Important Insider's Guide to Car Recalls: How To Be Your Own Detective!

With Toyota's unprecedented move to temporarily suspend sales of millions of cars and trucks due to potential accelerator pedal problems, car recalls are big news. What can you do if you think there's a problem with YOUR matter what the make and model? Since 1966, more than 390 million cars, trucks, buses, recreational vehicles, motorcycles, and mopeds, as well as 46 million tires, 66 million pieces of motor vehicle equipment, and 42 million child safety seats have been recalled to correct safety defects.(Source: NHTSA)

GALTime Consumer Watchdog Mary Schwager has some important tips to help you be your own detective:

You are fuming mad ! Your heart is pounding ! The tire just rolled right off your car while you and your kids were driving on the highway. Luckily, you were able to safely pull over to the side, other cars swerving to avoid the tire as it bounced across lanes of traffic.

How in the universe did it happen? The guy who rotated your tires says it wasn't his fault. The dealer is puzzled and mentioned he heard one other person complain about the same thing. Meantime, you are still telling everyone it's a miracle you survived.

If something happens with your car that shakes you to your soul, something weird, odd and definitely a safety related problem,The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) should be your first stop. Report the situation ASAP.


Once you report it, start doing some detective work! You can get instant gratification if you think there's a systemic problem with your vehicle. NHTSA has an online search tool to check out other car complaints people have reported to the government agency.

CLICK HERE for more about filing reports and how to search NHTSA to see if there are already reported problems with your vehicle. It's important information and we walk you through it step by step.

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