to eliminate undesirable or inappropriate activation and is designed to be imperceptible. In certain driving conditions, unnecessary activation of brake override would create an inconvenient or even unsafe situation.
For example, the brake override feature does not operate if the brake pedal is depressed before the accelerator pedal. This logic allows for vehicles starting on a steep a hill to safely accelerate without rolling backwards, otherwise known as a hill start.
Toyota engineers have carefully calibrated the system control logic to prevent the system from interfering with efforts to free a vehicle by rocking it to gain traction in snow or mud. Since some drivers prefer to brake with the left foot, the system also recognizes this as an intentional action by the driver and will allow the accelerator to function normally.
[ED: Please note that only 72% of Toyota’s current model line is capable of being re-flashed for this software “fix”. The rest would require changes to the vehicles’ hardware. Toyota has not suggested that those vehicles will receive any fix of this kind]