NHTSA and Vehicle Defect Notification Requirements
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), the government agency responsible for motor vehicle safety, is responsible for the administration of national safety recalls by manufacturers or distributors of motor vehicles and items of motor vehicle equipment. The NHTSA is required to initiate the safety recall process when a safety defect or noncompliance with a federal motor vehicle safety standard (FMVSS) has been determined. The NHTSA also investigates allegations of safety defects and tests vehicles for noncompliance with FMVSS.
The NHTSA requires motor vehicle manufacturers who have determined that a safety defect or noncompliance exists to report the finding to NHTSA within five working days. Even if the manufacturer does not know the cause of the problem, its scope, or the possible remedy, the manufacturer is still required to report the determination of a defect or noncompliance with the NHTSA. After the manufacturer makes the initial report to the NHTSA, it can provide additional information as it becomes available. Reports must be made as to defects or noncompliance in a vehicle or in any piece of equipment original to the vehicle. Thus, manufacturers of component parts, such as tires, are required to report defects or noncompliance. In addition, vehicle manufacturers who use component parts that are defective or noncompliant must also file a report with respect to its vehicles containing the component in question.
The report must contain the following information:
In addition, the reports must contain a complete identification of the manufacturer or brand or trademark owner. If the vehicle or item in question is imported, the report must identify the name and address of the designated agent.
Copyright 2011 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc.
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