This is the first time the NHTSA has given a ‘Whistleblower Award’
Last year, Hyundai Motors America and its sister company Kia Motors America were fined a sizeable amount of $210 million by NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration). Both companies admitted to reporting inaccurate data and delaying recalls of 1.6 million vehicles that had engine defects.
Now, the whistleblower who brought the safety violations to light has been rewarded $24 million. This is the first time the NHTSA has given a ‘Whistleblower Award’ and it is the maximum percentage, allowed by law, of the $81 million fine collected by the United States.
As per statute, NHTSA is allowed to award a maximum of 30% of the fine collected to whistleblowers, for bringing in information on any actions that could result in penalties of over a million dollars.
When the news broke out last year, Hyundai responded by stating that they would be taking immediate measures to improve safety. Kia, on the other hand, denied the allegations but agreed to a settlement to avoid a lengthy legal dispute.
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