MANCHESTER, NH: The PR team at Segway had to make sure it was not caught dead in its tracks recently when the company announced the recall of its flagship scooters.
Last month, the company disclosed that a problem with the scooter's power source could cause riders to fall off mid-ride. Media coverage of the recall was widespread, as the two-wheeled scooter had generated significant buzz and media attention when it debuted early last year.
Segway announced the voluntary recall of about 6,000 scooters in conjunction with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission.
"A lot of what we've done is preparatory," said Segway communications manager Carla Vallone, adding that the communications effort was managed internally. "On [Friday, September 26, when the recall was announced], we got many media calls. We made sure everyone got the company statement. We touched base with everyone who called us, and put some of them in touch with our CEO [Vern Loucks]. Now, we're focused on ensuring our customers get a good experience, and that they remain confident in the company. If customers stay confident, that will continue to convince people that it is safe."
Segway will update the media on the recall as customers bring in their scooters to be fixed, Vallone said. She also expressed satisfaction that the media was contacting Segway scooter owners and dealers to get their views.