What do you mean please explain? Can't you read? Look at the '89
4-cylinders for instance. The Ford's have extra black dots (or other lower
ratings) the Mazda 626 doesn't. (Cooling, electrical, A/C, clutch,
integrity, paint-trim) Why is the Ford version rated worse? They were made
in the same plant with the same platform parts.
CR did rate the Mazda auto-trans worse, which is also wrong, being the same
unit as the Ford.
Can't you read? For some components, the 626 rated worse than the
Why the difference then? I'm going to blame small survey samples,
which tend to lead to wider variations in averages -- notice the * in
some spots, indicating insufficient data.
You're not doing a Robert McNamara on statistics, are you? ;)
Sure I have. They totally screwed the Ford Probe versus the Mazda 626,
whether intentionally or not, and FAILED to correct the statistics. It's
obvious something was wrong, but they did nothing for years - until enough
people complained and they finally got burned by a vehicle being unjustly
given a "reliable" rating ahead of having any data to prove that it was.
Total bullcrap. The only vehicles that were given the false ratings were
On Sun, 22 Nov 2009 07:21:51 -0500, Ed Pawlowski fired up the
etcha-a-sketch and scratched out:
As an example, back in the '80s when I read CR, I always noticed them
mentioning "cheap plastic" on GM interiors. I never knew what cheap
plastic meant as compared to non-cheap or expensive plastic. It is all
In any case, I drove to work in my Chevy Avalanche, and then hopped into
a sub-compact Prius for a work trip with some of my staff. I drove the
Prius about twenty miles, which was something like 45 minutes one way and
about 30 the other way.
I see no difference between the car and my truck in terms of apparent
build quality. Granted the Prius is a low-end subcompact as compared to
my mid-level Avalanche. But the build quality appears about the same.
Consumer Reports values safety, reliability, and value. It's true that
there are other aspects of vehicles (and other products) that are often
more important to buyers than those three characteristics. I'd have
never bought several of the vehicles that I've purchased if I went
mainly by safety, reliability, and value. But that doesn't mean that
Consumer Reports is biased.
The most amusing claims of bias are when people get upset about their
surveys which ask owners of the product to rate the product that they've
purchased. Whether it's vehicles or wireless service, there's no reason
to believe that the owner or user of one product or service is more or
less likely to lie about their experience with the product or service
than the owner of a different product or service.
Sure they are, you even said so, just in different words - "Consumer Reports
values safety, reliability, and value."
I am not saying that anyone is lying about there responses. I am arguing
that the sample group is not statistically sounds and that it is likely that
the people who respond to the surveys are likely to parrot the CR opinons.
This is not lying, it is human nature at work.
No, they're not biased because they evaluate all of the vehicles to the
same set of standards.
The sample size is very large. The questions on the surveys are very
specific, asking about problems that the owner has had with the vehicle.
They aren't general touchy-feely questions where the owner has the
opportunity to parrot CR's evaluations and recommendations. The surveys
about reliability and the articles evaluating the products are two very
Sure there's been bias. I've seen it with autos and I've seen with computer
reviews from many years ago. I've written to them about it, and I know
they've received many subscription cancellations due to their abuse of the
Big Three. I suspect that's why in the last few years they've begun to
spell out more carefully the differences between the autos, and stop the
practice of granting automatic Predicted Reliability ratings based on past
performance. No new vehicle should be given a rating until after a year has
passed and data has been gathered.
Might it also be that these types of vehicles, although similar, are not
and that they might actually be viewed differently by the buyer? Dealership
handling of problems and warranty issues can certainly have a major impact
the degree of satisfaction one might have with the unit.
It's those things, plus it's the type of buyer that buys say a Corolla
verus a Prizm, and how they take care of the vehicle. Toyota buyers tend
to me more highly educated, higher income, and more likely to follow the
maintenance schedule, which would result in fewer Corolla problems.
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