How To File A Vehicle Safety Complaint

If you are driving your car and something unexpected happens, perhaps one of your safety systems is giving a false reading, and it is happening regularly, you should file a complaint. Many government bodies rely on complaints from drivers to fix problems that cars may have, and when enough people complain they may force the manufacturers to recall the car and repair them - especially if it relates to the safety of the occupants.

Most people are completely unaware of how to go about making a complaint about their cars, who do you contact and what information do you need? The Australian government has set up the processes for dealing with complaints that relate to a car's failure to comply with safety standards.

The complaint process is reasonably straightforward, here we have outlined what you need to know.

When Should You Make A Complaint?

If the issues you are concerned with are related to safety systems, their design, and/or manufacture then you should make a complaint. Check that your concerns are covered under current legislation and consider if the vehicle is in breach of those rules.

On the government website, there is a quiz you can access to see if your complaint is legitimate, and will suggest the best place to lodge your complaint.

When you go through the quiz your answers will offer some guidance to the next steps you need to take.

What Will The Report Be Used For?

All reports will be assessed and may be used to help identify any issues with the model and manufacture of your car. It may also be used in auditing procedures on manufacturers to ascertain if they are following current safety legislation.

The department of infrastructure will give considerations to reports that offer detailed information on:

  • Serious breaches of regulations.
  • Systemic safety issues that affect a large number of vehicles.

There are many factors that may be taken into account as to if it will be considered as a legitimate complaint, these include:

  • If death or injury has occurred as a result of the fault.
  • Safety non-compliance.
  • Number of similar reports.
  • Age of the vehicle and its intended usage.

How to Submit a Report?

It is important to consider if your complaint is a valid concern before submitting.

Before submitting any report be sure that you:

  • Understand the owner's manual.
  • Check if your car is already subjected to a recall.
  • Contact the dealership to discuss any issues.
  • Contact the manufacturer, many have customer helplines and they are usually more than willing to assist drivers.

If all of these points have been considered then you can submit a report online by going to this website:

What Happens After I Make The Report?

You will be notified by email that your report has been received. Usually, you will only be further contacted if the department handling the complaint needs more information.

It is important to note that your complaint and your details may be shared with other departments.