Technical service bulletins must be disclosed fully

by Cornelius Nunev

Recently, lawmakers in Congress approved a transportation bill which was appropriately signed by the president. Among its other functions, which includes funding for highway fixes, was the release of technical service notices to the public, which usually are only between car makers and dealers.

Technical service bulletins available to public more easily

The low subsidized student loan rates have been extended with a student loan bill together with a transportation bill called HR 4348. There will be another $105 billion given for highway repairs and maintenance in the transportation bill. According to C-SPAN, Obama just signed the two bills so they could pass.

There is something very interesting in the bill though. AutoGuide explained that "technical service bulletins" are info from auto makers not normally given to the public. Car makers send the notices to dealerships and dealer service locations with all information about possible defects. Now, the public will have access to the info because of a clause in the bill.

Formerly difficult to find

Just like a recall announcement, car makers will announce technical service announcements or file them with the NHTSA, but they typically go into more detail. They list the defect and just how to fix it to make it easier to fix for dealerships. The technical service bulletin is made for a specific issue in a specific model and is created by a company.

Consumer Reports explained that TSBs are not mandatory and may just have a note about a tendency for an older car to do something unusual. They are not always safety problems and are not always made public. Though has a list of TSBs from the NHTSA, the NHTSA publishes these selectively. Edmunds explained that every little thing from a car starting bad in cold weather to cigarette lighters not working could be listed in TSBs.

Some already seen

Consumer Reports explained that the brand new bill would make sure the NHTSA needs a readable format for customers to read with the bulletins, and the NHTSA would have to give full disclosure. The public needs to have access to the database with all info. Some TSBs are released on the website already, but the NHTSA charges for the information at the moment. Even though it is needed for all TSBs to have full disclosure, they are not always listed.

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