Bias Against Domestic Cars

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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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Ashton Crusher wrote:

I think "modest power" is somewhat of an understatement. Compared to a 4 cylinder Camry it's a dog. Accelerating onto I-95 in Florida was terrifying.
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wrote:

of Cape Breton and Vermont very capably Flprida is Nothing - it's FLAT
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wrote:

Camry is about 10 seconds 0 - 60, the PT about 11
It's adequate for it's purpose and in what I consider "normal" driving I'm the fastest away from the light almost all the time, not because I'm trying to race, I just don't like starting up slow. I'm not saying the other vehicles couldn't beat me if we were racing, but very few people ever accelerate faster then a sloth and the PT can easily keep up.
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wrote:

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Canuck57 wrote:

This has been the case in our family. The 1996 Camry with only 140,000 miles is becoming the daughter-unit's car. She really wanted a 2010 red Porsche, but she'll settle for a Camry.
Ditto with Hondas. When a sister-in-law bought a CR-V, she gave her old Accord to two nieces that are new drivers.
What's surprising is just how much those 10-15 year old Accords and Camrys still fetch on the private party used market. You'd think that a 15 year old car would sell for under $1000, but that's not the case. Those third generation Camrys (1992-1996) are selling for as much as $5000. That was a very good generation, before a lot of the decontenting started. That's what it's like in Northern California anyway. My brother in law is a mechanic and he gets people bringing in private party used cars for a check before purchasing them. He asks how much they're paying for the used car and is amazed at the high prices for 10 year old Acuras, Toyotas, and Hondas.
Remember that the nearly all of used Toyotas and Hondas that you see on the Ford or GM dealer's used car lot did not come from trade-ins for new cars from that dealer. They were brought in from other dealers or purchased from fleets like rental car fleets.
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SMS wrote:

Stop it now! How dare you use knowledge and logic to deflate Mike Hunter's words. Seriously, this is a rarity. Usually, his logic is convoluted and false, that he defeats himself. Considering how he shoots off his mouth about auctions and having owned so many dealerships, one would think he knows about what he is talking.
Jeff
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dr_jeff wrote:

Whatever. I still think his funniest bit of lack of knowledge was about how warranties work. He is one very clueless individual.
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wrote:

Don't find them terribly highly discounted up here in Canada

That's for darn sure.
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snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Hmm, what's the legal situation with buying a U.S. Toyota and driving it back? Even with the taxes it might be a good deal.
I've bought three new Toyotas in California, one Land Cruiser, one Camry, and one 4Runner. All were purchased for well under the invoice price which seems to be the price that you go down from (not the MSRP). The dealer does not pay Toyota anything close to the invoice price of course. I'm sure the dealer did just fine on these sales. In fact all three were advertised specials in the newspaper "All in Stock at this Price." Naturally the dealer tries to make up for the relatively low price by selling you a gazillion worthless add-ons, plus financing, warranties, etc., but you're under no obligation to take them. Of course when cars like the Prius were in very high demand you could not get a good price on one, but for the mass market vehicles like Camrys where they crank them out like crazy and want to be the #1 vehicle in the U.S., the MSRP is at least $4500 more than what you have to pay for the base 4 cylinder model.
For one of the cars we went down to Southern California to get it because the savings were $1500 over the best price we could get in Northern California (the state is split for distribution purposes, with Southern California getting larger incentives). I told my old boss about this after he was disappointed in the Northern California Lexus prices and he flew down to buy a Lexus (the dealer even picks you up at the airport since they do this sort of thing a lot). Coming back on I-5 I was astounded to see the number of new cars (all brands) being driven north, apparently I was late to know this little trick but people I talked to had been doing it for decades.
In checking out used Toyota prices, I found no reason to buy a 2-3 year old Toyota until recently. My wife really wanted a Camry hybrid, and we bought it at a time when gas prices were down, and hybrid sales were in the tank. Personally it would not have been my first choice, but it was a good deal, which closed about an hour before sales tax went up.
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One will see a lot of Toyotas traded in on GM brands
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On 08/01/2010 11:34 AM, Mike Hunter wrote:

In your dreams.

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There are two parts to the auto issue. One part is the survey, the other part is the editorial comment by their testers.
IMO, the bias comes in the editorial part. Like the Suzuki rollover issue that was proven to be problematic with CR.
The survey portion has some merit, but we don't know a lot of how the questions were answered. Do owners of some makes tend to forget about minor problems more or less than owners of other makes? One respondent may think nothing of the time the radio did not work for a week and had to be replaced and forget to mark it while another may be PO'd that one day driving under power lines he had static on his favorite station 150 miles away and he tells everyone about the crappy radio. .
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Plus, the unintentional bias comes from the part that because they survey only their own readers, 100% of the resonses are influenced by the editorial content.
Put aside a survey of questionable scientific validity that wouldn't pass an undergraduate marketing exam. Put aside the results that wouldn't hold up in any peer reviewed statistics journal. Put aside any personal biases on the part of the management or editors. This one issue makes everything else suspect. The results could be reasonably accurate. Or maybe not. You'll never know. Even if they are, I don't find the difference of 2 reported issues (of unknown severity and cost) over 7 years to be all that significant between a typical Ford and a typical Honda. The reality is that their own results are exaggerating small differences by showing them as percentages above/below an average number instead of showing them as absolutes.
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snipped-for-privacy@my-deja.com wrote:

