Consumers should report unsafe automobiles, tires (and all automobile parts), trucks, motorcycles, and child restraint systems to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
In addition, sometimes these reports are and can be made by an injured consumers legal counsel, i.e. their attorney or lawyer that is investigating the merits of a product liability lawsuit on behalf of the injured or killed individual.
Steps to Filing a Report with the NHTSA
The NHTSA has made reporting dangerous or hazardous vehicular products very simple. You can use the online forms at the NHTSA website to report an injury or death and to file a complaint about an unsafe automobile, tire, automobile part, truck, motorcycle, and/or child restraint system, aka. car seat, child car seat, infant car seat or booster seat.
Link to NHTSA Form: http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/ivoq/
In addition, you can also report vehicular related defects by phone (888) 327-4236 or letter (Office of Defects Investigations/CRD, NVS-216, 1200 New Jersey Ave SE, Washington, DC 20590).
What to Expect After Filing a Report with NHTSA
Your complaint information will be entered into NHTSA’s vehicle owner’s complaint database and used with other complaints to determine if a safety-related defect trend exists.
- If a safety-related defect exists in a motor vehicle or item of motor vehicle equipment, the manufacturer must fix it at no cost to the owner. Your complaint is the first step in the process.
- Government engineers analyze the problem. If warranted, the manufacturer is asked to conduct a recall. If the manufacturer does not initiate a recall, the government can order the manufacturer to initiate a recall.
- The NHTSA does not have to receive a specific number of complaints before they look into a problem. They simply gather all available information on a problem.
- While you may or may not be contacted by a NHTSA investigator to clarify the information submitted, all reports are reviewed and analyzed for potential defects trends.