Ray LaHood complaints

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration got a wee bit busier this year. As of December 14th, the agency reported that it had received over 64,000 complaints. Edmunds' calculations, which remove duplicates, pegs the figure at more than 40,000 complaints – thanks in no small part to the spate of massive recalls from Toyota.

In fact, NHTSA reports that it received 87 complaints for every 100,000 vehicles sold by Toyota in 2010, more than double the Japanese automaker's performance from the previous year and the highest percentage of any company selling cars in the United States.

Not that other automakers fared that much better. Nissan came in with the second highest ratio at 62 complaints per 100,000 vehicles and Volkswagen nabbed third place with 58. The industry average of 47 complaints per 100,000 vehicles was up from fewer than 30 in 2009. For what it's worth, Ford and Honda had the lowest ratios of complaints, and there was little difference between American and Japanese manufacturers.

These complaints are a good thing, says NHTSA, as the agency can then determine if a customer's problem is singular or part of a larger issue that affects multiple vehicles, possibly prompting an inspection or safety recall. So don't quit yer' complaining!

[Source: LA Times | Image: Alex Wong/Getty Images]