Consumer Reports

FWIW, I think I read the Corvette was the 2nd most loyal following by which the owners were most likely to buy it again. I think the Prius was the 1st. Of course I don't necessarily hold consumer reports as
the ulimate source but what the heck.
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Many say CR's dont offer a good evaluation ; frankly, ive never been able to understand that reasoning. Can someone explain why CR's shouldnt be considered accurate in terms of problematic areas on a given car if the info is being collected from owners directly ?
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Because the owners are a biased sample. Two manufacturers (Toyota and Chevy, IIRC) build essentially the same car on the same line with the same people at the NUMI plant in Fremont CA. Several years ago, I noticed that the two flavors of the same care were a full point apart in CR's reliability survey. Toyota was ahead. Same car. Go figure.

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'Because the owners are a biased sample.'
REPLY: If the owners are being asked questions as to the reliability of thier car in particular areas and they give that information based on what specific troubles theyve encountered...how is that 'biased' ? Thats like saying that the troubles youve had with your particular car arent valid ! I read your analogy of Chevy and Toyota but i cant see it applying to what ive just stated. Can you elaborate on why you think Owners who report problematic areas on their car , which is collected by CR and itemized, is not valid information ?
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dave wrote:

Biasing occurs due to people reporting an issue as a problem on one model that they find acceptable or ignore on another, and so don't report it. You need to stay to the generic side on an "opinion" based survey, such as "Would you buy that car again? Yes or No".
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'Biasing occurs due to people reporting an issue as a problem on one model that they find acceptable or ignore on another, and so don't report it. You need to stay to the generic side on an "opinion" based survey, such as "Would you buy that car again? Yes or No". '
REPLY: Then how about if CR were to ask : ' DId you have any problem area of your car in which you took it in to the dealership for attention ?' ??? Would THIS be a more accurate way of handling the survey ? (I dont know..perhaps they do already for all i know . Do you know what CR's survey criterion is based on ?)
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dave wrote:

Criterion: Subjective recall of anonymous folk who may be fibbing about the products they own and use. This is a once-a-year survey encompassing autos, dishwashers, refrigerators etc. It asks the respondent to recall issues reaching back 5 years or more years for some products. We aren't asked to keep running logs to jog our memory come survey time; and, as Bob notes, memories may be somewhat selective. If you place any faith in it, you've got to hope that the statisticians who validate the results are earning their keep. If not, take it with a grain of salt and move on.
Suggestion: Find someone who is a long-term CR subscriber and ask them to share their next product questionnaire. Then, make up your own mind. CU's reliability question doesn't look much different from what you are suggesting. Survey design isn't my expertise so I can't judge whether your's is better than their's from an accuracy viewpoint.
There's a loyalty question, "would you buy this again?"
Then, for each of the major auto subsystems, the respondent is asked to itemize the number of *repaired failures.* They also itemize *un-repaired failures* that they are living with. The sub-system categories are not clear-cut so there may be some overlap or gaps.
I vividly recall an exterior lighting control module that misbehaved for over two years before acting up for the service advisor. I vividly remember the driver's window snubber that failed every six months. On that car, those items got reported, every year, for five years.
The results can be skewed by how the dealer and manufacturer handle recalls and repairs...
For several years I forgot about the recall-replacement of a #1 main bearing. The GMC dealer handled that "during" a lube job. (Tuesday thru Thursday-- "PJ if you don't need your truck for a couple of days we've got a factory *upgrade* we'd like to accomplish." ) I also failed to note a complete disassembly & reseal job on the intake manifold of my wife's car--they did find anti-freeze leaking into the air plenum. Either of those issues could have left me beside the road but they didn't and I forgot them at survey time. --so my reliability score was higher than it should have been.
Two identical vehicles with the same serious issues may be reported differently just because of a difference in Customer Relationship Management.
I've read CU since the late '40s. They are a fairly good resource. They aren't a God but like a God, they are biased. Over the years, those biases have shifted.
Thirty-five years ago, CR bitched about U.S. car manufacturers not putting enough controls on steering column stalks. The last couple of years, they've bitched about too many controls being on stalks in U.S. cars.
--
PJ

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I like more controls in the steering wheel and fewer in the stalk, for instance cruise control being in the steering of my Acuras vs. in the (single) stalk on the 'Vette. I might actually rather have the wiper controls in the wheel instead of the audio system controls.
That said, I think Acura took a step backward in the HVAC controls in my 2005 TSX vs. the 2000 TL. I like the dial controls in the TL better than rocker switches. I've had the TSX for two years now and I'm still turning up the fan when I mean to turn up the temperature. Also, now the AM/FM on the radio is a three-way toggle (AM/FM1/FM2) vs. separate buttons in the TL. I guess that's because of the new XM capability. Anyway, ergonomically I like the TL better. I also like the V6 in the TL better, but who doesn't like 50% more cylinders. Still, the handling in the TSX is amazing for a front-driver.
To be more on-topic, I got the 'Vette out for 50 miles today for the first time in a couple months. What fun. It was practically white, coated with road salt dust when I was done, but I think I saw it smile when I cleaned it off.
AJM '93 Ruby coupe, 6 sp (both tops)
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CardsFan wrote:

Wife's Buick tends to follow the protocol of your Acura -- controls that are mostly used during straight ahead driving (cruise, audio & driver's-side temp) are on the steering wheel (except for OnStar answering which is awkwardly on the mirror.) WSW isn't too important since that's rain sensed; but I agree, without the rain sensing having a 'one shot' button on the steering wheel would be nice. Maneuvering controls including stabilitrac are on stalks (there's been some argument that the 'off switch' shouldn't be too accessible though.)
GMC truck & C4 make little sense to me but the trim level on the truck is pretty bare-bones. Can't figure out why the WSW controls were in the driver's door on the C4. (maybe interference with anti-theft stuff.)
I think the C5 places too much emphasis on the DIC as a do-it-all. Steering wheel real estate wasn't exploited (maybe their stupid steering column lock wiring got in the way.) I'd like the active handling closer to driving controls (stalk or shift lever as on the Buick) and the selective ride control on the steering wheel. Moving the ignition switch and emergency flasher to the dash panel was a good move. HUD is OK but they might have used some color (amber & red) in the LEDs for warnings.
--
PJ
'89 auto coupe, '02 6-spd coupe

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db wrote:

If I understand CR correctly, a fatal crash in a new C6 may result in more body disfigurement than if I suffered a fatal crash in a Kia Sedona.
No problemo -- I've opted for cremation. (8-)
The surprise was that Daimler-Benz-Chrysler has sort of ignored their Chrysler-Dodge line as far as safety features are concerned. ???
--
PJ

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