NHTSA Gives Hyundai Safety Whistleblower $24 Million

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has announced it is making its first ever whistleblower award. The U.S. regulatory body has decided to give over $24 million to a whistleblower providing information related to Hyundai Motor America and Kia Motors America. While not named by the NHTSA, it’s undoubtedly talking about Kim Gwang-ho — a South Korean engineer who flew to Washington in 2016 to squeal that his employer had been skirting safety regulations.

Armed with an internal report from Hyundai’s quality control team, Kim told the NHTSA the company was not taking sufficient action to address a presumed engine defect that increased the risk of crashes. It looks like the decision paid off for him, too. Hyundai Motor Group was struck with sizable regulatory penalties and Kim is now getting a huge payout from U.S. regulators right before the Department of Transportation proposes updated regulations pertaining to the automotive whistleblower program Congress created in 2015.

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Tesla Workers Say Almost Half of Model 3 Parts Need Rework

Tesla keeps insisting it’s going to show the automotive industry how to do things differently. The company’s make-or-break Model 3 was put into production without any pilot assembly or validation prototypes. Tesla is also more vertically integrated than traditional automakers these days. It owns its own stores and it makes many of its own parts. So far, with the EV maker as of yet unable to really get mass production underway on the new sedan, the jury is out on Tesla’s strategies.

CNBC now reports current and former Tesla workers saying almost half of the parts made at or produced for the EV startup’s Fremont, California assembly plant don’t meet production standards, forcing rework and end-of-line repairs, as well as impairing morale in the facility.

This raises the question of whether Tesla will be able to mass-produce vehicles in the quantities associated with automotive mass production: hundreds of thousands of vehicles per year. Tesla needs to be able to build and sell its Model 3 at those numbers to be a viable firm.

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NHTSA Seeking Whistleblowers In Takata Airbag Investigation

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is seeking whistleblowers who have knowledge “of possible defects or any wrongdoing” about Takata.

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GM Corporate Culture Silenced Whistleblower Over Fuel-Leak Recall

To say General Motors has a failure to communicate among itself and with the outside is an understatement that grows with each passing day, especially in light of how it treated a whistleblower in 2003 over its handling of a recall regarding fuel leaks in the automaker’s line of compact SUVs.

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  • Namesakeone If you want a Thunderbird like your neighbor's 1990s model, this is not the car. This is a Fox-body car, which was produced as a Thunderbird from MY 1980 through 1988 (with styling revisions). The 1989-1997 car, like your neighbor's, was based on the much heavier (but with independent rear suspension) MN-15 chassis.
  • Inside Looking Out I watched only his Youtube channel. Had no idea that there is TV show too. But it is 8 years or more that I cut the cable and do not watch TV except of local Fox News. There is too much politics and brainwashing including ads on TV. But I am subscribed to CNBC Youtube channel.
  • Jeff S Just to think we are now down to basically 3 minivans the Chrysler Pacifica, Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna. I wonder how much longer those will last. Today's minivan has grown in size over the original minivans and isn't so mini anymore considering it is bigger than a lot of short wheel based full size vans from the 70s and 80s. Back in the 70s and 80s everything smaller was mini--mini skirt, mini fridge, mini car, and mini truck. Mini cars were actually subcompact cars and mini trucks were compact trucks. Funny how some words are so prevalent in a specific era and how they go away and are unheard of in the following decades.
  • Jeff S Isn't this the same van Mercury used for the Villager? I believe it was the 1s and 2nd generations of this Quest.
  • VoGhost I don't understand the author's point. Two of the top five selling vehicles globally are Teslas. We have great data on the Model 3 for the past 5 years. What specifically is mysterious about used car values?