NHTSA unveils searchable database for auto safety recall data

WASHINGTON — NHTSA on Thursday launched a cloud-based dashboard for sifting and sorting more than 50 years’ worth of auto safety recall data.

The agency’s searchable database allows users to sort, filter and visualize data, such as the total number of recalls by manufacturer and total number of potentially affected vehicles. It also allows users to search by keyword and to export data.

The dashboard will be updated daily, NHTSA said.

Users can access recall data as far back as Jan. 19, 1966 — four years before NHTSA was established — when General Motors recalled the 1967 Chevrolet Chevelle and El Camino as well as certain models from Oldsmobile and Buick over an issue with the steering shaft. Nearly 278,000 vehicles were affected in total, according to the reports.

“This new dashboard provides unprecedented transparency into the recall process,” Steven Cliff, NHTSA’s acting administrator, said in a statement. “More than 50 years of recall data are now easily available to the media, researchers, safety advocates and anyone interested in learning more about vehicle safety.”

The data previously was available through a “bulk download,” requiring users to download large files and import them into a database. NHTSA said the new system is more user-friendly and makes the information more transparent.

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