Industry Forum

Product Liability: Managing a Product Safety Crisis

Course Overview: 

Product safety is an increasingly high priority for the automotive supply chain, and rightly so:recent years have seen a string of global product safety crises in the industry. Car-makers and their suppliers are the subject of media and regulatory scrutiny like never before, and the trail of recalls, regulatory investigation sand litigation speaks for itself: despite significant advancements in quality management standards and techniques, automotive businesses continue to stumble into crises as a result of design and manufacturing errors, poor communication/document management or inadequate crisis planning.

And if you thought these issues were a concern only for OEMs, think again: with the increasing complexity of automotive supply chains, the growing opportunities and pressures of new technology and increasingly sophisticated regulatory frameworks, the reputational and financial risk for Tier 1 and 2 suppliers is real and growing. There has never been a more important time to understand and address your exposures. 

As part of its ongoing work to position the UK automotive sector as a leader in product safety and quality management, the SMMT QMD has teamed up with product liability expert sat leading global law firm Eversheds Sutherland to provide a series of sessions helping UK automotive businesses to understand their legal responsibilities and liabilities and to improve their systems so as to minimise the risk of product safety crises and respond better when they occur.

Eversheds Sutherland’s product compliance team have been working on these issues with OEMs and major Tier 1 suppliers for years. Thanks to the SMMT the whole UK automotive supply chain can now access their expertise.

The Product Liability Programme consists of the following modules:

  1. Product Liability: Avoiding and mitigating product liability exposure
  2. Product Liability: Managing a Product Safety Crisis

Product Liability: Managing a Product Safety Crisis

This module is aimed to help you and your business answer the following questions:

  • How well prepared is your business for a product safety crisis?
  • Who will make the decisions? How will you get to the bottom of the issue?
  • Can you be confident that action can be taken quickly and decisively to protect public safety?
  • How will you protect the business against the threat of claims, investigations and adverse publicity? 

This session will examine best (and worst) practice in planning for and responding to product safety crises.

Who Should Attend: 

Anyone, anywhere in an automotive supply chain who is concerned with improving the ability of their business to reduce the risk of safety crises and respond more effectively when they occur. 

The audience will vary depending on the size and structure of each business. In broad terms we would expect this module to be of most interest to senior decision makers responsible for handling a crisis scenario. 


Upon completion of the course you will receive a SMMT Quality Management (QMD) certificate of attendance.

Benefits and Learning Objectives: 

By the end of this course you will be able to:

  • Develop and deploy an effective crisis management plan
  • Prioritise activity streams in the wake of a product safety crisis
  • Effectively engage with regulators, end users, media and the supply chain
  • Monitor corrective actions
  • Handle claims and regulatory investigations

Topics Covered: 

  • The legal framework around product safety: what are your responsibilities? How are they allocated between OEMs and others in the automotive supply chain? 
  • Establishing effective crisis management plans
  • Undertaking effective root cause analysis in a time-pressured environment
  • Risk assessment techniques and corrective action options
  • How to engage constructively with customers, suppliers and others in the supply chain whilst protecting your ability to pursue and/or defend legal action once the dust has settled. 
  • Notifying and communicating with regulators, end users, media and social media: what are your obligations and how should you manage interactions?
  • Monitoring corrective actions once initiated 
  • Handling claims and regulatory investigations

How will you protect the business against the threat of claims, investigations and adverse publicity?

Introduction to IF

We have been delivering significant and measurable performance improvements for leading global manufacturers for more than 25 years and believe there is no one size fits all approach to driving competitiveness across the industry. Toyota, Rolls Royce and Electrolux are among the brands who have tapped into our expertise to ensure they remain on top in their own fiercely competitive markets.

Why Choose SMMT QMD:

In order to strengthen the services we provide to the UK’s automotive quality management specialists and further underpin the competitiveness of UK manufacturers, SMMT Industry Forum has created SMMT QMD, its new Quality Management Division.

SMMT QMD was launched at the inaugural Automotive Quality Management Systems Conference in Birmingham in November 2018 and aims to ensure that the UK automotive industry plays an active role in the development and governance of national and international automotive standards. 

SMMT QMD will provide a community of practice to directly support UK quality professionals, ensuring standards are effectively implemented and improving competitive performance. As such, SMMT QMD will now provide the following services:

  • An industry association for quality managers
  • Training, professional development and resources
  • Publications
  • Practical help and support

Course Booking Details: 

Leading Expertise
We don’t employ “trainers”, rather a team of experienced industry experts who are able to apply their knowledge to your business

Proven Capability
We have been helping organisations like yours for over 25 years to deliver and maintain sustainable improvement

Attainable Results
We know what’s possible and how to help you achieve it by utilising our tried and tested techniques for long term success

Robust Execution
We believe that training should be through a ‘learn by doing’ approach with coaching and mentoring wherever possible

No available dates for this course at present. Please fill in the form below to register your interest.

Contact Us