Whistleblower Incentive Legislation Passes US Senate Panel

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon

A whistleblower bill that would grant financial incentives to auto industry employees who expose safety defects won backing by a U.S. Senate panel Thursday.

Reuters reports the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee voted 13-0 in favor of sending the legislation to the Senate floor for a vote, though when the vote would come has yet to be determined, per an aide to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. Once voted and approved on the floor, however, the bill would go forward to the U.S. House for their vote.

The legislation would give employees and contractors for automakers, suppliers and dealerships up to 30 percent of any penalties resulting from a federal enforcement action totalling over $1 million, but only if said employees “shared original information on product defects or reporting violations” with either the Transportation or Justice departments.

The panel vote comes after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began fining airbag supplier Takata $14,000/day for failing to cooperate in the agency’s investigation into the supplier’s airbag inflators linked to at least six fatalities and several injuries.

Cameron Aubernon
Cameron Aubernon

Seattle-based writer, blogger, and photographer for many a publication. Born in Louisville. Raised in Kansas. Where I lay my head is home.

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  • Psarhjinian Psarhjinian on Feb 27, 2015

    Can we get whistleblower protection for people willing to snitch on the military, police and the alphabet soup agencies, too?

  • I'd like to blow the Whistle. I think cars that are too slow are a danger in traffic because they become unpredictable obstacles for myself.

  • Monty Monty on Feb 27, 2015

    Why is this limited to the auto industry - wouldn't it be logical to apply this to every industry and to government agencies (all levels)?