FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
My motor vehicle has a safety defect.
Who do I contact?
To report a problem involving automobile safety defects, go to http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/ivoq/ or call toll-free the Auto Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (1-888-DASH-2-DOT).
Written correspondence should be addressed to the Associate Administrator for Safety Assurance NSA-10, NHTSA HQ, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590
Where can I get more information about the airbags in
I need help installing my child safety seat? Who should I call?
To find a Child Passenger Safety Technician willing to help near you, visit: http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/people/injury/childps/Contacts/index.cfm
Where do I find out if my vehicle or equipment such as a child safety seat has been recalled?
Visit http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/problems/recalls/recall_links.html or call the Auto Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (1-888-DASH-2-DOT)
How can I get brochures/booklets/pamphlets on various traffic safety issues?
These materials can be requested online from the NHTSA Publications Catalog at: http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/people/outreach/media/catalog/Index.cfm
I am getting ready to buy a new or used car, how do I find out how safe it is?
For information on buying a safer car, see NHTSA's rating tables at: http://www.safercar.gov/
I have a problem with a car purchased from a local dealer. What can I do?
First, try to work out the problem with the local dealer. If the problem is not resolved, contact the manufacturer's
regional or national office. Ask for the consumer affairs office. If unsuccessful, consider using an automotive
dispute resolutions programs. Three examples of such programs are the Automotive Consumer Action Program (AUTOCAP)
conducted by many State Automobile Dealers Associations, the Center for Auto Safety (CAS) at http://www.autosafety.org, and the Better Business Bureaus (BBB) Auto Line at http://www.bbb.org (Information
courtesy of the Consumer Action Handbook)
I want to import a vehicle. Who can help me?
Call the Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance at 202-366-2832. Questions about importing specific vehicle models
can be answered through the Gray Market Vehicles department at (202) 366-5308. Additional information is also available
I wish to manufacture a new device I designed for safer automobile driving. Who do I contact?
Contact the NHTSA Office of Chief Counsel Rulemaking Division at (202) 366-2992 on the legal use of a new device
or get more information at http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/rules/maninfo/
I am starting a trailer manufacturing business. How do I get VINs and manufacturer ID numbers?
Go to http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/rules/maninfo/ or call (202) 366-5302
I would like to report a hazardous road condition on an interstate or other roadway. Who do I call?
Contact your State Highway Dept http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/webstate.htm or the Division Office of the Federal Highway Administration. To find the FHWA field office near
you, go to http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/field.html#fieldsites
I am an over-the-road truck driver and just got a conviction for speeding. How will that affect my
commercial driver's license?
The Motor Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act (MCSIA) of 1999 requires each state to report all traffic convictions
to the licensing state, and for the licensing state to record the information on the driver history of that driver.
If the conviction is for an offense specified in the Federal Motor Carrier Regulations-FMCSRs (49 CFR 383.5 Serious
traffic violation or 49 CFR 383.51 Disqualification of drivers) then the federal regulations specify what type
of driver license suspension action must be taken. If the conviction is for an offense not specified in the FMCSRs,
the state’s normal procedures are followed, e.g., most states assign points which determine if a driver license
suspension will be initiated. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is conducting reviews of all states
to be sure they are following these procedures. For more information, contact the Motor Carrier Safety field office
nearest to you: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov
Who is required to have a US DOT number, and where can it be obtained?
Every self-propelled commercial motor vehicle operated in interstate commerce and meets at least one of the following
criteria is required to have a USDOT number:
has a gross vehicle weight or gross combination weight rating,
or gross vehicle or combination weight of 10,001 pounds or more, whichever is greater
is designed or used to transport more than 8 passengers (including
the driver) for compensation
is designed or used to transport more than 15 passengers,
including the driver, and not used to transport passengers for compensation
is used in transporting a quantity of Hazardous Materials
A US DOT number can obtained from the Federal Motor Carrier
Safety Administration by calling (800) 832-5660 or from FMCSA's web site at: http//:www.safersys.org
I am from a TV station/radio station/newspaper agency. Where can I get information on a particular
News releases and other helpful information from the NHTSA Public and Consumer Affairs Office is at http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/nhtsa/announce/press/index.dbm
Are you the NTSB?
No, we are not the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). The NTSB's Web site is at http://www.ntsb.gov/ or they can be contacted by calling (202) 314-6000.
Where can I obtain telephone numbers for the road conditions for a State?
Generally, road condition reports are provided by the State Department of Transportation or the State Highway Patrol.
For a listing of telephone numbers for all states, go to http://www.usroadconditions.com/ or http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/trafficinfo/