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When to report NHTSA issues?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by cwerdna, Sep 18, 2013.

  1. cwerdna

    cwerdna Active Member

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    Good to hear they went out of their way to resolve your issue.

    This is definitely worthy of reporting to NHTSA as a safety complaint, esp. since you've given the automaker a chance to resolve the issue.

    Before some random anonymous yahoos decide to hit me again w/negative reputation points :rolleyes:, see Right front door popped open while driving and Right front door popped open while driving - Page 2 for greater context as to why.

    And to quote from my post:

    (I'm now leasing a Leaf and still have the Prius.)
    And to quote another post:
    Many vehicles have been recalled for windshield wiper flaws and failures, if you Google quickly for recall windshield wipers. And, this was clearly a safety issue.
     
  2. AMPd

    AMPd Active Member

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    All your posts seem to be about reporting tesla to NHTSA
     
  3. cwerdna

    cwerdna Active Member

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    #3 cwerdna, Sep 19, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2013
    And your observation is incorrect. Feel free to search my posts.

    From the OP's post, do you agree that he/she experienced a safety defect? Do you agree that they gave the automaker a chance to address? (To which they did succeed, so far.) Do you agree that such a failure has been caused recalls of other cars in the recent and distant past?

    Are you implying that the OP shouldn't report the safety defect to NHTSA? If no, why? How will withholding the report help other Tesla owners and potentially make the Model S safer for them?

    NHTSA's role with respect to investigations and possible recalls is outlined at File a Safety Complaint | Safercar.gov | NHTSA .
     
  4. FlasherZ

    FlasherZ Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv

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    #4 FlasherZ, Sep 19, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2013
    Glad to hear Tesla's revolutionary service came through for you and they addressed the problems, unlike other automakers. I've had nothing but great service experiences, just like this.

    Like usual, #include <mommy_government.h> from cwerdna.

    Give Tesla a chance to fix it, they will. No need to go running to Mother and tattling. Reporting things that the manufacturer resolves on its own to the NHSTA only goes to waste government resources that could be better used elsewhere.

    The NHSTA is begging congress for a ~15% increase in its "vehicle safety" budget, from $132M to $148M this next fiscal year. Think about what Tesla could do with $148M, then think about what the government does with $148M. You make the call.

    It's always better to direct your energy to something productive, instead of destructive and wasteful of the tax dollars I pay.
     
  5. cwerdna

    cwerdna Active Member

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    ^^^
    Sigh... by your logic, nobody should report any vehicle safety defects to NHTSA.
     
  6. FlasherZ

    FlasherZ Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv

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    Nope, said it before - if the manufacturer refuses to address the issue? Then report it. Until then, you're just wasting dollars.
     
  7. cwerdna

    cwerdna Active Member

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    So, after they address it, no safety complaint to NHTSA? If not, how often will NHTSA actually know about it?

    Not reporting means losing out on this from https://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/ivoq/:
    I have no idea if your figures are right, but if they are, $148 million doesn't sound bad when Passenger vehicles in the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia says there 254 million registered passenger vehicles in the US.
     
  8. Beavis

    Beavis Signature 991

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    You make a valid point but I believe most of the people on this forum trust that Tesla will identify and remedy the problem without additional cost prior to the NHTSA telling them to. That trust is based on experience.
     
  9. texex91

    texex91 Banned

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    #9 texex91, Sep 19, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2013
    Glad you got the issue solved.

    NHTSA for a wiper blade malfunction--
    :confused:. The driver had the issue within a block of this house--HE was the one that chose to drive on (probably shouldn't have), the car didn't choose to drive in the rain without wipers.

    Sorry about another quality problem, but I'm glad they fixed so you didn't have to drive home slow
    :biggrin:
     
  10. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    #10 NigelM, Sep 19, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2013
  11. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    Hehe.
     
  12. FlasherZ

    FlasherZ Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv

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    Yes, trying to link with "-lmommy_govt" usually makes the linker run out of resources and makes an attempt to confiscate & redistribute more resources from other systems that could use them in more optimal and productive ways.
     
  13. cwerdna

    cwerdna Active Member

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    #13 cwerdna, Sep 19, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2013
    Sigh... another anonymous random yahoo decided to hit me w/a negative reputation. :rolleyes:
    So, what's the harm in reporting it, esp. after it's been resolved? I didn't see anything on NHTSA's site that says to NOT report to them safety defects that were resolved by the auto manufacturer's dealers/service departments.

    Some people really seem interested in what they believe is "protecting" Tesla. If Tesla has to do a recall, it has to be via a process that abides by US law, just in the same way if NHTSA orders them to.

