Normally, one has to actually complain to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration about car defects to get them to listen. However, a new NHTSA social media putsch has begun, as the agency will be watching your Books of Face and Twitter for input.
NHTSA social media monitoring has commenced
Typically, to inform the government that one’s car has a defect, there are official channels. One can go the Department of Transportation’s website, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website or one of a number of sites to complain, such as SaferCar.gov and USA.gov.
There, one can fill out the forms and lament the defects of a lemon in the driveway and how you are scared the defect may result in a slight case of death. You can also write or call them, if they can still afford to keep phones staffed.
Or you can go on social networking sites, and let fly a Tweet or a tirade on the Book of Face. According to AutoGuide, they’ll probably read it, as NHTSA social media monitoring has been going on for a while now.
Big Brother has your back
Sounds slightly Big Brother-ish, don’t it? It’s for a good cause, as they’re searching for defects that might cause harm or kill someone. They don’t likely give a tinker’s about how Jimmy Bob Bill Bob is butt-hurt that every single post in government isn’t filled by Republicans.
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As HowStuffWorks points out, a division of the NHTSA and the DOT is the Office of Defect Investigation, the ones doing the NHTSA social media snooping. The ODI looks for indications of possible automotive defects including, according to AutoGuide, looking at social networks for complaints, discussion forums, letters to the editor of car publications and so forth.
Remember the Jeep Death Wobble thing? Jeep forum boards are packed with discussions of death wobbles. It’s often people who have installed a lift kit, sway bars and so on and sloppy installation – “slop” or travel in the sway bar due to insufficient care in installation and calibration – is a common cause. However, it shouldn’t be there in a stock Jeep. That’s the kind of stuff the ODI looks for.
Might not do much good
As everyone knows, the internet, a series of tubes that Al Gore invented, can’t be trusted too implicitly. NHTSA social media screening isn’t likely to result in a recall. It might tip them off, but they have to receive sufficient complaints through proper channels, as AutoGuide points out.
As the DOT points out, most recalls start with consumer complaints, as the agency received 41,912 complaints and got automakers to recall 9 million vehicles as a result of investigations last year alone. Granted, automakers will recall vehicles on their own, as a total of 17.5 million vehicles were recalled, meaning over 45 percent of recalls are voluntarily begun. Just because you borrowed Rapid car loans doesn’t mean the defect will make itself known – a little participation is good for everyone.