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“Any widespread vehicular problem that results in a risk for those in the car will be closely scrutinized by the NHTSA. ”Cars aren’t perfect — any guy who has spent a grueling winter dealing with various breakdowns can attest to that. Though there are usually seasonal problems to attend to, owning a car becomes a real pain when a manufacturer’s defect affects performance or safety. Poor engineering or a simple oversight on the production line can make a car a real danger.
To compound the problem, owners are often unaware of how to deal with the malfunction, thinking that the work is better handled in the hands of a local mechanic. With Toyota recently recalling 1.7 million cars for a fuel line defect, cases of dangerous malfunctions have become far too common. Keeping that in mind, we’ve outlined the details of a car recall in an easy-to-comprehend, question-and-answer session. Now you’ll know how to deal with this sticky situation.
Consumers who encounter such problems can report them to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) by calling their safety hotline at 1-888-DASH-2-DOT. Complaints can also be waged online at the NHTSA’s website or by filing a petition.
When enough reports are compiled, the NHTSA will begin to investigate the issue, and determine the root of the problem. Then, the findings are made public. If a manufacturer does not force a recall, then the government, through the NHTSA, will initiate one instead.
The NHTSA lists the following as typical safety-threatening defects:
Wiring or leaks that cause fireAccelerators that break or freeze suddenlySteering parts that break, causing a loss of controlAir bags that deploy late or for no reason
Any widespread vehicular problem that results in a risk for those in the car will be closely scrutinized by the NHTSA. Therefore, the safety hotline will not help you out if your air conditioner doesn’t work or there’s routine wear and tear on your car.
Aside from obvious signs like fire or random malfunctions, you’ll be alerted to the defect in your car via standard mail or electronically if you have an online account with your dealer or an onboard communication system in your car. When the manufacturer or the government concedes that there is a defect an Official Safety Recall Notice, which provides details about the problem as well as instructions on the best way to handle it, is sent to owners who are at risk. In most cases, drivers are advised to bring the car to their dealer as soon as possible.