Coronavirus Resources from NHTSA

FAQs: Defect Investigations, Compliance, Enforcement During the Coronavirus

April 16, 2020: Please note that this information is intended to provide clarity to the public regarding existing requirements while NHTSA is primarily in telework status and will be discontinued at the end of that period; it does not have the force and effect of law and is not meant to bind the public in any way. 

Yes. ODI's and OVSC’s staff and management are operating in a telework status.

Consistent with ODI’s usual process, it receives consumer complaints through NHTSA’s website, which are then reviewed by investigative staff. Consumers can file a complaint by clicking “Report a Problem” on NHTSA’s website. Consumers can also file a complaint through NHTSA’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at 888-327-4236 / Hearing Impaired (TTY) 800-424-9153 (8 am – 8 pm ET Monday-Friday). 

ODI’s usual processes for reviewing consumer complaints are continuing. ODI’s complaint review systems are accessible via telework, and the office continues to promptly review consumer complaints. ODI’s investigative staff has full access to its information technology resources to support appropriate research. Staff may conduct follow-up by email or telephone with consumers and manufacturers.

At this time, ODI is not conducting in-person meetings with manufacturers or in-person vehicle inspections. Where possible, ODI uses online meeting tools to communicate with manufacturers and other stakeholders.

Yes. ODI is continuing to receive and process recalls.

To facilitate processing in light of COVID-19, ODI is requesting that manufacturers submit all 49 C.F.R. Part 579 submissions electronically. Submissions for foreign recalls should be sent via email only to frecalls@dot.gov. Manufacturer communications should be submitted using the Manufacturer Communication Portal or via email to MC.Helpdesk@dot.gov. Responses to related inquiries from ODI can be emailed to tanya.topka@dot.gov or, if the files are large, please email leo.yon@dot.gov or bernard.hardgrave@dot.gov for a secure file transfer application link. Quarterly EWR submissions should be submitted electronically, as usual. If you have any questions about how to submit your Part 579 submissions, please contact Tanya, Leo, or Bernard at the email addresses listed above.

We understand that many manufacturers are facing challenges that impact their EWR or other required reports due pursuant to 49 C.F.R. Part 579. If issues related to COVID-19 affect your ability to provide reports, please reach out to the Trends Analysis Division Chief, Tanya Topka, to discuss whether a reasonable deadline extension for your submission or inquiry response may be appropriate. Please send an email to tanya.topka@dot.gov with the reasons for your request.

Please send an email to ovscpublic@dot.gov describing what you wish to submit, and you will be contacted with further instructions. Please specify in your email any safety standard or other regulation to which your submission relates and whether you are seeking to file a petition.

If you already have an email address for a staff person in NHTSA’s Imports and Certification Division, please email that person for instructions. If not, please send an email to ovscpublic@dot.gov and you will be contacted with further instructions.