When you are an employee or contractor for an automobile manufacturer, parts supplier, or automobile dealership and have information about unsafe practices endangering the public, you may want to consider blowing the whistle on the wrongdoer.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has enacted a whistleblower program, and you may be entitled to a monetary award for this information. The evidence you have may lead to investigations, vehicle recalls, or civil penalties. When you want to explore how we can be of help, contact a Greenville NHTSA whistleblower lawyer today.

Submitting an NHTSA Claim

Our attorneys in Greenville can assist whistleblowers in submitting pertinent information for an NHTSA claim. For instance, the NHTSA will not accept the work product or other materials protected under the wrongdoer’s attorney-client privilege. Material submitted includes any information related to:

  • Suspected motor vehicle safety defects such as faulty airbags, engines, and brakes
  • Violations of the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, the regulations governing design, manufacturing, durability, and performance for any motor vehicle offered for sale in the U.S.
  • Non-compliance with the Motor Vehicle Safety Act, the law that compels manufacturers to abide by prescribed safety standards proven to reduce accidents
  • Failing to meet any vehicle safety reporting requirements

After forwarding information to the NHTSA, one of its attorneys will review it and send it to the appropriate investigative team. Investigators may contact whistleblowers or the attorney representing them when additional information is needed or questions arise. Our attorneys can submit information on a whistleblower’s behalf as an added layer of anonymity.

Whistleblower Identity Protection

Generally, the NHTSA and its umbrella agency, the U.S. Department of Transportation, do not disclose information that would identify a whistleblower. The agencies sometimes ask whistleblowers for waivers that allow them to disclose some information that may expose them. Waivers are voluntary, and even with a signed waiver, the government does all it can to protect the identity of whistleblowers.

What if an Employer Retaliates?

Under federal provisions found in The Vehicle Safety Act, vehicle dealerships, auto parts manufacturers, suppliers, and automobile manufacturers cannot retaliate against employees they discover are whistleblowers. Protections under the Safety Act include reporting vehicle defects, non-compliance, or failure to follow reporting requirements, as well as other activities. Retaliation can include firing the whistleblower but also intimidating, discriminating against, harassing, or threatening them.

Another U.S. Department of Labor agency, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), investigates complaints associated with employer retaliation against a whistleblower. OHSA can sanction, fine, and order an employer to reinstate an employee they fire. A Greenville whistleblower lawyer can assist an employee being harassed after filing a complaint in the NHTSA program.

A Greenville NHTSA Whistleblower Program Lawyer Provides Protection

Businesses operating in the motor vehicle sector, auto manufacturers, parts suppliers, and automobile dealerships must comply with federal standards associated with vehicle safety, performance, and durability. Brakes or engines that give way because the manufacturing process was substandard are dangerous. Dealerships that tamper with airbags are breaking the law.

You can do something about substandard or dangerous acts when you are employed in this sector and have information about wrongdoing. As a whistleblower, you have protection from retaliation and harassment, and in most cases, your identity will remain confidential. You may even qualify for a monetary award when your information proves fruitful. Contact a Greenville NHTSA whistleblower lawyer who can help you submit a claim.

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