    Some seem to not want to "clog" NHTSA w/safety complaints... Tesla sales are peanuts (estimate at August 2013 Dashboard - HybridCars.com since Tesla doesn't report sales figures each month) vs. the rest of the US auto industry/other major automakers (August 2013: Sizzling Summer Edition - Autoblog and Auto Sales - Markets Data Center - WSJ.com).

    If NHTSA initiates an investigation (in general, not for this specific issue/incident), they'll be asking questions and for data from an automaker. If the automaker can't answer them or doesn't have good answers, then you have to question whether they should be making and selling cars. If they don't have the resources to, the same question applies.

    Have you folks looked at the Charting Panic chart at It's All Your Fault: The DOT Renders Its Verdict on Toyota's Unintended-Acceleration Scare Car and Driver of the HUGE spike in "unintended acceleration" during the whole Toyota SUA/sticky pedal PR disaster? Hmmm... were all those legit complaints or were there perhaps other motives? Why the spike (which is supposedly normal, when a recall hits the news)? What if those folks had complained earlier and in similar volumes or more spread out? Maybe the Toyota recall would've happened sooner there would've been fewer accidents, injuries and deaths?

    Heck, as I mentioned, I am a fan of Toyota and Nissan and I told my dad to file a safety complaint w/NHTSA when his 02 Toyota Rav4 leaked fuel. He did it after the dealer resolved it (Toyota does quite well in terms of ratio of complaints vs. market share - MY350Z.COM Forums).

    I'm a Prius fan and owner told Prius owners to file safety complaints w/NHTSA like at near complete brake failure on my way home from Coachella | PriusChat. I don't recall people jumping all over me over there about it. Others have done the same at Replacing HID Headlights on 2007 Prius - Bumper off or not | PriusChat and Warning: My 2010 Prius brakes failed while driving! | PriusChat and I don't recall many folks saying "no, don't report it NHTSA".

    I have no idea if a recall is warranted in the incident my posts were originally at or some of the others. Neither do the anti-NHTSA reporting folks nor those who experienced safety defects. If a recall is actually warranted and NOT submitting them to NHTSA results in a delay of a recall or one never happening and instead, people are injured, people die or cars are wrecked, is that really better?

    I am not anti-Tesla and I currently have no positions in TSLA stock nor options. I don't think I've had any in ages, if ever at all. (Congrats to those who have made a killing on its meteoric rise. I am kicking myself for not having any... :()

    Notice the people who seem to be against reporting a legitimate safety defect to NHTSA don't have very good answers to my questions? I've never encountered this type of resistance and anti-reporting to NHTSA attitude on ANY car forum I've been on, until now. The resistance seems rather misguided, at best. I've been on a bunch of car forums over many years, going back to the year 2000 or so...

    A light bulb went on in my head last night... For ages, it seems that automakers like VW have been the subject of not many recalls. I figured it was due to their tiny US sales (see Autoblog link earlier) and thus the numbers coming into NHTSA were too small. Other than that, it made little sense to me since their reliability tends to be bad. So, it's strange that despite bad reliability, anything safety related doesn't fail too?

    Perhaps VW fanboys also discourage their fellow owners from reporting safety defects (both resolved and unresolved) to NHTSA?
     
  14. cwerdna

    cwerdna Active Member

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    And, the OP should read over that other thread and ask themselves, should it go unreported to NHTSA. If so, why?
     
  15. FlasherZ

    FlasherZ Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv

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    #15 FlasherZ, Sep 20, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2013
    And funny enough, I got hit with negative anonymous feedback just one minute after your late-night post (in this case, your post at 12:58 am and your feedback at 12:59 am) detailing your position and attacking those who don't believe you should run to mommy government before letting the manufacturer deal with it. Hmmm, rather curious, don't you think?

    It is an anonymous system, so I can't guarantee it's you, but let's admit that it does look quite a bit fishy, and few others on here seem to have an issue with my position. Even fewer would bother to send negative reputation points for me expressing my position that reporting these issues (and your posts across threads pressuring others to report them) is inappropriate. Those who do would likely post publicly and let me know rather than trying to intimidate me through the reputation system. For what it's worth, I didn't leave you the feedback yesterday and with few exceptions (usually space issues) I sign mine. But thanks for the faith in me again.

    (The last time I was downvoted anonymously, several other posters were kind enough to reverse it through positive feedback, achieving the opposite of what was intended.)

    The difference in the Toyota case is that Toyota was refusing to admit a problem. *THAT* is where the NHSTA comes in. That is not where Tesla currently stands in its track record. I am sorry you seem to believe that the government is the source of all solutions in our lives.
     
  16. bluetinc

    bluetinc Member

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    Cwerdna,

    The issue here seems to be that you, in your own words, "I have no idea if a recall is warranted". Perhaps before you suggest that someone report something to the NHTSA that they understand if it is a valid recall issue.

