To my surprise, my latest CU Reports states that Toyota reliabilty has
slipped behind Honda and Suburu to 3rd place. Apparently, the Camry V6
6-speed automatic has problems. The CU survey of 1.3 million vehicles
apparently revealed serious problem with V6 Camry, the AWD Lexus GS and the
Tundra. I few years ago it was oil gelling engines.
C.E. "Ed" White is a known troll in the Toyota newsgroup. He owned only one
Toyota a long, long time ago that was a rare lemon, and has had a hatred for
Toyota ever since. He's been known to lie and exaggerate to make Toyota
look bad, and disputes any reliability ratings that make Toyota look good
while believing those that make them look not as desirable. Ignore him.
Expressing an opinion does not make someone a troll. Calling someone a liar
because he does not agree with you is not a fair tactic. Point out one lie I
have told. You ignore facts at your own peril. Chanting the "Toyotas are
great" mantra doesn't make it a fact.
Define "rare lemon." Why is it wrong for me point out that not all surveys
are as flattering to Toyota as the Consumer Reports survey [used to be]? I
don't trust the CR's survey any more today than I did last year, or ten
years ago. It is not a well constructed survey.
On 11/2/2007 7:41 PM jim beam spake these words of knowledge:
What the fuck are you talking about?
Like hundreds of thousands of others through the last 75 years, I
subscribed to Consumer Reports for years, and filled out the surveys
appropriately when I got them, annually, about the products I owned.
What is it that you are referring to, Jim?
What would be better 'data collection techniques'? Asking people to
rate products they didn't own or use? I fail to see the problem.
Please enlighten the rest of us; surely there are people who
deliberately give poor or false responses, but just as surely they are a
very small minority. What is your complaint?
I don't know what your problem is, but I'll bet it's hard to pronounce.
i read reviews of some products i own, and find them to be wildly
inaccurate. others, i see well reviewed, and find them to be garbage.
bottom line, i don't believe everything i read.
oh, and the other reason why. in a past life, i used to work for a
company engaged in "poor data collection techniques" - they made up data
to suit the guys paying them. big name "reputable" company too. with
detroit fighting for its life, do you really think this stuff is going
to be "fair and balanced"?
On 11/2/2007 11:42 PM jim beam spake these words of knowledge:
I had a good friend who bought a Monte Carlo SS in 1980, and based on
Consumer Reports, paid for the extended warranty. He never needed it,
and resented the extra money he paid out. Conversely, because I buy and
own Hondas, I generally eschew extended warranties; one malfunction
could easily make me regret that decision. The difference between my
friend's experience and expectations and CR's data is simply that CR
gathers reports on many (hundreds, thousands) purchases of a particular
For what it's worth, in nearly thirty years of subscribing to the
magazine, where I have often disagreed with opinions and conclusions, I
have never seen CU to be wildly inaccurate in their reviews.
With respect to their conglomerated data, they are simply reporting it,
It cannot be inaccurate - they are not rendering opinions, they are
relaying other users' experiences. Your experience may vary, but that
does not mean their information regarding the experiences of others is
With respect to reliability data, Consumer Reports collects and reports
information given to them by subscribers. Neither the subscribers nor
the company have any possible monetary gain from falsifying information.
This is not to say that no falsification ever happens, but the notion
that they use poor data collection techniques is ignorantly formed and
founded - not because they're any better than anyone else, necessarily,
but because there is no monetary incentive. They don't even take
I don't intend to imply that Consumer Reports is perfect, but I weary of
the absurd pronouncements made against them. Through the years, they
have found that Honda and Toyota are generally the most reliable
automobiles. So have I. As a computer systems analyst, I find their
information somewhat shallow with respect to computers - but it's not
inaccurate, and will be used by people who don't have the depth of
knowledge in the field that I do. I presume a similar state with, say,
digital cameras - that the expert may make different choices for
different reasons, but the layman would be well-guided by the
"I've been accused of vulgarity. I say that's bullshit." - Mel Brooks
Like many others, I have completed the surveys CU sends out. Their
assessments for products I have owned parallel my experience. I have always
found them a useful resource. There recent recanting on child's car seats
also indicates that they will admit their mistakes which suggests integrity.
So, your reasoning is, the data must be wrong since your particular case
differed greatly from the group average?
Under that reasoning, either all their products should be faulty, or none.
Thanks for playing "Why I Don't Believe in Statistics!"
I do believe in statistics that are properly collected. I don't feel that
Consumer Reports has a statistically valid method of collecting data. They
only survey their subscribers, and only the subscribers that want to reply
do so. I don't think this can qualify as a valid survey.
As I said before, I didn't trust CR statistics when they claimed Toyotas
were great and I don't trust them now that they claim they are not so great.
