The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is launching a new iOS app for iPhones and iPod Touches that will provide real-time vehicle safety information to consumers from NHTSA's SaferCar.gov site.

To call it 'comprehensive' might be an understatement. The new SaferCar app allows users to search its 5-Star Safety Ratings for vehicles by make and model, locate car seat installation help, file a vehicle safety complaint, find recall information and subscribe to automatic notices about vehicle recalls.

NHTSA says that it will also give developers real-time access to the data that powers this app through an Application Programming Interface (API), enabling them to integrate these data into new and existing apps and empowering consumers with important safety information. Millions of consumers already rely on these data to inform their purchasing decisions on popular automobile review sites; now they'll be able to access these data in real-time.

The new SaferCar app gives consumers immediate access to key safety information to help them make informed decisions, with features including:

5-Star Safety Ratings: Consumers considering vehicle purchases can look up crash test ratings and compare them across different makes and models.

Recalls and Complaints: App users can stay on top of safety issues for vehicles they already own. Consumers can register their vehicles to be notified by NHTSA if a safety issue is discovered. The app also makes it simple to submit complaints to NHTSA regarding possible safety problems with a particular vehicle.

Help Installing Child Seats: The app helps consumers ensure their most precious passengers ride safe. Users can quickly get driving directions to the nearest child seat inspection station and get assistance to properly install their car seats and boosters.

Safety Headlines and Alerts: App users can receive important news and information from NHTSA, as well as recall notices and push notices on their recorded vehicles.

The SaferCar app for iPhone and iPod Touch devices can be downloaded from Apple's iTunes Store. Development is also underway for a version compatible with Android devices.

The launch of the NHTSA app is part of ongoing efforts by the nation's chief automotive safety agency to make it easier for consumers to access and submit information about important vehicle safety concerns. Earlier this year, the agency also updated resources on its website [L=http://www.SaferCar.gov ][/L]
to enable consumers to quickly locate information on specific safety defect investigations, complaints and vehicle recalls.