Here’s a basic principle to keep in mind if you’re in charge of speaking with the media when there’s trouble: switch up your message. Your response is going to be quoted, it’ll go online, and it’ll be Google-able.
Buzzfeed noticed that Uber has a tendency to repeat some version of the same line when one of its drivers gets into trouble: “Safety is our #1 priority.” And they’re using it no matter the circumstances – when a driver had a seizure and hit a pedestrian, when another groped a female passenger, when another was caught with liquor and weed in the car, when another hit someone with a hammer, etc.
There are two lessons here. First, if you sound like a broken record, people will stop listening. And second, have a short conversation with your Uber driver before you get in the car.