You might be scratching your head with the reference, but it wasn’t long ago that Ford was embroiled in a tiff with Firestone. The long-time corporate pals ended up severing their relationship a bit more than 10 years ago due to issues with bad tires or bad Explorers, depending on whom you talk to. It was bad, but Ford’s former PR guru Jason Vines feels that General Motors’ issue with ignition switches should eclipse the Ford/Firestone controversy.
Appearing at the Automotive Press Association to promote his new book, What Did Jesus Drive? Crisis PR in Cars, Computers and Christianity, Vines said, “Somebody did not put the safety and the satisfaction of the customer first. It looks like it far down the line. I think someone is going to jail for that. I think it will cost them billions in the end. In the book near the end, I say, ‘Is this going to be worse than Ford Firestone?’ I think the answer might be, ‘Yes.’”
Automotive News says that Vines is bothered by GM’s supposed attempt to make people believe the ignition switch recall crisis is mostly already over. “I don’t think they’re even halfway through because the plaintiffs’ attorneys really haven’t had their way.”
Vines added that companies should be vigilant because the next crisis can happen tomorrow. “There are a lot of high profile crises in our midst. The most glaring error [companies make] in a crisis is not being prepared for it. A couple of years ago, two companies on the top of their game, BP and Toyota were not ready for the crisis that hit.”