Rolls Royce Starting to Feel Reputation Pressure

Rolls Royce engines are now a widely recognized brand, along with Pratt Whitney and GE. The brand is subject to the reputation hits that Steel City Re reports on often. In fact, their most recent spotlight seen on the Mission Intangibles blog was cast on reputation issues with Rolls Royce, though the stock price has yet to reflect it. Those issues stem from the engine failure of a Rolls Royce Trent 900 engine on a super-sized aircraft (Airbus 380) taking off from Singapore on November 4, 2010. (The aircraft was able to return safely.) Financial Times suggests this specific engine issue may cost the company up to $500m.  The company’s only statement on the engine failure is brief and less than forthcoming with details, essentially saying they are gaining on the truth.

Now, according to a report in the Indianapolis Business Journal, a whistleblower has claimed RR concealed repeated defects at an aircraft engine plant in Indianapolis and fired a safety official for reporting the problems. (The Indianapolis plant does not manufacture the Trent 900 engine involved in the Nov. 4 incident.)  This latest development has not yet hit the reputation index, but look for some kind of a “piling on” penalty to be served soon.