Bias Against Domestic Cars

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wrote:


I've seen their surveys back when I subscribed. They are little better then opinion polls. You can say anything you want, you don't document anything, there is no attempt to make the sample statistically representative of anything, they just take the answers from whichever subscribers feel like replying. If you paid $2000 more for your Toyota then for a comparable Chevy you an be sure many of the respondents are going to sugarcoat their experience, after all, they are not going to want to face up to the fact that every Toyota dealership has a big repair shop in the back just like every Chevy dealer does.
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Ashton Crusher wrote:

And there we have the extent of the proof that CR has some inherent bias.
Of course the reality is that no one has ever suggested that a Toyota owner is more likely to sugar-coat their experience than a Chevy owner. In fact you could argue that the Toyota owner is more likely to complain about problems because they have higher expectations.
And of course there has never been anything close to a $2000 difference in identical vehicles, identically equipped, with identical warranties, sold through different channels. There were MSRPs that were a few hundred dollars apart, and street prices that were even fewer dollars apart.
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I'm not so sure. People often over pay for things and swear it is a great product at a great price because they don't want others to think less of them or admit they made a mistake. No different than proudly wearing a shirt with a little alligator logo while not getting caught wearing on with the Sears logo.
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Ed Pawlowski wrote:

The number of people that don't want to admit that something they bought has problems, simply because they paid a high price for it, is offset by the number of people that complain more about any problems because they paid a high price for it. In any case, the number of people that are so inclined to exhibit these behaviors is very small.
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I don't have figures, nor do I have the inclination to research it, but I think the number may be much higher than you think. Perhaps there is a psychology major lurking here with real numbers.
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Ed Pawlowski wrote:

I would love to see some data that proved that a Chevy owner filling out a CR survey is more likely to put down problems that they've had, than a Toyota owner filling out the same survey.
In any case, it's rather immaterial. You're not going to get any other reliability survey that has such a large sample size with such a correspondingly small margin of error.
The Consumer Reports test drives and evaluations are another story. Is it bias to give more weight to reliability, safety, and value (which favors companies like Toyota and Honda)?
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On Thu, 26 Nov 2009 09:52:20 -0600, Vic Smith

That, in large part, goes to the heart of the CU bias. Most of their respondents were already of the mind set that domestic was crap and imports were perfect. And they repeat that when they fill in their survey forms. I see people all the time who buy an "import" for no reason other then they don't want a domestic. And that includes people who have run their previous domestics for way past 100K with no more problems then the imports have. In other cases it's in spite of having owned imports that fell apart around them. When someone has a problem with their Toyota they just shrug it off, when someone has a problem with their domestic they can't stop badmouthing it long enough to breath. Go visit an import newsgroup and look at post after post about blown head gaskets. Yet no one cares. But EVERYONE knows that Ford 3.8's had some head gasket issues. Ditto for the Sludged up Toyota engines - no one cares, after all, it's a Toyota!!!
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Ashton Crusher wrote:

You don't understand how the survey works. They aren't asking for a subscriber's opinion of one product versus another, they're asking a series of very specific questions that ask what, if any, problems an owner has had with their vehicle.
There seems to be a perception that the CU survey ask questions like 'which is more reliable, a Toyota or a Chevy.'
I see people all the time who buy an "import" for no

Actually it's the opposite. The Toyota owner with a problem is upset because they have the mindset of 'hey this is a Toyota, I'm not supposed to have these problems,' while the Chevy owner shrugs it off with "well it's a GM product, I expected this.'
In any case the number of owners that would lie when asked questions regarding specific sub-systems of their vehicle, is small. No one has ever shown any bias in the Consumer Reports surveys, either by the respondents, or in the questions that are asked. It's all sour grapes when someone complains. The complaint is usually along the line of 'well _I_ never had xyz problem, so that means the survey is bogus.' These people don't understand statistics or the necessity of a large sample size in order to have valid data.
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wrote:

It's ALL opinion since no one has to send in any documentation to support their claims. If someone wants to ignore the problems they can just answer "no problems". You don't seem to understand human nature. For this kind of survey to have any real validity beyond being a popularity contest it would have to be based on DOCUMENTED work orders for repairs of all these vehicles, say from the records of a leasing company or taxi fleet. We've had mostly GM in our government fleet for over 20 years and we just don't have much in the way of problems with them yet to listen to the critics we'd be lucky if half of them were running at any given point in time. The last new GM I had (95 caprice) required perhaps $1000 in actual non-wear item repairs (both in and out of warranty) in the 12 years and 140K miles of service. The entirety of it's repairs was to fix two electric windows and one sensor on the transmission. Yet some fool on the CU survey could, and probably would, put down 3 major repairs while swearing they'd never buy another domestic.

Not at all, I've seen their questionnaire.

