Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR)
(Part of the California Department of Consumer Affairs; information: (800) 952-5210)
10949 North Mather Boulevard
Rancho Cordova, CA 95670
BAR also has 12 field offices around the state; find addresses and phone numbers here.
Reviews complaints about mechanics, repair estimates, unnecessary repairs, and smog check programs. Call, send a written complaint, or access a complaint form online.
In addition, the state Department of Consumer Affairs’ Arbitration Certification Program certifies and monitors third-party arbitration programs of nearly two dozen participating automobile manufacturers, from Aston Martin to Volkswagen, to ensure compliance with California laws and regulations related to new vehicle warranties and manufacturer-sponsored arbitration programs.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
Carries out federal auto safety and consumer programs to reduce deaths, injuries and economic losses resulting from motor vehicle crashes; maintains an online database of recalls by Vehicle Identification Number and a toll-free hotline for automobile recalls ((888) 327-4236); the website’s home page even has a database to consult for safe child car seats according to the child’s age, height and weight.