Changes to Requirements for Safety Recalls 


Do you know about each of the changes?

Is your company in compliance with each and every change?

If your answer to either of the above is "no," please see the Federal Register notice that announced and described each change. A copy can be found here.

Requirements Effective August 20, 2014:

  • All manufacturers must submit safety recall documents through a new recalls portal on NHTSA's website This means all Part 573 Defect & Noncompliance Reports, copies of owner/dealer letters, and quarterly report forms will be submitted online through a secure account. This means we no longer accept paper submissions in the mail, e-mail submissions, or faxes.
  • Large light-vehicle and motorcycle manufacturers (production of 25k or more light vehicles annually or 5k or more motorcycles annually) must provide VIN-based search capability for open recalls on or linked from the main page of their U.S. website. These manufacturers must also allow NHTSA to access open recall data using standard protocols so that users of can access this same information.
Recall Label

Requirement Effective February 18, 2014:

  • All owner letter envelopes must display this label. The label must be 1"x3" in size and placed on the front of the envelope.
  • The label is available for download.

Requirements Effective October 21, 2013:

  • Part 573 Defect & Noncompliance Reports for equipment must identify the equipment by brand name, model name, and any applicable model numbers.
  • All Part 573 Defect & Noncompliance Reports must include a description of the safety risk. This description must meet the same requirements as those in Part 577 for describing risk in owner notification letters (e.g., must identify risk of a vehicle crash or type of injury to occupants that may occur, along with any prior warnings that may occur).
  • Any updates or changes to a previously filed Part 573 Defect & Noncompliance Report must be reported to NHTSA within 5 working days of confirming the new or changed information.
  • Owner letters must be mailed no later than 60 days from the date you file the Part 573 Defect & Noncompliance Rep5ort with NHTSA. If the remedy is not ready within 60 days, an interim letter must be mailed to owners and then another letter must be mailed when the remedy becomes available.
  • The phrase "IMPORTANT SAFETY RECALL" must be placed at the top of all recall notification owner letters. This phrase must be in all capital letters and in a larger font than the font used for the remainder of the letter.
  • Owner letters for vehicle recalls must include the phrase "This notice applies to your vehicle, (manufacturer to insert VIN for the particular vehicle)." This phrase must be placed directly under the phrase "IMPORTANT SAFETY RECALL" at the top of the letter. If placement at this location is not possible, it must be placed somewhere equally visible to the owner within the recall notification.

Questions? The Recall Management Division can be reached at