NHTSA Enhances Transparency of Whistleblower Program

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has posted a new website to make it easier for employees and contractors of motor vehicle manufacturers, part suppliers, or dealerships to provide whistleblower information to the agency. The new information page will assist whistleblowers in determining what information they should provide and how they should go about doing so. NHTSA is taking this action to make this program easier to access in recognition of the important role whistleblowers can play in enhancing the safety of the nation’s roadways.

“Safety is the top priority for NHTSA and the entire U.S. Department of Transportation,” said Dr. Steven Cliff, NHTSA’s acting administrator. “Whistleblowers play a critical role in safeguarding our nation’s roadways, and we will do everything in our power to protect them.”

The agency is currently working on a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to formalize its whistleblower program. However, potential whistleblowers do not need to wait for the NPRM and can already provide information to the agency. Whistleblowers have legal protection from retaliation and may receive a monetary award without the rule being finalized.

NHTSA says it welcomes information from whistleblowers on a wide variety of topics, including potential vehicle safety defects, noncompliance with the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, and violations of the Vehicle Safety Act. That information can lead to formal actions including investigations, recalls, or a civil penalty enforcement action. The new site can be seen here: https://www.nhtsa.gov/laws-regulations/whistleblower-program.