Mercedes’ fine compounded by loss of trust

Several costs come to mind.

First – and strategically significant – is the loss of trust. The tarnishing of image.

Trust is important when it comes to safety. When the safety risk is imposed by a faulty “safety feature”, then importance is increased exponentially.

Second, sound management is something which ought to be able to be assumed at this level in crucial decisions. Instead we see a glaring example of poor contract management – with contractors failing to use attention-capturing, high/impact language required by the Recall Notice. Indeed, call-centre staff are cited as describing the recall as merely precautionary!

The third compounder is a failure to understand risk management. Especially, risk communication. There are decades of lessons around risk communication which emphasise fundamental principles – such as respect and transparency. Principles which appear to have not informed the approach adopted by Mercedes.

The $12.5m fine may be the least of the costs

Author: John Salter Consulting Services

John Salter - owner of John Salter Consulting Services - specialising in the facilitation of risk-based capability reviews; needs-based training; business continuity planning; crisis management exercises; and organisational debriefing. Recognised for “preventing disasters, or where that is not possible, reducing the potential for harm” Ref: Barrister H Selby, Inquest Handbook, 1998. Distracted by golf, camping, fishing, reading, red wine, movies and theatre.

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