The JD Power Surveys are a little better (but hardly perfect since they only
ask about repairs, not cost of repairs). In my opinion the recent decrease
in Toyota's reported reliability has more to do with negative press
attention than an actual decrease in quality.
My opinion is that Toyotas are nothing special when it comes to reliability
(neither especially good nor especially bad). I've owned a Toyota, my SO
owns a Toyota, I've borrowed Toyotas, rented Toyotas, and have many friends
with Toyotas. I've never seen anything to lead me to believe that Toyotas
were especially reliable. I am not saying they are bad, just that they
aren't some sort of super duper ultimate vehicle. I can find plenty of
people who love them and plenty of people who hate them. I think more than
any other company, Toyota has done a great job of managing their image.
Lately there have been cracks in Toyota's veil of secrecy strategy and I
think this has more to do with any perceived reduction in Toyota reliability
than an actual reduction in the quality of the products.
Ed, I'd have to disagree with you at least wrt the Corolla which is
said to be the best Toyota wrt reliability or so I've read before.
I've got one old Corolla and 2 newer ones and they are reliable. Of
course I can't speak about the other Toyotas tho. Personally I prefer
Honda Accord because of comfort but it's not fair to compare the two.
Both are very reliable tho I think the Corolla is cheaper to maintain.
And as far as the CU, I tend to agree with you. People who fill out
the survey do so if they want to (therefore not too scientific) and
some who do so are not too bright when it comes to cars. What I've
read about CU in the past many times is that their reporting is biased
in favor of their advertisers no matter what they claim. I've read
this MANY times in other newsgroups and my concensus is, is that those
who know cars don't use CU for their basis. That said in my own
experience, I've found CU to fairly accurate (not always tho) but I
don't rely on them as my only source of info (just to be safe) before
I fork over serious money on a car/truck.
I've never said Corollas are unreliable. I'd agree that they are among the
most reliable cars you can buy, but they are not alone at the top. The
current Corolla is a "proven" (i.e. old) design by modern standards. And
Corollas tend to be basic vehicles (not to many electric/electronic
options). Both of these contribute to the reliability. Also, the type of
person that buys a Corolla is not likely to abuse it (but the they might not
maintain them perfectly either). BTW my Sister has an 11 year old Civic. In
the 11 years she has owned it, the only repairs were to replace the muffler
and the spark plug wires. And the muffler was her fault for backing it into
a curb :). You couldn't really get a more reliable vehicle, though I
wouldn't be caught dead driving the car (faded paint, faded interior, paint
coming off the bumpers and wheel covers, fogged headlights, etc).
I am not sure what you mean by "advertising." Consumer Reports doesn't sell
advertising. The only advertising in the magazines or on the web site is for
their other products. Of course they do have monetary pressures. They have
to make sure the magazine appeals to the subscribers. They don't provide any
details on how many people respond for each brand of vehicle, but I believe
that they have a very large number of subscribers who are Toyota owners. If
you go look at Consumer Comments for various vehicles on there web site,
there are always more comments for Toyota vehicles than for most others.
Here are the number of Consumer Reviews for various 2007 Toyotas:
Camry Hybrid (22)
Camry Solara (19)
FJ Cruiser (60)
Highlander Hybrid (7)
Land Cruiser (0)
A total of 598 people.
Here is a similar list for Ford Models:
Crown Victoria (2)
Escape Hybrid (12)
Explorer Sport Trac (14)
Five Hundred (11)
Over 3 times as many people responded about 2007 Toyota models as for 2007
Ford models. Now some of this may have been because Toyota owners are more
passionate than Ford owners, but I think a simpler explanation is that many
more CR readers are Toyota owners than are Ford owners. Therefore when
making editorial decisions, I suspect CR is less likely to offend Toyota
owners than Ford owners. Plus it is clear over the years that CR has a
preference for Toyota design decisions. CR has always favored simple, basic,
proven, over exciting, interesting, high performance. I am not saying they
are deliberately biased (they don't sit around in meetings saying " Let pump
up Toyota") but they do have preferences that fit in with the Toyota type of
cars (or maybe Toyota designs cars that suit the CR preferences). It is a
chicken / egg thing - Do more Toyota owners buy CR because it prefers
Toyotas, or do CR readers prefer Toyotas because they read (and trust) CR.
Either way it is my opinion that CR's readership has a pro-Toyota bias. And
this may influence the pro-Toyota bias of CR. This is all theory / opinion.
It is not provable, at least by me.
Ok but didn't you say Toyota of which Corolla is one of them? And yes
I own a Honda Accord and love it. Everything else of which you said
I either agree or let me say I won't disagree too much.
One thing I said which I have to correct is I used CU when I meant CR.
But I think you already knew that.
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