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Toyota has quietly made a change in most of its models that could save lives if a car's accelerator sticks open -- and it's not the one at the center of the $1.

1-billion settlement of Toyota's unintended acceleration lawsuits.

Toyota has modified the start-stop buttons in most of its models so that they shut the engine off after three quick pushes, or after being continuously pushed for two seconds. That's two big changes from the old policy that required a continuous three-second push in order to shut down the power.

The start-stop button was cited as a factor in the crash that killed an off-duty California Highway Patrol officer and three family members outside San Diego three years ago. The investigation found that in a panic situation, a button required a much longer push than intuitively would be expected to turn off the engine. But Toyota officials defended it at the time, saying it was important to make sure that drivers or their passengers didn't turn off the car inadvertantly by brushing against it.



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Toyota Adds Panic Mode To Keyless Start/Stop Button

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