So you believe that the demographics of a Toyota buyer are the same as
the demographics of a Chevrolet buyer?
It may well be elitist for a car-buyer to have shunned a Geo/Chevy Prizm
in favor of a Toyota Corolla, but the sales figures of each model prove
that there had to have been reasons that the Corolla sold so much better
than the Prizm. Up until recently, one reason to have chosen a Chevy
over a Toyota would have been the wider availability of warranty
service, but at least in my area so many Chevy dealers have closed that
the Toyota now wins in that regard. The Corolla and Prizm were
comparably priced, the Prizm has a lower MSRP, but the Corolla was
heavily discounted, often to well below invoice.
You can read the exact same remarks in the archives of the Saturn
newsgroup, where he trolled for a decade and compiled thousands of
posts attacking Saturn and other domestic automobiles under various
accounts. The best ones are where he contradicts himself and even
ignores (or attacks) Consumer Reports when it didn't support his
agenda. CR is like any other magazine. The editors are human. They
have biases. They know their demographic and cater to it very well,
because that's where their paycheck is. Their surveys aren't randomy
sampled or scientific in any way. The results are not peer reviewed
and they don't publish any statistical information like sample size,
margin of error, standard deviation, nada. In the case of their red
and black circles for reliability, they don't even tell you what they
mean on an absolute scale; usually only in percent above/below
average. That kind of information isn't all that helpful unless you
know what average is. 40% above average when average is near zero is
not a good way to scale your data to show people how many problems to
expect over a typical period of ownership. More importantly, they
don't tell you much about the severity or cost of the problems, only
what categories are most typical. Oxygen sensor, engine oil sludge or
worse? Who knows.
That's not to say the reviews and reliability results aren't any good,
but that they really aren't all that different from any other auto
magazine. If you find you generally agree with them, great, but that
doesn't make their results any more meaningful or accurate. I like
Consumer Reports for the most part, but the non-random surveys and
dumbed down results are not impressive by any statistical standard.
Their reviews are usually reasonable enough. Usually they seem close
to the mark, but sometimes they miss badly. Don't rely on them as the
only resource and you'll be fine. For example, I'm still not sure how
their 32mpg city fuel economy rating of the new Prius is anything
close to "real world". We never owned a hybrid before and from our
first tank it's been over 50mpg both estimated from the trip computer
and calculated from gas fill ups. No fancy driving habits or super
inflated tires or anything. Many other owners report the same. As
with everything, don't always believe what you read.
Of course they do. They always state the sample size, and if they don't
have a sufficiently large sample for a specific product then they leave
it out, as you can see in every one of their surveys, including the most
recent wireless carrier surveys.
Claims of bias are pure sour grapes. A few people that buy a product get
all upset when their choice is not validated by independent entities. No
where was such an attitude more prevalent than for Saturn owners which
could never accept the fact that all the marketing hype about the brand
was not supported by the statistical reports of reliability from
Consumer Reports and J.D. Power. You of course are well aware of this
behavior since you were one of those that engaged in it.
I'll bite. I'm looking at the April, 2009 auto issue. Let's take the
Ford Fusion on page 89. I see lots of red circles. I'm not seeing
them state any numbers aside from the model year and the "6" in V6.
No sample size for this model is given, though you claim it is always
stated. No margin of error for the reliability projection. Nothing
of statistical value whatsoever. You must still be getting the
special edition? Please share.
Well, I engaged in the amusement provided by helping to debunk your
anti-Saturn rhetoric and finding all your contradictions, anyway. For
example, as you've apparently forgotten, the SL/SW series usually did
reasonably well in reliability, according to Consumer Reports. In
fact, according to the April, 2001 issue, every single year of the 8
listed was average (4) or above average (4) and had check marks for
their "reliability verdict". So there's no sour grapes to be had
there, but of course, I can't tell you how accurate those results
are. That's because, again, no statistical information whatsoever is
provided. As for the original topic, you're free to believe there is
no bias at Consumer Reports. You can believe the same about Fox News
and any other media outlet, too. The fact is they are all run by
editors and management that have a bias to keep their jobs, in
addition to any policy and personal biases they may have. That they
don't bother to support their reliability circles with any statistical
details should make any skeptic wonder why. In the age of websites,
the lack of space in the print version is no longer a good excuse. Is
there an organizational policy bias against domestic autos? Probably
not. That doesn't make their reviews and reliability results unbiased.
