Every time I've installed a piece of equipment that didn't work, as the Project Engineer or Project Manager, management knew. They knew as soon as I did or soon after. As the Project Engineer or Project Manager, it is your responsibility to report it up the chain of command. If you don't, rest assured someone else will and not out of ill will, usually, but the need for management to know. Management has a vested interest in an engineer's ability to do their job.
Engineers like me have suppliers, whether it is the manufacturer or representative of the manufacturer, report to us the problems and solutions, which get pushed up our chain of command. Everyone has someone to answer to. This information gets communicated to other managers and is sometimes spread across corporations. If the experience is bad enough, a corporate wide ban is implemented against the company or companies involved.
This accountability is not limited to my area of expertise. It happens across the board.
Some industries are small communities and information, good and bad, gets communicated across the industry.
Experiences get shared at technical meetings of all kinds so performance, good and bad, gets shared across industries. More often you hear of bad performance issues. The heartaches provide more "lessons learned" than anything else.
As a manufacturer, you need to ensure it will perform good in the field, for the service intended, or risk a bad reputation. This applies to manufacturers of tanks, mixers, motors, transformers, piping, structural steel, cement, valves, etc. Everything gets a grade, which is why plants have preferred suppliers.