Toyota Reliability Slips behind Honda

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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.
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Actually, they are 5th, according to the report in Car and Driver.
1. Honda 2. Acura 3. Scion 4. Subaru 5. Toyota
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Thom wrote:

Scion is a Toyota brand, using Toyota drivetrains.
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On Nov 2, 3:17 pm, "mjc13<REMOVETHIS>"

Doesn't matter, they are seperate, just like Acura and Lexus, etc...
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Thom wrote:

no, same company, same designers, parts suppliers. "acura" models are even sold as honda in other countries. acura /is/ honda. scion /is/ toyota. lexus /is/ toyota.
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wrote:

And how is C&D collecting statistics?
Ed
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I ddin't trust CU statistics when the claimed Toyota was super good. I don't trust them now that they are saying Toyota is not so great. Poor data collection techinques = poor conclusions.
Ed
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C. E. White wrote:

and replacement parts sales we don't have any better data available.
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C. E. White wrote:

why ever not??? they are the finest statistics money can buy!

collection techniques? easy - staple the check to the top of the "report" you've written for them - that way the "collection" is taken care of.
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jim beam wrote:

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.
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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.
Regards,
Ed White
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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?
RFT!!! Dave Kelsen
--
I don't know what your problem is, but I'll bet it's hard to pronounce.

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Dave Kelsen wrote:

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"?
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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 product.
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 'inaccurate'.
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 external advertisements.
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 information provided.
RFT!!! Dave Kelsen
--
"I've been accused of vulgarity. I say that's bullshit." - Mel Brooks

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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.
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jim beam wrote:

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!"
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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
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On Tue, 6 Nov 2007 16:42:23 -0500, "C. E. White"

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.
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<observer> wrote in message

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. For instance:
Here are the number of Consumer Reviews for various 2007 Toyotas:
4Runner (21) Avalon (27) Camry (195) Camry Hybrid (22) Camry Solara (19) Corolla (15) FJ Cruiser (60) Highlander (7) Highlander Hybrid (7) Land Cruiser (0) Matrix (7) Prius (46) RAV4 (41) Sequoia (3) Sienna (8) Tacoma (21) Tundra (53) Yaris (46)
A total of 598 people.
Here is a similar list for Ford Models:
By model: Crown Victoria (2) Econoline (2) Edge (32) Escape (23) Escape Hybrid (12) Expedition (15) Explorer (5) Explorer Sport Trac (14) F-150 (11) F-250 (3) F-350 (3) Five Hundred (11) Focus (13) Freestar (0) Freestyle (16) Fusion (15) Mustang (11) Ranger (4)
Only 192
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.
Ed
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On Wed, 7 Nov 2007 11:01:24 -0500, "C. E. White"

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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