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The NHTSA Wants to Hear About Suspected Vehicle Defects

Defective Vehicle? Notify the NHTSA

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is a federal government agency that seeks to keep American citizens safe on the country’s roadways. One of the ways in which it does this is by identifying defects that adversely affect the safety of motor vehicles and equipment. The agency works to promote awareness of any such safety defects and urges vehicle owners to quickly address the repair of their vehicles if they are under a recall. Now, the agency is saying that it also wants consumers to report suspected vehicle defects.

In a recent press release, the NHTSA takes citizen responsibility to a next step by stating that anyone who believes their vehicle or vehicle equipment could have a safety defect should report it to the agency. The NHTSA asserts that it closely investigates any safety complaint it receives.

Possible Vehicle Defect? First Check for a Recall

If you believe that your vehicle has a defect, first check for open recalls. There are a few ways to do this:

  • Access the Recall Lookup feature on the NHTSA website. Enter the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to search for any active recalls.
  • Download the NHTSA SaferCar app. It runs automatic checks for recalls after you set up the app and enter your VIN.
  • The NHTSA also has an email alert system for future recalls.

If you learn that your vehicle has an open recall, promptly call a dealer in your area that works with your particular make of car and schedule a repair. Any fix necessitated by a recall will be done free of charge. 

Watch the YouTube video. The clip below, posted by the NHTSA, explains the SaferCar app.

How to Report Suspected Vehicle Defects to the NHTSA

If you suspect a defect in your vehicle and do not find an active recall, the NHTSA would like to know. The agency requests that you provide them with the information online or by telephone. The NHTSA’s Vehicle Safety Hotline is (888) 327-4236. The line is open from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., EST, Monday through Friday.

The agency encourages you to report your suspected vehicle defect, no matter how small it may be. They may be of an electrical or mechanical nature, or they could represent a software issue. Vehicle defects can create an unreasonable safety risk, and if one is verified, the automaker is required to initiate a recall and provide a free repair.

The Importance of Fixing a Recalled Vehicle

An unrepaired, defective vehicle that is under recall represents a danger to the driver, the vehicle passengers, and other motorists on the road. In 2020, there were close to 900 safety recalls administered by the NHTSA. Those recalls affected more than 55 million vehicles and vehicle-related equipment. A good number of those nearly 900 recalls were initiated by a complaint from a private citizen.

Placerville Personal Injury Lawyers

Hello, and thank you for reading. I’m Ed Smith, and I am a Placerville personal injury lawyer. For nearly four decades, the experienced accident attorneys at our firm have been advocating for injured Northern Californians. Our extent of experience in personal injury and wrongful death matters is supported by our case results, some of which can be found on the Verdicts and Settlements page of our website. If you or a family member has suffered injuries in a crash that was the result of another person’s negligence, give us a call at (530) 392-9400 or (800) 404-5400. Our legal team is happy to offer free and friendly advice.

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Photo by Pawel Czerwinski via Unsplash

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