In-car black box recorders a step closer

* Safety bill passed in US * Aimed at preventing sudden acceleration * Honda pledges brake-override system...

In-car black box recorders a step closer

Compulsory safety measures to stop cars from suddenly accelerating by themselves and to record the events leading up to crashes have come a step closer with the passing of a bill in America.

The bill was put forward in the wake of a Toyota recall earlier this year, when 8.5 million of the Japanese company's cars were taken back to dealerships for safety checks after a number of reports of sudden, unintended acceleration.

American officials are linking 89 deaths over the past 10 years to Toyotas that suddenly accelerated, and say there have been 6200 complaints of it happening.

Toyota has blamed slipping floor mats, sticky accelerators and driver error for the cases of sudden acceleration.

The bill passed by a committee in America calls for override systems that would give priority to the brakes over the accelerator in the event of sudden acceleration to prevent cars from running away.

It also wants black-box recorders that could store details of accidents to help pinpoint the cause.

The bill will now go before the entire House of Representatives this autumn and, if approved, will be passed on to President Obama to be turned into law.

Honda has already pledged to install brake-override systems on every car it sells in America by next year.