Tag Archives: car

The Recall Process

The investigation and recall process has 4 steps. Before the investigation starts, it is important that all consumers report any safety complaints. Without these reports, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s, NHTSA, would not be able to recall any vehicles.

There are three ways to submit a complaint:

  • Send a paper report to the Office of Defects Investigation (ODI)
  • Submit a complaint online
  • Call the vehicle safety hotline

Reports submitted are entered into the NHTSA consumer complaint automated database. The report is catalogued by vehicle make, model, model year, manufacturer, defect, assembly, and system. All of these complaints are listed online, without your personal information. If you file a complaint, an ODI investigator may contact you. The investigator will want to clarify information in your report. Check the ODI website or call the hotline if you have any questions. The ODI may launch an investigation based on the reports.

The ODI’s investigation process has four parts.

  • Screening

In the ODI, the Defects Assessment Division, DAD, is responsible for going through the reports, any emails, letters, anonymous reports, and manufacturer submitted information. The DAD will also investigate service bulletins, foreign recalls, customer satisfaction, and consumer advisories.

  • Petition Analysis

After screening, the ODI will deal with petitions. Anyone can submit a petition requesting that the NHTSA open an investigation into a possible safety defect.  The ODI will conduct a technical analysis of the petition. If the petition is granted, a defect investigation is opened. When the petition is denied, it is published in the Federal Register.

  • Investigation

There are two phases of the investigation: Preliminary Evaluation and the Engineering Analysis.

The first step is opened because of information submitted by DAD. During the Preliminary Evaluation stage, the ODI will obtain relevant info from the manufacturer. This information could be anything from complaints to reports of crashes. The first stage is an opportunity for the car manufacturer to defend their product. This stage usually only lasts for about four months. If the ODI believes that more investigation into the product is necessary, the office enters into the next phase.

The Engineering Analysis phase is the more intensive analysis phase. Investigators will determine the full scope of the alleged defects. There are inspections, tests, and surveys done. If the ODI determines that there is an alleged defect, investigators will present all the information to a panel of experts. The panel of experts will analyze all the information. If the panel decides that a recall is necessary, the ODI will notify the car manufacturer. This is the last opportunity for the car manufacturer to defend its product. If there is no further information, the ODI will send a Recall Request letter to the manufacturer.

  • Recall Management

The last step of the recall is Recall Management. The Recall Management Division (RMD) is responsible for maintaining administrative records of recalls and monitoring recalls to ensure that the scope is appropriate. If the recall is not effective, there may be another investigation into the recall.

If you are in an accident because of a recalled vehicle, you may want to contact a Santa Ana car accident lawyer.

5 Tips for Saving Money on your Car Purchase

English: Car accident near Dammsjön, Säter Mun...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Car purchases are already expensive. There is no need to pay more than you have to. These are 5 tips on how to save money on your next car purchase.

  1. Correctly time your purchase

Dealerships are more willing to lower prices at certain times of the year. Usually, you can save money by purchasing a car at the end of the month. Car salespeople have monthly goals. Salespeople are given bonuses if they meet their goal. At the end of the month, car salespeople will feel more pressured to sell cars to reach their goal. You can usually get the price knocked significant down.


At various times of the year, there are also different deals and opportunities for lower prices. December is a great time to buy a car. At the end of the year, dealerships are trying to boost their numbers for the year. To boost sales, they are willing to lower the prices significantly. During the summer, especially on July 4th, there are also many deals and promotions.


  1. Buy last year’s model

If you buy last year’s model, you can buy a new car for much lower price. Salespeople are trying to get rid of all last year’s model. This means lower prices on a new car! Usually, there is very little difference between the new and old model. Buy last year’s model and you will save a great deal of money.


  1. Do not get pressured into buying unnecessary extras

The salesperson and dealership may trick you into thinking that you need certain extras. Common unnecessary extras are extended warranties, road service, and rust protection. Extended warranties are usually unnecessary. The car usually comes with a sufficient enough warranty. These extra services can be easily done at home for a much lower cost.


The salesperson may also try to convince you to buy expensive packages to upgrade your vehicle. These packages can come with great options. However, if you only want one of the extras, see if you can purchase just that extra. There is no need to pay for extras that you don’t even want.


  1. The Internet

The Internet is an incredible resource. Before making any purchase decisions, research the car prices online. You can compare different dealerships’ prices. Usually, urban dealerships have lower prices than suburban dealerships.


If you find a great price, contact the other local dealerships. Ask the other dealerships, if they can match the great price. Usually, dealerships will be willing to match or even beat the price.


  1. Ask for deals on services and maintenance

The dealership may offer services and maintenance for a year or more. Take advantage of these offers! Ask the dealership about all of their deals on services and maintenance. You could save yourself a good chunk of money.


Cars can be expensive purchases, but these 5 tips should help you save some money. If you are ever in a car accident, contact an Orange County car accident lawyer


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