Keeping EMS Personnel and Emergency Vehicles Safe

NHTSA's Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) has the tools to help the EMS workforce easily report possible defects, problems or issues with emergency-response vehicles or vehicle equipment. It also offers comprehensive search capabilities to find out about already reported problems.


Why Reporting Possible Vehicle and Equipment Problems Is Important

EMS-ODIWith so few EMS vehicles on the roads, specific complaints from those who drive, maintain and own them are vital to helping NHTSA pinpoint potential problems. We’re both in the business of saving lives so help us help you – always report any vehicle safety defects.

Could you imagine a defect occurring when a patient desperately needs care? In August 2007, NHTSA opened an investigation on a manufacturer of ambulances after becoming aware that a loss of power to the interior/exterior lights (including warning lights) and equipment in the patient area of ambulances manufactured by them could occur.

As a result of the NHTSA investigation, the manufacturer recalled 1,006 ambulances to correct a corrosion condition occurring on a 400-amp fuse due to exposure to calcium chloride elements.

How To Report Your Safety Complaint

What happens with your complaint

Your complaint information will be entered into NHTSA-ODI's vehicle owner's complaint database and used with other complaints to determine if a safety-related defect trend exists. More...

  • If a safety-related defect exists in a motor vehicle or item of motor vehicle equipment, the manufacturer must provide a remedy at no cost to the owner. Your complaint is the first step in the process.
  • We do not have to receive a specific number of complaints before we look into a problem. We gather all available information on a problem. Your complaint is important to us.

How your complaint is handled

  • We protect your privacy. We do not share your personal information with the general public. Your complaint will be added to a public NHTSA database only after we remove all information from complaint fields that identify you personally. More...
  • Government analysts review each complaint in a timely fashion. If warranted, the Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) will open an investigation to determine if a safety defect trend exists. Some of these investigations result in safety recalls.
  • While you may or may not be contacted by a NHTSA-ODI investigator to clarify the information submitted, all reports are reviewed and analyzed for potential defects trends.
The Privacy Act of 1974 - Public Law 93-579, As Amended: This information is requested pursuant to the authority vested in the National Highway Traffic Safety Act and subsequent amendments. You are under no obligation to respond to this questionnaire. Your response maybe used to assist the NHTSA in determining whether a manufacturer should take appropriate action to correct a safety defect. If the NHTSA proceeds with administration enforcement or litigation against a manufacturer, your response, or statistical summary thereof, may be used in support of the agency's action.