Automotive business leaders must learn crisis management lessons from Tesla death

July 20, 2016

Crisis management experts say Tesla’s recent response to a fatal accident involving one of its cars is a case study of how not to react when problems strike.

The firm’s defensive approach to the issue lacked compassion, experts told the Guardian. A Tesla blog referred to how one death in 130 million miles of autonomous driving was better than the average of one death every 94 million miles on US road and called it a ‘statistical inevitability’.

Jonathan Bernstein, president of the consulting firm Bernstein Crisis Management, said: “What a CEO should do when there’s a death associated with one of his company’s products is respond, first and foremost, with compassion, and then with words that express competence and confidence." 

“Quoting statistics that explain why the death isn’t so bad in the big picture has been proven time and time again to be quite ineffective in influencing public opinion.”






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