PR expert says GM ignition switch debacle outclasses Ford-Firestone scandal image

Back in the 2000s, the Ford-Firestone tire controversy in the early years of the decades was the biggest public relations scandal in the automotive industry.

But Jason Vines, the PR boss at Ford at the time thinks that the General Motors ignition-switch recall – recently brought back into the public’s attention – has the grounds to eclipse it by a wide margin. Vines has also held top communications jobs at Nissan and Chrysler and has emerged as one of the industry’s most visible and flamboyant executives in the field. He believes that GM “did not put the safety and the satisfaction of the customer first,” and that the scandal is far from over, people would be going to jail for the bad decisions that ultimately cost lives and the company might lose billions.

Vines believes that even if the recent discovery of emails that saw GM order spare parts to replace the defective ignition switch since December (they ordered the recall in February and were late almost two months to alert the NHTSA, although the law mandates just five days) would not have happened, the scandal is far from over. While GM executives attempt to make people the trouble is almost over, the PR expert says they’re not even halfway – as the plaintiffs’ attorneys are just now getting ready to fight the giant automaker in courts across America.

Via Automotive News