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Does Your New Car Have a Safety Defect?

by Brian Wong (Aug 13, 2010)

Even new cars fall victim to problems and defects, which can impact their passengers' safety, as well as the safety of other drivers on the road. The responsibility for repairing and monitoring these safety issues lies with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The NHTSA has been helping keep America's roads safe since its inception in 1966. It is responsible for the safety oversight of motor vehicles and related equipment, such as tires and child-seats.

The NHTSA's Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) conducts defect investigations and administers safety recalls to support the NHTSA's mission of making America's roadways safer. Over the years, 278 million vehicles have been recalled and repaired as a result of investigations conducted by ODI. They are the only government agency that has the authority to force manufacturers to recall defective or malfunctioning products and repair them at no cost to owners.

And they are asking for your help! The NHTSA highly encourages people to come forward if they believe that their vehicle might have problems - voluntary consumer reporting is one of the primary ways that the ODI is able to identify defects and have them repaired. Each complaint is carefully examined and filed into the ODI database to determine if trends exist around potential defects and what action should be taken. If a safety-related defect is found to exist, then the manufacturers must recall the affected vehicles and provide a fix at no cost to owners.

If you suspect that your vehicle is defective, the ODI highly encourages you to report this information in one of two easy ways: 1) by going online and filing a complaint at www.SaferCar.gov, or 2) by calling ODI's Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236.

Help the NHTSA keep our roads safe by reporting vehicle defects. Each defect they find and fix with your assistance make the roads a safer place for all of us.

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