Despite annals and tomes of advice documenting best-practice issues and crisis management responses, Volkswagen in Australia has mostly ignored ’em all, largely kept schtum, expressed little empathy and resisted customer disquiet over its DSG gearbox safety issue. In Australia, anti-VW reportage has run high (in mainstream and social media) following the death of a young VW driver, Melissa Ryan, on a Melbourne freeway in 2011, a coronial inquest into her VW Golf vehicle faults PLUS an attempted class action by another disgruntled customer. Whether it’s arrogance, insensitivity or a calculated, legals-driven risk management strategy (rather than a conciliatory PR strategy) that’s being deployed, the fact is that a 26,00 car recall has NOW seen a significant 20% drop in vehicle sales compared with June last year (1226 fewer vehicles). Whatever happened to the “if only everything in life was as reliable as a…” mentality. Not quite a case of “Aus Liebe zum Automobil’ is it one of “Aus Liebe zum Geld”?
(Hat tip to WellReadHostess for loan of logo artwork).