So you believe that a CR reader that bought a Ford or Chevy is more likely to admit to problems than a CR reader that bought a Toyota or Honda? Where's your evidence of that, LOL?
The survey isn't "what's your opinion of the reliability of xyz brand," it's detailed questions on problems you've had with the vehicle you own.
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Whether I believe it or not is irrelevant. Doing a survey in this fashion opens up the results to various biases and errors not present in a scientific, randomly sampled survey. But you're right about one thing, there's no way to prove it. Why? Because CR keeps all their methodology secret. There's no way to know how they massage their data, unlike what you'd find in any respectable peer reviewed medical, economics, statistics or other scientific journal. You appear to trust CR blindly, at least when it suits your agenda. I remain skeptical. I can live with that.
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snipped-for-privacy@my-deja.com wrote:

So you also distrust J.D. Power whose results almost always are the same as what CR finds, just with less detail on each sub-system's reliability?
These complaints about CR never change and never have any validity. The people that complain are those that feel that a poor rating somehow makes them look bad for having not researched their purchase carefully. Yet an attitude of "don't make the same mistake I did" would be better than trying to induce others to make the same mistake they did, with the added benefit of encouraging the manufacture to correct the problems rather than to spend their money on marketing and advertising trying to con more naive consumers into making a poor purchasing decision. These people will find something to complain about in every survey by every entity.
If all the Saturn owners that were so quick to dismiss Consumer Reports and J.D. Power survey results had instead directed their energies toward encouraging Saturn to correct the reliability problems than maybe Saturn would have had sufficient sales to be able to continue in business.
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JD Power? I haven't looked at their information in many years. I also did not mention them on this thread. In general, I do tend not to give the benefit of the doubt to any media source that hides their methodology and statistical information, then puts results into dumbed down circles. I read my monthly CR magazine with a grain of salt, but it's fine if you don't share the same skepticism. Heck, I know many people that treat CR like holy text and buy nothing but their top rated items, simply because they think that a lack of advertising guarantees a lack of bias. To each their own. It is a free country. Where the amusement comes in is with people that swear by some magazine (or other media source), except when they discover it doesn't support some specific agenda. Hypocrites are funny. So, which one is it? Do you think CR is always unbiased and accurate? Or, do you think they were wrong to give a good reliability verdict to the Saturn S-series sedans?

Why would Saturn S-series owners dismiss CR's reliability ratings when they were generally good? Despite changing the topic again, you're still not making any sense. As for reliability, even based on Consumer Reports, most vehicles these days are pretty reliable and warranties are pretty good. For me, reliability is far less important to me today than it was 20 years ago. I'd rather buy on the basis of safety, convenience, comfort, performance, etc. On the other hand, if I published Consumer Reports, I'd sure want reliability to seem like a big deal. Those results sell a lot of copy and they need to hype them as much as possible. And so, some people buy primarily on a perception of reliability because that's what is important to them. Again, it's a free country.
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On Nov 27, 2:04pm, snipped-for-privacy@my-deja.com wrote:

It is a tough choice when you're caught in a contradiction like this. Take a stand and make a difficult choice? Ignore it altogether? Or find some cop out response?
In the mean time, I still haven't found a scrap of statistical information supporting any of the reliability verdicts or predictions from the April, 2009 issue. Blind faith is a fascinating phenomenon when it comes to survey results. I mean, like you said, CR is a non- profit, independent organization. They don't even accept advertising. On that basis, does it mean you put complete trust into every independent, non-profit organization? Heck, I coordinate an independent, 501c3 non-proft that accepts no advertising. Funny thing is, nowhere in the articles or IRS requirements is any stipulation of being honest, unbiased, or accurate. I guess it's no surprise how a lot of these charities get money, when there are people that put so much blind faith into them because they assume independent and non- profit also means they are completely trustworthy with no potential for typical human motivations like greed.
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Hi Vic!

You won't be.

While they provide nothing for statistical information on specific models, they probably do have enough data to see basic trends. You can find some interesting things if you dig into the charts and numbers they bury in the print. For example, over the 7 years that is a typical length of new car ownership, the average Ford has roughly 5 issues a CR reader would report in a survey, about the same as Nissan or Hyundai. The average Honda/Toyota owner would have roughly 3 problems reported by a CR subscriber. (I'll even give a margin of error of 1 problem, as the chart was small and integrating in my head is subject to mistakes these days). Granted, these could be minor or major problems, covered under warrantly or very expensive. There's no way to know from CR. Also, you still have the issue of self-sampling and and a non-scientific survey method. See the Chicago Tribune's "Dewey Defeats Truman" case study on why not to use data obtained in this manner...
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