4595 Angelo Drive N.E.
Dear Mr. Geurink: This is in reply to your letter of December 29, 1975, to the Departmen concerning 'general policies on recalls and any rules you may have on them.'; From September 9, 1966, when the National Traffic and Motor Vehicl Safety Act was enacted, until December 27, 1974, a manufacturer was required to notify purchasers of the existence of a safety-related defect or a non-compliance with a Federal motor vehicle safety standard, but there was no legal requirement to recall and repair the product. To implement the notification requirement, this agency adopted a regulation, 49 CFR Part 577, *Defect Notification*. It also adopted 49 CFR Part 573, *Defect Reports*, which requires a manufacturer to report to us periodically on notification campaigns.; Effective December 27, 1974, the Act was amended (Section 151 an following sections) to require mandatory notification, and remedy. We have proposed a new Part 577 to implement the new requirements. The public comments on the proposal are still being evaluated and the final rule has not been issued. I enclose copies of the Act, Part 573, Part 577, and proposed Part 577 for your information, and will be happy to answer any questions you have concerning them.; To address your specific concerns: the fact that a product fails one o our tests does not *per se* establish a failure to comply with a Federal motor vehicle safety standard. In the usual case the manufacturer is afforded an informal opportunity to present its views regarding the test failure. Errors in testing or test machines may be brought to our attention which have the effect of negating the test results. Or the manufacturer may be convinced of its noncompliance and voluntarily announce a notification/recall campaign. Or the manufacturer may be directed by this agency to furnish notification after a public hearing on the matter. The agency in the latter circumstance will issue its own press release announcing the recall. Notification must be made 'within a reasonable time' after a determination of non-compliance or safety-related defect (Sec. 153(b)). If that determination is made by the government, it may prescribe a time period that it regards as reasonable.; There is no 'recent' Goodyear Tire recall of 12,500 tires as you state though the company did recall 12,602 tires in January 1973. Without knowing the size and type of the tires you are concerned about I cannot comment further.; I am returning your stamps. Yours truly, Richard B. Dyson, Assistant Chief Counsel