Automotive Whistleblower Bill

3 months ago admin 0

On April 28, 2015, the United States Senate approved a bill entitled the Motor Vehicle Safety Whistleblower Act, to encourage employees in the auto industry to become whistleblowers if they see dangerous or illegal wrongdoing within their workplace. It is specifically tailored for workers to report harmful defects in the quality of vehicles being produced and sold by auto companies.


If automotive manufacturer employees report issues within their field to the Secretary of Transportation and their findings lead to a financial award from the motor vehicle manufacturing company, then the whistleblowers who voluntarily came forward could receive up to 30% of the monetary award collected.


Whistleblowers will lose their opportunity to collect part of the award if they deliberately provide false information to the Secretary of Transportation, or if they provide facts based on those of another whistleblower, rather than their own experiences within the company.


The creation and passing of this bill was largely a reaction to the massive recalls within General Motors and Takata. General Motors was responsible to 124 deaths and 274 injuries due to a faulty ignition switch that caused ignitions to slip out of the “ON” position while being driven. Takata produced vehicles with faulty airbags that would not properly deploy during crashes, instead shooting out shards and fragments of metal toward passengers.


The greater issue with these dangerous recalls was that internal employees were aware of these problems for years and did not come forward. The purpose of the Motor Vehicle Safety Whistleblower Act is to offer automotive employees the opportunity to safely come forward if they have vital information that could protect consumers.
The House of Representatives is currently sitting on the bill. There has been no word yet of whether or not they will pass it.