To review background on gathering the information to report a problem with your car, click here.
Provided, below, is a list to the correct government agencies in English-speaking countries where you can and should report any unusual behaviour your car is doing.
Other countries certainly have reporting mechanisms, too, but I’m afraid I don’t speak any other language well enough to sift through the various sites to figure out where to report.
Scroll down to find report a problem in USA, Canada, UK, Australia and other countries.
You can go to their SaferCar.gov site to report problems with your car.
As noted on their website:
SaferCar.gov [is] where you can identify and report problems you might be having with your vehicle, tires, equipment or car seats. If you think you have a problem, we want you to tell us about it. We are the Office of Defects Investigation, or ODI. We are a part of the U.S. DOT’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the nation’s only agency authorized to conduct defect investigations and administer safety recalls on everything from vehicles and equipment to tires and child safety seats. Our engineers and investigators look into problems you report to help ensure you and others stay safe on our nation’s roads and highways.
Of the reporting mechanisms I looked into, this site is the most pro-active and consumer-friendly. Having said that, they don’t specifically mention software-related problems…that’s to be expected, given that we are only now coming to understand the breadth of software problems in our vehicles today.
You can do a search for recalls by clicking here and entering in the relevant information to do your search.
If you want to download a mobile app for U.S. reporting, just click here and download what you need.
Check all recalls for all makes on this site. It seems it’s still in “test” mode but it does have quite a lot of information that can help you when you’re considering what kind of car to buy.
Canada Canada’s Ministry of Transportation oversees vehicular safety issues in this country.
Note that this link offers you the opportunity to telephone a complaint or to fill out an online form.
It is preferable to complete online forms because then you have evidence of filing the complaint (always keep a copy!). To file an online report, scroll to the bottom of the screen and step through the prompts.
Government of Canada provides a database for people to search and see which vehicles, models and years have had recalls issued, and for what. It is a very helpful tool.
The Government of Canada also provides a link to other countries’ automobile regulating agencies as well as a list of websites for manufacturers that operate in Canada. Given that you should also deal with your manufacturer, this is helpful.
United Kingdom (U.K.)
If you live in the UK, report problems with the car or one of its parts to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency at this site.
Note that in the UK, the government will pass the information to the manufacturer for it to deal with. BUT YOU SHOULD REPORT to the Government! The reason it is important to report problems using the UK’s online reporting system is because the government will gather a “body of evidence” over time.
In the UK, you can also check to see if your vehicle has been recalled by clicking here.
Australia’s Department of Infrastructure and Transportation provides an online complaints form here.
Sadly, even though the Australian Government website points out that:
The annual economic cost of road crashes in Australia is enormous—estimated at $27 billion per annum—and the social impacts are devastating.
…the reporting process in that country requires that you first chat with the manufacturer about the problem and try to sort it out before going to their online complaints form.
We recommend you do both. Why?
It is critically important that your government build a database of software-related safety issues and that it knows what’s happening to its drivers. Auto companies in the US are routinely fined because they fail to report deaths* associated with their vehicles, let alone safety problems reported by their concerned customers.
*In Honda’s case, they were fined in 2014 by U.S. regulators because they failed to report over 1,700 deaths associated with their vehicles.
Other countries have websites where you can report concerns about your car or track safety recalls and other important matters. Unfortunately, at this time, we are unable to list them here.