    I don't think anyone here would argue that a report would be warranted if a persons Brakes failed, regardless of how well Tesla did fixing the problem. Perhaps suggesting that failed windshield wipers get reported is a bit overboard and only serves to diminish your position?

    Peter
     
  17. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    I don't think it's that. My VW TDI was certainly highly unreliable, but I never really considered reporting it because it didn't seem safety related--although I guess a case for a few of the items could be considered safety related depending upon how wide you want to through the net. For example any individual headlight lasted between one day and one month, so at least once a month I was driving one-eyed. The battery stranded me several times. Basically I learned my lesson and will never buy anything even remotely connected with VW ever again. But I don't see how reporting the problems to the NHTSA would have helped me or others.
     
  18. Lifeguard(ret.)

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    I appreciate cwerdna raising this question which had not occurred to me, although I am dismayed by the tenor of the exchanges. I also work in an organization that places tremendous emphasis on safety, and understand the empowerment needed at all levels of the workforce to achieve this. After much consideration, I have decided not to file a report with the NHTSA as I think promoting safety within an organization is more effective than trying to impose it from the outside. I agree with Beavis that Tesla's commitment to safety is the best assurance that an issue like is properly addressed. I have contacted Tesla Service in Fremont directly with the details of the wiper failure to make sure that it doesn't remain solely at the level of the service center. I have confidence that it will receive appropriate and serious attention.

    The biggest safety problem in this incident is one that the NHTSA has no jurisdiction over - my poor judgement in not turning around when it was still just a drizzle. :smile:
     
  19. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    Good choice, that's what I would suggest as a first step to most people too who suspect a safety issue (make sure corporate has recorded the issue directly). I think the point cwerdna missed is that the NHTSA is not the sole or even primary source to report safety problems. The manufacturer actually gets many more problem reports than NHTSA complaints (judging from some recent recalls). The only differentiating factor is whether the manufacturer takes those reports seriously. And given Tesla's two recalls have been voluntary so far and that Tesla service seems to spend extra effort to diagnose problems, I trust they will take your issue seriously.

    The NHTSA safety complaint is typically used when the dealer/manufacturer fails to solve/address/acknowledge the issue and they need NHTSA poking at their back to get things done.
     
  20. cwerdna

    cwerdna Active Member

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    #20 cwerdna, Sep 21, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2013
    The person who experienced a safety defect for which there is no recall yet has no idea if a recall is warranted or if it's just a single fluke or extremely rare fluke. But, MANY cars have been recalls for windshield wiper failures before. So, it meets the bar for a report to NHTSA. It does NOT mean that a recall will happen nor does it mean that the person reporting is adamant that there should/must be a recall. It's just a data point.

    BTW, by rare, for example, the Toyota recall at Main Battery and 12V battery failure in the middle of the intersection. - Page 4 for stalling had this info
    That was enough to cause a recall.

    For the case of jerry33, the premature headlight failure does sound like a safety issue and recall class. Google for headlight failure recall to see recalls for this type of thing. Car not starting due to dead battery isn't.

    - - - Updated - - -

    They are not inappropriate. They raise attention to recall class issues that should be reported so that it can aid in spotting whether or not there is a trend and a recall is required.

    From Lifeguard(ret.)'s post, it appears he hadn't considered even reporting it to NHTSA. I suspect that others who hit recall class (by their severity and that there have been recalls for the same symptom on other cars before) might not consider it. It is helpful to remind them when issues arise.

    BTW, there have even been recalls that mean putting on a sticker!
    2012 Nissan Titan Recalled for Mislabeled Capacity Information - Automotive News
    http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/owners/SearchResults?searchType=ID&targetCategory=R&searchCriteria.nhtsa_ids=12V102000&refurl=rss

    Or, they could even be caused by work done by a (apparently despised) dealer group/region: Toyota recalling 16 popular models including Camry, Prius and Corolla for airbag risks | Torque News.

    What is inappropriate to report to NHTSA are non-safety issues (e.g. Leaf battery degradation in hot climates), user error or issues not actually experienced.

    Again, I'm puzzled and very annoyed that there is such an attitude of strongly discouraging the reporting of legitimate safety defects here to NHTSA by a vocal few, it seems. This attitude is basically unheard of on other car forums I'm on. Seriously, the attitude and view is misguided.

    I'm not saying Tesla or any other automaker is shady (there have been cases like Mitsubishi Admits Hiding Complaints - Los Angeles Times), but there is an inherent conflict of interest if one relies solely on the automaker as recalls can cause bad PR and cost money. And, if Tesla employees who are responsible for spotting trends that could lead to a recall have the same attitude as the "don't report it NHTSA" and/or "oh, it's not recall class/worthy" folks here... There are great examples of those starting at Main Battery and 12V battery failure in the middle of the intersection. - Page 2.
     

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