If you are driving around Texas and notice a problem with your vehicle, you may assume that age or driving conditions caused the issue. While some car problems come from improper maintenance or typical wear and tear, others happen because of a mistake in the design or manufacturing process. Issues with the engine, brakes, safety components and steering system may all contribute to accidents. You may also increase your own risk of injury if you continue to drive a car that has a design defect.
It is not uncommon to discover design flaws in vehicles even after they make it through testing and enter the market. In many cases, automobile manufacturers issue recall notices for defective parts and/or vehicles. Before a recall may occur, car manufacturers and regulatory agencies must know about the issue. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, you may help initiate a recall by reporting any issues you find.
When you report a vehicle safety issue to the NHTSA, you may fill out a form online or call the administration directly. Within the report, you may have to include your car's VIN, make and model along with a description of the problem. You may also submit other evidence, such as pictures or a police report from an accident related to the issue.
After you file your complaint, the details of the issue (without your personal information) go into a public database. If other people report similar complaints, the NHTSA may start an investigation. In many cases, manufacturers find issues and initiate recalls without the NHTSA's involvement. However, sometimes it does take an investigation from the government organization to find a solution. Filing a complaint with the NHTSA may be the right way for you to resolve an issue with your vehicle.
This information about design defects is intended for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as legal advice.