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Neighbors Growing Together | Dec 9, 2016

US auto safety agency wants more complaints

Nov 30, 2016

DETROIT (AP) — The U.S. government wants more people to complain about auto safety problems.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is proposing a rule requiring automakers put labels on sun visors of all new vehicles with instructions on how to file safety complaints.

The labels would be glued to passenger visors and tell people that complaints could bring an investigation or a possible recall.

The agency uses consumer complaints to spot safety problems. If NHTSA workers spot a trend in the complaints, the agency investigates and can pressure automakers into doing recalls.

But in 2015, the agency’s director said it didn’t have enough people to thoroughly analyze the 75,000 complaints that came in, and NHTSA hasn’t received additional funding since.

The labels were required by Congress in 2012. They instruct people to contact NHTSA with safety issues at www.safercar.gov, by phone at 888-327-4236 or by mail at U.S. Department of Transportation, NHTSA, Office of Defects Investigation, NEF-100, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE, Washington, DC 20077-9382.

The agency will take comments on the proposal until Jan. 27. The regulation process can take years to complete, so it likely will be a long time before labels are required.

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