Vehicle safety

Needless to say, great care is taken when vehicles are being manufactured. However, there is still a slight chance that vehicle parts may be defective. If a defect is more common in particular vehicles and involves a risk of physical injury, the manufacturer of the vehicle must organise a product recall. In the event of a product recall, producers and distributors recall the vehicle or vehicle part in order to resolve a defect. This article contains detailed information about product recalls and the role played by the RDW.

Obligations of the producer/distributor

If you are a producer or distributor of a product in which defects have been detected, you have certain obligations. In short, these obligations mean that you must:

  • notify the competent authorities
  • inform consumers
  • recall the product.

These obligations are stipulated in Dutch national law and are based on requirements in Directive 2001/95/EC.

The role of the RDW

In the Netherlands, the RDW is the competent authority as far as general product safety of vehicles and vehicle-related products is concerned. The RDW is responsible for the following tasks in this area:

  • receipt of information about product recalls and hazardous products
  • informing the public
  • supervising the process

The products for which the RDW is responsible are described in the Dutch General Product Safety (Commodities Act) Decree. If necessary, RDW can insist on a product recall.

Notifying the RDW

If you encounter a hazardous product, you must notify the RDW. This notification should contain information about the product, the defect, the hazard and the required measures (pursuant to Decision 2004/905/EC of the European Commission).

You can notify the RDW using the ‘Business Application form’ of the European Commission. In this way, you ensure that all Member States in which the product is available will be notified simultaneously.The RDW prefers this notification method with regard to manufacturers with a RDW-approval pursuant to Directive 2007/46/EC or Regulation No 168/2013. You may also notify the RDW directly. And you may notify other authorities via the ‘Business Application’ or directly as well.

Informing the consumer

In principle, the producer decides how vehicle owners will be notified. It is important that consumers are clearly notified about the defect, the hazard and the required measures to remove the hazard. The RDW can supply the personal data for the recall of vehicles registered in the Netherlands. The RDW will make these personal data available to the manufacturer or importer after the product recall – including a specification of the relevant vehicles − has been published on the RDW’s website. The RDW can also send a letter to the vehicle owners.

Notification from vehicle owners

RDW also welcomes information about hazardous products from vehicle owners and other interested parties. If the information received indicates a probable risk, the RDW will contact the producer or distributor.

Requesting notification form or more information

Please send an email to the RDW if you wish to receive the notification form and for more information on how to apply for personal data or about how the RDW can send letters on your behalf.