The mission of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is to achieve "the highest standards of excellence in motor vehicle and highway safety." Part of achieving that goal is listening to what consumers have to say about their vehicles.
Consumers can complete an online form or call a hotline to report the safety-related complaints they believe they are experiencing with their vehicles. The Office of Defects Investigation (ODI), an office of NHTSA, reviews and analyzes all submissions to identify trends and conducts any necessary investigations.
Because consumers' descriptions and categorizations of their experiences vary, are not expressed in a consistent manner and are not adequately aggregated and analyzed by NHTSA-ODI, Edmunds.com recognized that there was a need to engage in a further review of the complaints and a deeper analysis of the complaints database. Edmunds.com did such a review and has re-categorized the complaints using new standard categories that Edmunds.com defined. Edmunds.com began with complaints submitted to NHTSA-ODI since January 1, 2005 for vehicles commencing with the 2005 model year. Edmunds.com continues to retrieve, review and categorize complaints data from NHTSA-ODI weekly, adding to an in-house database that now consists of more than 90,000 consumer vehicle complaints.
The Edmunds.com NHTSA Complaints Activity Report is the result of this examination of the frequency, trends and composition of complaint submissions at the automotive industry, manufacturer, make and category levels. The Edmunds.com team performs a relative comparison among the automakers and their brands by weighting the number of complaints based on total vehicle sales. This result is expressed as "Complaints per 100,000 Vehicles Sold."
The Edmunds.com NHTSA Complaints Activity Report is published monthly.