Re: Screw Consumer Reports

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Even more recently than that, when the new Pontiac Grand Prix debuted a couple of years back I had considered buying one and decided to check out what CR had to say about the new model (2002, or 2003 I think it was). They
dissed the car quite a bit in their "review", and then later in the same review admitted something to the effect that they had yet to drive the new remodelled version.
Right then and there I vowed never to buy that magazine again. It's plain that there is an agenda to bash the american cars and promote the import. How can you "review" a vehicle that you have never even driven? If you drive it and then you don't like it, that's your right. To bash it without having driven it, for an "objective" magazine is unforgivable.
Need more proof? Look to the recommended used car list. As far back as they go you'll find hardly any American cars on the list, and if memory serves, no GM vehicles. You're telling me that the largest car company in the world has not made a single model in the last 10 or so years that's worth buying? Not one? Whether you're a GM fan or not, with the number of vehicles they produce you must admit that they should put out a winner every once in a while, even if it's by accident.
And the avoid list ... Honda or Toyota haven't produced a single lemon in that same time period? Come on ...

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I subscribed to the magazine for 27 years and I've learned that their "tests" aren't much more than opinions. Because of that, I no longer pay attention to anything they have to say. BTW I received a questionnaire from them about a new Nissan I bought in the 1980's and even though I had only owned it a few weeks, they asked about the reliability. I gave it a high rating but they should have checked back about a year later after the car started falling apart (I never heard from them again).
%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%% "So why do I drive a big SUV? It's because I have to haul numerous people and things to places." ~ R. Lee Baxton ~
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Luddite.
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CR sends a survey form to their subscribers EVERY YEAR, EVERY YEAR. If you did not get a survey in a given year, it's because you were no longer a subscriber. I've subscribed for about 3 decades and I get the survey EVERY YEAR.

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They only send one out every year to you, because you're special (unless you now something that I don't). My subscription ran out years after I dumped that Nissan turd. When I traded it in, I had a bag of interior parts in the trunk that had fallen off the car. Add that to the 2 alternators, 2 starters, 1 water pump, 3 sets of brakes, 3 exhausts and an oil sending unit the size of a spin-on oil filter (but much, much more expensive) all that in only 54,000 miles. And you get another CR rated car with a lower than average rated of repair (if that's low, I'd hate to see high). Every Chevy I've owned has had a low rating according to CR and all but one of them was a really great car.
Group: alt.autos.gm Date: Tue, Mar 7, 2006, 11:50pm From: snipped-for-privacy@CHARTERMI.NET (GRL) CR sends a survey form to their subscribers EVERY YEAR, EVERY YEAR. If you did not get a survey in a given year, it's because you were no longer a subscriber. I've subscribed for about 3 decades and I get the survey EVERY YEAR.
I subscribed to the magazine for 27 years and I've learned that their "tests" aren't much more than opinions. Because of that, I no longer pay attention to anything they have to say. BTW I received a questionnaire from them about a new Nissan I bought in the 1980's and even though I had only owned it a few weeks, they asked about the reliability. I gave it a high rating but they should have checked back about a year later after the car started falling apart (I never heard from them again).
%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%% "So why do I drive a big SUV? It's because I have to haul numerous people and things to places." ~ R. Lee Baxton ~
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They only send one out to me (and every other subscriber) because we're special in that we paid for a subscription.
- GRL
I subscribed to the magazine for 27 years and I've learned that their "tests" aren't much more than opinions. Because of that, I no longer pay attention to anything they have to say. BTW I received a questionnaire from them about a new Nissan I bought in the 1980's and even though I had only owned it a few weeks, they asked about the reliability. I gave it a high rating but they should have checked back about a year later after the car started falling apart (I never heard from them again).
%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%% "So why do I drive a big SUV? It's because I have to haul numerous people and things to places." ~ R. Lee Baxton ~
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WOW WHAT A REVELATION!!! I never thought of paying for a subscription. You truly ARE special. BTW, when I subscribe to a magazine, I usually take the longest subscription they offer because it's annoying to have to renew all the time. Howsomever, if I find that a magazine doesn't live up to my expectations, I have enough intelligence to cancel my subscription. CR stopped being relevant when they started "shading" their results but I cancelled after I purchased some of their "recommended" products that turned out to be duds.
Group: alt.autos.gm Date: Wed, Mar 8, 2006, 8:01pm From: snipped-for-privacy@CHARTERMI.NET (GRL) They only send one out to me (and every other subscriber) because we're special in that we paid for a subscription. - GRL
I subscribed to the magazine for 27 years and I've learned that their "tests" aren't much more than opinions. Because of that, I no longer pay attention to anything they have to say. BTW I received a questionnaire from them about a new Nissan I bought in the 1980's and even though I had only owned it a few weeks, they asked about the reliability. I gave it a high rating but they should have checked back about a year later after the car started falling apart (I never heard from them again).
%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%% "So why do I drive a big SUV? It's because I have to haul numerous people and things to places." ~ R. Lee Baxton ~
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That is the point they only rely on the opinions of those subscribers who reply. How many subscribers do they have? What percentage of their subscriber rely? How many of the 225,000,000 vehicles owners in the US subscribe to CR? How many of the 18,000,000, or so, annual new vehicle buyers are subscribers? CRs opinion of the cars they do buy and test are useless, except at it applies to that ONE vehicle. Should anybody believe the one vehicle they buy is indicative, good or bad, of all the thousands or hundreds of thousands of vehicles customer actually will buy of that model? ;)
mike hunt

