Vehicle Safety Whistleblowers

The Center for Auto Safety is the nation’s premier independent, member driven, non-profit consumer advocacy organization dedicated to improving vehicle safety, quality, and fuel economy on behalf of all drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.

Whistleblowers play a critical role in exposing vehicle safety and quality issues that negatively impact consumers.  The Center for Auto Safety strongly encourages anyone with information related to safety defects to come forward and expose these issues in order to protect vehicle owners and other road users.  To report information on safety or quality defects, please contact us for assistance. Anyone contacting the Center is assured full anonymity and ensured that their concerns will be heard.

There are a variety of federal statutes related to whistleblower protection.  When it comes to vehicle safety, the most important protections are those contained in the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21).  MAP-21 provided protection against retaliation for employees of automakers, distributors, and dealerships when the employee reveals critical safety issues to the employer or to the Department of Transportation.  For more information on the MAP-21 whistleblower protections, click here to view the OSHA MAP-21 fact sheet.

The Secretary of Transportation was required to complete rulemaking implementing the Motor Vehicle Safety Whistleblower provisions of 2015 FAST Act by June of 2017.  This law would expand the protections of MAP-21, but the DOT has so far yet to begin the rulemaking.

Related Resources:
Hyundai Whistleblower gets $24 million from NHTSA in engine recall case 
MAP-21, Sec. 30171. Protection of employees providing motor vehicle safety information
OSHA Fact Sheet: Filing Whistleblower Complaints under the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21)
FAST Act, Sec. 24352. Motor Vehicle Safety Whistle Blower Incentives and Protections
Fact Sheet: OSHA Whistleblower Protection Program
OSHA Whistleblower Investigations Manual