Who We Are and What We Do
WHO ARE WE? The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), under the U.S. Department of Transportation, was established by the Highway Safety Act of 1970, as the successor to the National Highway Safety Bureau, to carry out safety programs under the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966 and the Highway Safety Act of 1966. The Vehicle Safety Act has subsequently been recodified under Title 49 of the U. S. Code in Chapter 301, Motor Vehicle Safety. NHTSA also carries out consumer programs established by the Motor Vehicle Information and Cost Savings Act of 1972, which has been recodified in various Chapters under Title 49.
NHTSA is responsible for reducing deaths, injuries and economic losses resulting from motor vehicle crashes. This is accomplished by setting and enforcing safety performance standards for motor vehicles and motor vehicle equipment, and through grants to state and local governments to enable them to conduct effective local highway safety programs.
NHTSA investigates safety defects in motor vehicles, sets and enforces fuel economy standards, helps states and local communities reduce the threat of drunk drivers, promotes the use of safety belts, child safety seats and air bags, investigates odometer fraud, establishes and enforces vehicle anti-theft regulations and provides consumer information on motor vehicle safety topics.
NHTSA also conducts research on driver behavior and traffic safety, to develop the most efficient and effective means of bringing about safety improvements.
We have a toll-free Vehicle Safety Hotline to provide recall information, receive SAFETY complaints and provide consumers with a wide range of information on vehicle safety. The Hotline operates from 8am-10pm Eastern Time, Monday-Friday. Calls during non-business hours connect to an automated answering service. A Spanish-speaking operator is available from 8am-10pm.
The nationwide toll-free number is 1-888-327-4236. For the hearing impaired the TTY number is 800-424-9153.