According to the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), manufacturers filed more than 650 safety recalls during calendar year 2012 that collectively affected more than 17.8 million vehicles, child seats and various vehicle components. NHTSA itself played a pivotal role in influencing the recall of more than 9 million vehicles and 60,000 items of vehicle equipment -- including tires and child safety seats -- in that period.
During the last three years, NHTSA's defect and compliance investigations and compliance testing have brought about more than 430 recalls involving 22 million vehicles and products. NHTSA Administrator David Strickland notes that in many cases, its actions are initiated in response to user complaints. "The role of the consumer in influencing auto recalls cannot be underestimated," said Strickland. "Consumers are the lifeblood of the recall process and recalls are often the direct result of a government investigation into consumer complaints."
Last year, NHTSA received 41,912 complaints concerning potential safety defects, compared to 49,417 in 2011 and 65,765 in 2010. During that 36 month period, various defect and compliance investigations and compliance testing by the agency resulted in over 430 recalls involving 22 million vehicles and products. Since its creation in 1996, NHTSA has been involved in overseeing more than 17,000 recall investigations that involved over 500 million vehicles and more than 84 million items of equipment.
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