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New Cars May Soon Come Equipped with a Safety Complaint Label

When you flip down the visor of a new car, you may soon see a label that expressly states where to file a safety complaint. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently proposed a rule that would require auto manufacturers to place a label on the passenger side sun visor that provides concise information on how to submit a safety-related defect complaint to NHTSA. The rule would also require manufacturers to print the same information in the owner's manual.

As highlighted by NHTSA, its Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) receives safety data from a variety of sources, including vehicle and equipment manufacturers, dealers, and consumer advocacy groups and forums. However, ODI relies heavily on information received from consumers who experience issues with their vehicles and equipment. When NHTSA receives similar reports from several consumers, it will often open an investigation. If the agency determines that a safety-related defect exists, it may order an auto recall.

On average, NHTSA receives between 40,000 and 50,000 complaints from consumers each year. It is hoping that additional reports will help improve safety. The new rule is required under a 2012 law mandating that manufacturers be required to affix, in the glove compartment or in another readily accessible location on the vehicle, a sticker, decal, or other device that provides, in simple and understandable language, information about how to submit a safety-related motor vehicle defect complaint to NHTSA.

Under the proposed NHTSA rule, auto manufacturers must affix a label on the passenger side sun visor that states the following:

Do you believe your vehicle has a safety-related problem?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) NEEDS to know.

File your complaint with NHTSA today! Filing a complaint is easy:

Online: http://www.safercar.gov

Toll-free Hotline: 1-888-327-4236 (TTY: 1-800-424-9153)

Mail: U.S. Department of Transportation, NHTSA, Office of Defects Investigation, NEF-100, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20077-9382.

Information about how to keep your vehicle safe can be found at www.SaferCar.gov.

NHTSA will accept comments on the proposal until January 27, 2017. We will continue to track the status of the rule and provide updates as they become available.

If you or someone you care about has suffered serious injury in a car accident, don’t hesitate to contact a San Diego injury lawyer at the Law Offices of Robert Vaage for a free consultation. After a serious California crash, we can advocate on your behalf to help hold the negligent parties accountable for their actions and seek the compensation you deserve.