They state the sample size for the whole survey, and they also state
that they leave out models for which they get too low a number or
responses for the data to be statistically valid. Fortunately the survey
is so large that only really niche vehicles are left out for lack of data.
LOL, sure you did. It's interesting that all the things I reported on so
early turned out to be completely true, and resulted in recalls or
special service campaigns by Saturn. You debunked nothing. But if it
makes you feel good to think that you did, go right ahead believing it.
Saturn's demise was a direct result of their basing an entire company on
marketing hype that could not fool enough people to sustain the
business, and could not overcome the fact that the vehicles were
unreliable. When CR and J.D. Power pointed out these facts, you saw the
same kind of sour grapes you see now with the claims of bias.
You were pretty much waging a trolling campaign against Saturn.
Way over the top. Fake trolling names and all.
Pretty much like the domestic guys will go after Toyota now for the
gas pedal problem that's killed some people, and how they went after
the Toyota head gasket and sludging problems.
No real difference. Just one biased person complaining about others'
Happens all the time. Mob mentality.
Don't feel bad about. But fight it. No sense being a punching bag.
And try to look at the big picture.
Lol. "Hi! We surveyed a million of our own readers, so OF COURSE that
means our results are accurate!" If that's enough to satisfy your
intellecutual curiousity, so be it.
Thanks to Google, thousands of your anti-Saturn and anti-domestic
rants still exist in the archives. A monkey can hit the bullseye with
a dart once in a while, but it's all the horrible misses that provide
a good chuckle.
Haven't owned a Saturn in nearly a decade, so I'm really not
interested except to note your bias on the topic of this thread.
Since CR showed the S-series to be generally reliable, contrary to
your claims above, that doesn't even provide a basis for sour grapes.
It only provides irony that you put so much trust into their
reliability data, but ignore any results that you don't like.
As for bias, it would be nice to live in a world where you can believe
everything you see from the media at face value and know that every
study and statistic is accurate. Sadly, in the world where I live,
being naive usually means being a sucker and being duped. Here, we
would just have to blindly assume CR has no bias, because they hide
away all their methodology and statistical information for some
mysterious reason. I admit, I do like your world better.
On Sun, 29 Nov 2009 19:28:17 -0800, SMS fired up the etcha-a-sketch and
Yes and yes.
I'm a bit worried because of the low reputation of these transmissions.
However, I have theorized that most people with the Honda V6 transmission
who have had issues were driving much heavier cars (the Oddesy minivan).
You still don't seem to understand the bias inherent in the
pre-selected (subscribers) and self-selecting respondents to their
survey. Think of it this way, if FOX news (or any other channels
news) polled their listeners asking them to rate the "level of
satisfaction" with TV news shows, do you think the results would be a
meaningful reflection on which news shows the "average" person finds
How about I don't think of a company with a news channel doing a survey
of which is the best news channel? Maybe you could explain how such a
survey is in any way related to a non-profit, independent consumer
organization doing a statistically sound survey--but I doubt it.
You still fail to understand that Consumer Reports and J.D. Power aren't
asking _anyone_ to rate vehicles. They're asking owners what problems
they've had with the vehicles they own. From those answers they get
their ratings. The J.D. Power ratings are from a random survey. The CR
ratings are from surveys that subscribers choose to return. The results
are always very similar. No one is asking a Toyota owner what their
opinion of Fords is or vice-versa.
Those that complain that CR surveys are filled out by subscribers are
just looking for something, anything, to complain about because they
don't like the results. No doubt there's something about the J.D. Power
surveys that they also can find that they don't like. Nothing but a
double-blind survey would satisfy them (and most likely that would not
satisfy them either)l; they're very bitter and angry.
I recall a survey of the Mitsubishi Eclipse and the Dodge and Plymouth
version. They were ranked by consumers (not necessarily owners) to have
different quality levels. 1 Mitsu, 2 Dodge, 3 Plymouth. It was strictly
perception, not based on real facts. Some of the people surveyed had no idea
they were identical cars.
The perception of consumers versus responses to specific questions
regarding owner problems are two very different things.
There seems to be an idea that the Consumer Reports surveys of
reliability consist of questions like "Do you think xyz is a reliable
vehicle" when in fact the surveys are limited to specific questions
regarding the reliability of specific sub-systems of the vehicle.
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