Last week, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced its tally of recalls in 2012 and it is shocking to think that in one year alone almost 18,000,000 vehicles driving on American roads along with the equipment for those vehicles as well as things like car safety seats for children were so flawed and unsafe that they were dangerous enough to warrant a product recall.
These are recalls dealing solely with the expertise of NHTSA in vehicle safety. This huge number of product recalls does not include things like drugs, food items, toys, furniture, clothing, or other products outside of the NHTSA purview.
According to the NHTSA report, consumers taking the time to report a complaint was a big help to the agency. In 2012, NHTSA received 41,912 complaints about car safety issues. However, the number of consumer complaints to NHTSA has gone down in the past few years: compare last year with the total complaints of 2011 (49,417) and the much higher number (65,765) in 2010.
To file a concern about possible danger of a car-related product (car, tire, seats, etc.) you can:
- file a complaint online here
- call NHTSA to report your concern at 888-327-4236 (toll-free)
Note: Reporting a complaint about a dangerous product helps the federal government learn of dangers to the public and move to get unsafe products out of the stream of commerce. This is not the same as filing an individual claim for damages sustained by a product; for that, you need to pursue individual avenues like filing insurance claims, making police reports, and suing in state or federal court based upon product liability and personal injury laws.