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Whistleblower Rules of the Road

Posted  September 27, 2022

Whistleblower associate Liz Soltan wrote on the Taxpayers Against Fraud blog about the need for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s whistleblower program to keep up with innovation in the auto industry. The NHTSA whistleblower program offers awards to auto industry insiders who blow the whistle on safety problems with motor vehicles.

Constantine Cannon represented Kim Gwang-ho, who lives in Seoul, South Korea, in a whistleblower case with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) against Hyundai regarding a dangerous flaw in their engines. Mr. Kim, a former Hyundai engineer, received $24.3 million in 2021 – the first-ever monetary award under the Motor Vehicle Safety Act.

But the Motor Vehicle Safety Act has been around since 2015, and we are still waiting for NHTSA to publish regulations for its whistleblower program. Technologies like partially automated driver-assist systems, which allow the car to control steering, speeding up, and slowing down, are on the rise. NHTSA shared data in June 2022 regarding 392 crashes involving these systems in the 11 months since NHSTA started requiring reporting. While many of these crashes involved Teslas, Tesla CEO Elon Musk is spending his time taunting whistleblowers.

As the vehicles on America’s roads change, we need whistleblowers more than ever to help head off safety disasters.

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Tagged in: Auto Safety,