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My God you are stubborn. You start with a bare fact and then you distort it until the starting fact is no longer recognizable. You considered politics? Or used care sales?
OK, get this, the responses to CR's surveys are voluntary and the sample size is not 100% of their subscriber base let alone of the total car market. That's why they count how many replies they get and if it is not a statistically significant number (as it would not be for something like a 911 Porsche or a Bentley), they don't rate that car for reliability. Now, being that it is a voluntary survey (and that's the only kind that you can get for something like a car since the manufacturers are not going to tell you what their repair number look like and once out of warranty even they don't know), there is room for some bias. People who really like their car may shade the truth about something that went wrong, people who are really picky may find things wrong that no one else would bother about, but the assumption is that on average, people tell the truth and you get as many fudging one way as the other. A reasonable assumption...especially since these surveys have been going on for decades and general trends remain the same...large sample sets (multi-year) take on a certainty of their own. Add to this the fact that the results CR gets closely mirror what other organizations like J.D. Power) get and you end up with most folks end up with in how they view CR survey results...they represent reality.
A fun exercise would be to find a dealer that sells both domestic and Asian cars and make friends with somebody in their repair shop. Ask which of their brands they see people coming back for repair work on more often and then go see if the CR survey results jibe. they will.

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I don't have much of a problem with this, especially with GM's history of lightly restyling a product 1/2 through an 8-10 year life cycle and calling it 'new'. If a product is uncompetitive from a powertrain, ride, interior space, reliability, etc. standpoint and you restyle the body, then any one of us would have an opinion to state without driving it.

Hard to believe, but true.
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Perhaps, but in the US more buyers still choose GM, Ford and Chrysler vehicles over Toyota or Honda. They must believe GM, Ford and Chrysler vehicles are better, no matter what CR believes ;)
mike hunt

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Mike,
why do you keep repeating this misinformation? Toyota is #3 right now, unless you have a cite that contradicts the figures I've already posted.
nate
Mike Hunter wrote:

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Haven't been in this thread before but it would be interesting to look at sales divided into two categories A) People buying personal cars with their own money and B) People buying cars for someone else with public or corporate money (fleets, rentals, etc.) I suspect that GM/DC/Ford would lead in category B and that Toyota and Honda would lead in category A. Don't know that for a fact. Just my opinion.
Howard 89 Mustang 5.0 95 Windstar 3.8
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Howard Nelson wrote:

