Is that new Honda or Toyota less powerful than last years model?
Well, yes, and no. The engines in the new models don't make
any less power than last year's engines, even though the numbers
on the specification page are lower. Its just that the
Asians have been caught playing the loopholes in the standards,
putting in premium gas for horsepower testing while rating
annual fuel cost based on regular, tweaking engine controls to
non-standard settings, and turning off accessories.
Despite the blatant deception, analysts don't expect the kind of
backlash against Honda and Toyota that plagued Hyundai several
years ago. After being caught redhanded overstating horsepower,
Hyundai paid cash compensation to over 800,000 owners. "Honda
and Toyota owners aren't like that", said Joseph Camel of the
Brand Research Institute. "They're pretty docile owner groups.
After all, they bought the idea that its normal maintenance to
automatically replace water pumps at 75,000 miles.
Meanwhile, Honda is proposing a new "Effective Horsepower"
rating system. "We intended our horsepower ratings to simulate
effective horsepower when the vehicles are five years old. Our
vehicles lose an average of 46 pounds by that age, meaning
better performance" said Honda spokesman Kor Oshon.
Toyota, however, is a hesitant supporter, saying Honda's version
of Effective Horsepower penalizes it. Studies show that at
age five, the average Toyota loses only 32 pounds due to rust.
Meanwhile, Mitsubishi wants an adjustment for the lower weight
of its cars due to parts that fall off within five years. But
Nissan wants no part of the Effective Horsepower program, claiming
rust is a localized problem, only occurring in the snow belt,
near ocean areas, and in places where it rains.
None of the GM and Ford engines that have been tested have shown
power losses. Some have shown power gains. For those who
critcize Detroit for being stupid, one thing is clear: at least
they're smart enough not to lie.