NHTSA encourages consumers to report vehicle flaws

Urging Americans to not hesitate in filing reports if they suspect safety-related vehicle or equipment defects, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) affirms that even one complaint can trigger a recall and save lives.

In 2014, the NHTSA said 803 recalls involving 63.9 million vehicles occurred, including two of the largest vehicle recalls in history. Consumers who believe a vehicle or piece of vehicle equipment has a safety defect should file a complaint with NHTSA.

Citing one example in particular, a Longview, Texas, driver observed that a support bracket attached to his vehicle’s cloth ceiling fell during a collision. Although he was properly restrained and his air bag deployed, the driver sustained an injury when the bracket fell on him.

Concerned that this might be a safety defect, he alerted NHTSA, whose investigators determined that the same bracket had detached in at least two other vehicles involved in crashes. NHTSA instigated a recall. Consequently, over 186,000 affected vehicles are now safer.

Drivers can make a tremendous difference by letting authorities know of potential safety issues with vehicles or automotive equipment. Complaints can be filed online at SaferCar.gov, through the SaferCar mobile app for Apple and Android smartphones, or by calling 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153).

The NHTSA asks consumers to be prepared with specific information by describing incidents and including photos or police reports if applicable.

“We’ll never stop working to keep unsafe cars, trucks, and related equipment off the roads because it saves lives and prevents injuries,” NHTSA’s website promises. “And you can help as well.”

Organizations in this story

U.S. Department of Transportation 1200 New Jersey Ave SE Washington, DC 20590

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