You're probably right, in part because most fleet buyers don't even consider foreign cars because they don't want to appear unpatriotic.
Don't get me wrong, I'd love to see the US mfgrs. get back on their feet and start producing cars that people actually want; minimizing the problem doesn't help to solve it though.
nate
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Next time you are at an airport and are picking up a rental car, cruise the lot and see how many Asian brand cars they have. You may be surprised. Korean brands are showing up a lot where I live, probably because they are inexpensive and have gotten pretty darned reliable very quick.
And I completely agree with you that it would be fantastic if the domestic makers turn things around. They are having a near-death experience and that does tend to focus the mind...so it may happen.
By the way, check out the April 2006 Motor Trend. they interview the guy who is head of Toyota-USA (an ex-Ford guy) and get a surprising, in some ways, look at what makes Toyota tick and so successful. Also some of the chinks in the armor.

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GRL wrote:

I worked for Hertz from 1989-99. About 65% of the fleet was Ford products company wide. The rest was a mixture of of the others, domestic (Chrysler and GM) and import. Lots of Mazda and Nissan, some Honda, Volvo, some Kia and Suzuki. Other locations had imports from other mfgrs such as Lexus, Mercedes and BMW. At one time or other Hertz had cars from every manufacturer who sold cars in thr US.
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Tom Adkins wrote:

When I saw "fleet buyers" I was thinking not rental car agencies but companies that lease "company cars" for corporations, service trucks, etc. Those are invariably American, as are vehicles purchased buy government agencies. The rental fleet is a little more diverse, but still predominately American.
nate
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Rental companies are not the same as corporate fleets. A vehicle to corporate fleet is just one more 'tool,' like a computer or a lathe, used in its business. Corporate vehicles generally receive the best in preventive maintenance. Vehicles for a rental company ARE their BUSINESS. Rental companies do not generally keep their vehicles, they are sold off after a year at the most. The amount of maintenance they receive in minimal at best, topping fluids primarily. There was a time not to long ago when they sold off the cars in six months. Currently they must keep them in service for a year or until the intro date for the next model year WOF ore they can loose their fleet discount number.
mike hunt

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Mike Hunter wrote:

Sorry to disagree Mike. Maybe the other rental companies are different. All Hertz cars are leased from Ford, et al, for time and mileage specifications laid out in yearly agreements and are (were) 2 tiered. Here's how it worked:
1. Hertz leases 1000 new Towncars. 2. Of that 1000, they are obligated to purchase 200 (20%). This is to cover vehicles that sustain cumulative body/structural damage above a certain amount, totalled vehicles etc. That 20% doesn't apply to particular cars and vehicles are chosen to fill this quota at the end of the lease term. 3. The other 800 (80%) are subject to lease regulations almost like an individual lease. Hertz must provide service and repair records for each vehicle. Service and repair must be maintained within manufacturer guidelines or they will be penalized or the car will be rejected totally. When a vehicle reaches a service interval it is unrentable until the service is performed and documented in the system. Note: Hertz technicians are certified to perform warranty repairs on Ford vehicles. The shop operates very similar to a dealership facility. 4. The 2 tiers I mentioned are time and mileage restrictions. They are normally 12 months\12K miles or 24 months\24K miles. (There are occasionally 6/6 and 18/18 terms) 5. At these times the cars are inspected for dents, dings, glass chips, service records, etc by Hertz personnel. They are returned to the manufacturer (usually to a dealer auction location). 6. The cars are again inspected by reps of the manufacturer and penalties for defects, substandard repairs, or shortages in the service records levied accordingly. If the problems reach a certain limit the cars are rejected and returned to Hertz. Excess mileage penalties are also levied. 5. Of the remaining purchased vehicles: The best are sold via Hertz Car Sales. The cars with heavy cumulative repairs, etc are sent through used vehicle auctions or sold to used car brokers after reaching a maximun of 30K miles.
Your comment about limited maintenence is totally untrue. Hertz vehicles are probably maintained BETTER than many corporate fleets.
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