Automakers Agree to Add Brake to Shift Interlocks

Washington, D.C. - In an effort to fend off legislation, 19 of the largest automakers have voluntarily entered into an agreement with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to install brake-to-shift interlock (BTSI) systems. BTSI's require drivers to depress the brake pedal before shifting an automatic transmission out of Park. The feature gained many adherents in the late 1980s following a rise in sudden unintended acceleration events in late 1980s as a way to reduce driver error. The feature also helps to reduce incidents of inadvertent activation of the shift lever by children-a long-standing problem that can result in vehicle roll-away incidents and crashes.