Thursday, January 29, 2015

NHTSA whistleblower hotline? 1-888-327-4236 -- seekS Takata whistleblowers UPDATE

(Reuters) - U.S. vehicle safety regulators want to find whistleblowers with knowledge “of possible defects or any wrongdoing” by Takata Corp, stepping up pressure on the air bag maker whose products are linked to five deaths and dozens of injuries.The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) told Reuters it was urging potential informants to call its hotline at 1-888-327-4236, promising legal protection.
"We encourage all individuals with information about the manufacture or testing of Takata air bag inflators, or who have knowledge of possible defects or any wrongdoing by the company, to make this information available to NHTSA," agency spokesman Gordon Trowbridge said.


I did a little "fact-checking" to see if NHTSA's invitation to Takata whistleblowers was reality. I called the listed number and tried to check whether, if I were a Takata whistleblower, what the response would be. The lady who answered the phone had no idea what I was talking about. Her supervisor had no idea what I was talking about. She also suggested that I contact the "communications" department to talk about anything that I had "read in the news." After I took around ten minutes to explain that the communications department sounds like outbound communications, and any potential whistleblower would be providing inbound communications, and that it somehow did not make sense to mix up those two things, ...then after a long long time on hold, I was provided a physical address for any whistleblower to mail in their report of what they could offer. I suggested to her that many whistleblowers would not like mailing as their only option, and she repeated that it is all she can suggest as way of reporting any defect. So I conclude that the "hotline" does not really function as a whistleblower hotline unless someone is a lot more persuasive than I was.

The address:
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, D.C.   20590

Meanwhile, on a related track:

Breaking: bipartisan group of senators led by reintroduce auto safety whistleblower legislation