Sorry but human nature is such that the typical Toyota owner, who bought it because it was supposed to be so great, is not going to acknowledge that he paid a higher price and has just as many problems as he's had with every other car. So he's going to forget about half the repairs and not even list them. And to cement the rightness of his decision he'll say he'd buy one again. OTOH, the Chevy owner shrugs nothing off. He feels like he did GM a favor buying the car in the first place and by god if there is a defect he's going to make them pay dearly by giving it lots of poor ratings - that'll teach em.

You don't understand that people rarely tell the truth for a wide variety of reasons. And the CU survey depends 100% on the respondents telling the truth about what is, to a large number of people, a very emotionally charged large $$ purchase.
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I damned sure wont acknowledge that because it isnt true. I have had shit with EVERY freaking GM product I owned since the early 80s. Yes, I paid a premium price, and yes I got a car that is not a piece of shit.
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Have to agree on the GM. Only one I've owned newer than 1967 was more trouble than any 2 others of any brand. Both old high-miler Toyotas gave excellent service - and that was in the '80s when they rusted. My GM was a '95 3.8 TransSport.
I don't buy new cars. My last 3 Fords have been OK - not stellar in the quality department but much better than the Pontiac. My last several Chryslers have been OK too.
If the Toyotas didn't hold their value so well I'd likely be driving them now, but I buy what I can buy 5 years old for $5000 - $6000 with 100,000km (60,000 miles) on them and Toyotas don't fall into that price range up here even with 300,000 kms.
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snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

That's the basic problem with Toyotas (and Hondas), they are usually a bad deal to buy used because they retain so much of their value.
Another issue is that new Toyotas are heavily discounted so even a half-conscious buyer can buy a new one for less than what an uninformed buyer can buy a used one for.
I have one acquaintance that works at a Toyota dealership and I asked him why there were so few used Toyotas on the lot and he explained it to me. Most of the used Toyotas are sent to other Ford, GM, and Chrysler dealerships that are owned by the same automotive group. Used Toyotas on a Ford, GM, or Chrysler lot will fetch a higher price than used Toyotas on a Toyota lot. Someone visiting a Toyota lot either knows that they can get their new car for well-under invoice, or is dumb enough to pay MSRP, but they're not going to pay top-dollar for a used Toyota like the visitor to the Ford or GM lot. We actually did buy a used Toyota from the Toyota dealership, one they had had on their lot for six months and were desperate to get rid of so they let it go for what seemed to be a good deal. Of course the problem with a used car is that the bumper to bumper warranty is much shorter so that's the risk you take.
Don't think that the Toyotas or Hondas you see on a Ford, GM, or Chrysler lot were traded in for a new Ford, GM, or Chrysler--in most cases they weren't. The used Ford and GM vehicles are wholesaled out to those used car lots that are usually scattered along auto rows. The Ford and GM dealers make more (per vehicle) selling used Toyotas and Hondas than they make selling new Ford and GM products.
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You and your friend are full of it, all brands return more in their own store, period. When we traded a domestic on an import in one of our import stores we sold it at our domestic store and visa versa, dummy
We ALWAYS made a higher gross profit on new and used Toyotas in our Toyota stores than our domestic stores because Toyota buyers were convinced they were "better," not because they were better.
If you doubt that dealers earn more on imports, look at the difference in ratio of wholesale to retail in the NADA Guide, for imports and domestics. The dealer earns more on imports because they can trade imports for LESS and sell more of the smoke and mirrors packages to import buyers. We even made more profit in our import stores with our $20 HIGHER shop rates, as well.
Toyota touts retail value, but the Toyota buyer never see that value when they trade on another Toyota. You will NEVER get wholesale for your Toyota trade at a Toyota store.
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Mike Hunter wrote:

So what? That was back in the last millenium.

This is a new millenium. No need to do name-calling in this one, either.

If want to believe that, go ahead.

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On 08/01/2010 12:39 PM, Mike Hunter wrote:

Actually, I thought he was right on. Many dealerships trade vehicles like kids used to trade baseball cards.

I can believe that, I don't see where he disputes that. But they really are better.

Whole sale, MSRP, invoice, all a bunch of BS these days. It it means something I haven't paid more than invoice since 1989. Bought a Chrysler POC minivan. Last Chrysler I even considered buying.

I bet most Toyota's don't even make them too the lot, family hand me downs. Parents drive it for 14 years and 200,000 on the odo then give it to the kids or keep it as a second car.

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I have been trying to help a friend find one for his wife for the last month or so. Within a 200 mile search radius, there has been nothing on the market recently.
He wanted a minivan or SUV for her. There are of course Chrysler products and some GM.
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Go look at a PT cruiser. You can get them new cheap and they are quite nice inside. Has all the utility of an SUV. You save enough money on the purchase price to more then pay for an extended warranty if you want one.
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Ashton Crusher wrote:

Got one of those as a rental once. What a horrible vehicle.
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wrote:

Love mine.
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wrote:

Mine is great except it's only got modest power. Just was in a Camry today and frankly, except for the wonderful V6 in the Camry there was nothing nicer about it then my PT. The second Gen PTs (2005 and up I think) are noticeably better then the first Gen.
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