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The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration or NHTSA is a government agency of the U.S. Department of Transportaion (DOT), responsible for the enforcement of all safety related recall notices that involve manufacturer defects affecting consumer vehicles and frames.
Notices are issued from time to time to inform consumers of possible defects and their associated risks. Consumers who own a vehicle covered by any such notice should immediately take their vehicle to their dealer for proper repair or replacement. Recall notices should NOT be taken lightly. NHTSA maintains an on-line database with detailed listings of all recalls including RV's, Buses, Tractor Trailers, Motorcycles, etc.
You may file a complaint with NHTSA's Office of Defects Investigation by filling out NHTSA's online form here.
AUTOPEDIA® also references a listing of past NHTSA and DOT statements and press releases that may have significant impact upon the general public. Although the database sometimes does not contain the most recent releases, a complete listing of NHTSA and DOT press releases is available here.
Manufacturers often voluntarily issue recalls called "service bulletins" that essentially serve the same purpose as an officially mandated NHTSA recall. The Ford Motor Company Recall in April, 1996 was one of the largest recalls in history covering nearly nine million vehicles equipped with a faulty ignition switch that could have lead to a possible fire hazzard.
NOTICE: You will notice that it is getting more difficult to obtain current TSBs even from NHTSA. The reason is that the TSBs are actually the property of the manufacturers and they have decided not to provide them to NHTSA as they once did.
If you are interested in obtaining specific recall information for a particular vehicle, you can do so by calling the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Auto Safety Hotline at 1-800-424-9393.