Bias Against Domestic Cars

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You should have know better than to buy an import ;)
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On Sun, 22 Nov 2009 18:17:14 -0500, "Mike Hunter"

Sounds a whole lot like my Mystique. Love the car, but reliability is NOT it's strong suit - mostly nickel and dime stuff since I do most of my own repairs, but irritating at best. Being the high end V6 with all the toys, it is NOT easy to work on either. Something about it's mixed heritage I guess.
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Right, the Buick was imported from Canada
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Ed Pawlowski wrote:

LMAO. I bought one too in 2001, and sold it in 2004. Last GM I will ever buy. Had transmission issues early on, many bandaid type repairs, eventually told them to put a new one in as we are getting close to lemon law - hint - hint. After being jacked around, I vowed it was my last GM.
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No, Powers has TWO different studies, the IQS (Initial Quality Study), and VDS (Vehicle Dependability Study). I pretty much ignore all of the IQS surveys as most of the automakers are within a couple of defects per 100 vehicles of each other. It's the VDS that's the important one. Here's a link to the 2009 study, go check it out...
http://www.jdpower.com/corporate/news/releases/pdf/2009043.pdf
Derek
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Derek Gee wrote:

But this is still a survey, with the limitations of a survey.
Plus, the study was with cars that were about 2 or 3 years old (2006 model year study done in Oct. 2008). It doesn't say how well cars hold up after this period. What would be a far better study would be a study of what is actually replaced by owners during the life of the car. It would be a hard study to do.
Jeff
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If you survey Customers this might be a hard survey. However if you survey parts suppliers, it should be relatively easy. I've always assumed manufacturers know the truth, but have no incentive to make it public. I am certain that Ford and GM and Toyota and...all have a pretty good idea of the reliability of each other's products. They just aren't telling us...
Ed
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Closest thing to that is dealership warranty and post-warranty info, and I doubt you'll get any of that. Maybe some large fleet customers might share info like that...
Derek
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Derek Gee wrote:

Yet the way cars and trucks in large fleets is not the same as regular people.
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Very true, but it's a good way to get high mileage data in a short period of time for analysis purposes.
Derek
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On Sun, 22 Nov 2009 22:04:35 -0500, "Derek Gee"

Both are just about worthless as far as guiding the consumer. The difference between the Top rated Buick at 122 and the average at 170 is "per 100 cars". So for the ONE car owned by the consumer it's a trivial difference of 0.48 problems, whether that's per year or over the entire 3 years I couldn't tell. But in any case, anyone who gets their panties in a bunch over that not quite half a problem needs to get a hobby. You have to get way down toward the bottom to seen enough difference in the numbers to get the least bit excited. If they told you the COST instead of OCCURANCE it would be a whole lot more useful. I also noticed their disclaimer about statistical significance. Since they felt they needed to say it I'm guessing the truth is that when looked at with the common statistical tests of significance their survey isn't much better then toilet paper.
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You make a valid point in that it would very useful to know what are the differences in the "problems" each make has. It makes a big difference if the problems are minor, such as leak or part recall, or major - like a transmission failure.
Derek
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message says...

I don't completely agree with this. The CR survey is very simplistic. A lot of the questions depend on the responder making value judgements. These judgements are based on the experience / beliefs / opinions of the reponders. These factors are at least partially influenced by what CR says about a given vehicle. If CR says a Camry is reliable, then the respondents are more likely to shade their answers in that direction. Probably a small shading, but given the tiny differences in the results, it does not take much to seem significant given CRs method of reporting the results. The little shaded circle methods makes it seem that the differences are much more significant than they really are. The difference between the horrible black dot rating and the wonderful red dot rating can be trivial in some cases. So small shadings in the responses can look like major differnces, when in fact they are not. And then there is the whole problem of the pool of responders. I would argue that the readership of CR is biased towards a group of people who agree with the CR editorial opinions. Since CR has shown a marked prefernce for Toyota products over recent years, I believe the CR reasdership is more likely to be disposed towards believing Toyotas are more reliable than other cars. I believe this will lead towards a bias in the survey results. Again, maybe a small bias, but that is all it takes to completely screw up the results as interperted by the CR editiorial staff.

Definitely true. This probably explainis why Lexus always has high ratings. However, it probably works against Toyota, since Toyota dealerships are usually rated worse than average in other surveys.
Ed

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On Wed, 18 Nov 2009 07:59:55 -0500, "C. E. White"

Toyota/Honda owners will disagree with what you said. But you hit the high spots. Of course CR will never release the number of survey respondents of each make of car. Might look funny to see that 90% of the survey respondents are reporting on Toyotas/Hondas. Why subscribe to a magazine then not follow its advice about your biggest purchase? CR does do some good stuff on smaller purchases and other matters though, so it is a useful tool. That's why I was a long-time subscriber. Nowadays there are net resources with product reviews. As you said, the use of colored circles dots is a big weakness. More detail on what was repaired and actual costs could very well save some subscribers money when they select their car - especially used cars. I get that detail through other sources (mechanics, net complaints, forums, etc) and do very well with costs on my used cars. Chevys. The knocks from CR on Chevys and other cars have made them a real bargain on the used car market - if you are even a bit analytical. The JD Powers surveys are often knocked, but they are professional surveys paid for by the auto manufacturers. Last I looked the individual owners surveyed are paid 20 bucks to tell the truth. BTW, I never filled out a CR survey. Even when my Chevys were young enough to qualify, I didn't want to mess up a good thing by reporting no problems. FYI, it seems CR is now a free magazine, at least for me. I let my subscription lapse about 5 years ago, but continue to get the magazine in the mail. Along with occasional letters asking me to re-subscribe. I guess they think sending me the magazines is an enticement to subscribe. Not a good sales practice overall, I think.
--Vic
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C. E. White wrote:

I don't believe subjectivity affects the reliability ratings much because CR also asks owners if they'd buy the same vehicle again, and some vehicles where the owners overwhelmingly answer yes are ranked among the least reliable. IOW the very same people who love their cars admit that their cars have been troublesome, the Chevy Corvette being a prime example.
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On Thu, 19 Nov 2009 23:28:39 -0800 (PST), "larry moe 'n curly"

You need to remember too, the JD Power report is not so much about reliability as "initial quality " - at least that's the report most often referred to. That means what the car was like when first purchased - has little to do with what you had 6 months later. A new Caddy is a sight to behold, and for the first couple weeks you may be "in heaven" - from the experience of several friends, that turns to a minimum of "purgatory" within 6 months.
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Just a point...."largely the same parts" may not be the same as equivalent vehicles.
I am not defending CR.. I have held them up to doubt many times on other types of products, where they clearly had no idea what they were talking about.
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wrote in message

The only differences were the outer skins. They were the same platform underneath.

I've always worried about a company that reviews toasters rating sophisticated devices, particularly consumer electronics and automobiles. But they do have the advantage of being advertisement free...
Derek
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On Tue, 17 Nov 2009 22:28:30 -0500, "Derek Gee"

The same "platform" does not mean the same floorpan, or even necessarily the same wheelbase or track. It means it shares a "layout".
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wrote in message

Not so.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automobile_platform
D
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