Safety advocate drops lawsuit after service bulletins get posted on NHTSA site

For years, car companies kept consumers in the dark about the existence of vital repairs for defects that often were available for free,” Jason Levine, the center’s executive director, said in a statement.

“The center fought for decades against secret warranties and other dirty tricks of the auto manufacturers in order to bring technical service bulletins to light. Despite the law being updated in 2012 to require communications from manufacturers to their dealers to be posted online, the government failed to do so — which is why we took DOT to court.”

by Melissa Burden
1/21/2020

The Center for Auto Safety has dismissed its 2016 lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Transportation after the department posted online tens of thousands of automaker technical-service bulletins sent to dealerships.

The nonprofit consumer advocacy group filed the federal lawsuit nearly four years ago because it claimed the DOT had failed to adhere to a federal law requiring bulletins and an index of manufacturer communications be made available for the public to search online.

On Tuesday, it said it had voluntarily dismissed the case Jan. 13 in federal court in the District of Columbia. That followed a settlement the parties reached in December in which the center agreed to dismiss the case “once defendants perform certain agreed actions,” according to court records.

The technical-service bulletins, which the government calls manufacturer communications, include warranty and policy memos, product improvement notices and repair instructions for dealership service departments. The bulletins also provide insight into problems consumers may have with certain vehicles.

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