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How the 2013 Government Shutdown Affects Automobile Safety

While it may not be at the top of your list of concerns while you await the full effect of the 2013 government shutdown, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has announced it will not be posting new recall notices as of October 1, 2013.

This message was posted to their website yesterday:

“Due to a lapse of Federal Government funding, NHTSA is unable to post any new recalls after close of business September 30, 2013. Recall searches will remain available but are only current as of that time. Consumers can continue to file safety defect complaints via this website, but they will not be evaluated by NHTSA staff until funding and services are restored.”

Automakers can, however, announce their own recalls during this period.

According to Autoblog, the Department of Transportation has furloughed 333 of its 597 employees in the automotive realm, which leaves the agency with a “skeleton crew of sorts.”

While consumers don’t seem to be in immediate danger, Clarence Ditlow of AOL Autos says that the 2013 government shutdown is long-term, it could “significantly endanger consumer safety.” Repercussions could include automakers becoming more discreet when it comes to recall actions, or consumers having less of a chance of getting their money back if safety testing is delayed.

Hopefully, there will be a timely resolution so that we do not see how that would play out.


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