When it comes to automotive Lemons, “TSB” is term that’s often bandied about but rarely defined. A TSB is a Technical Service Bulletin that vehicle manufacturers send to dealerships so that service departments can be kept up-to-date about problems that have come to the manufacturers’ attention. TSBs aren’t safety recalls; they’re a set of instructions about problems that crop up for new or redesigned vehicles.

If your Lemon is still under warranty, it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for TSBs that affect your car. If you find a TSB that addresses your problem, the dealership should be willing to fix it for free.

How do you find TSBs? The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has an Office of Defects Investigations that allows you to search for Technical Service Bulletins online. Go to the TSB section of the ODI, and use their “drill down” search engine to enter the year, make, model, and component of your vehicle.

I just performed an arbitrary search for a 2007 Chevrolet Suburban 1500, and the ODI database returned 89 Technical Service Bulletins for the vehicle, ranging from issues with the instrument panel to a broken bolt on the battery cable terminal. I could have narrowed my search to a single component, such as “Electrical System: Ignition Switch,” and the database would have returned two TSBs.

All the best,

Sergei