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Site News and Improvements

June 2014

Started a kinja blog for the site. The first post was shared on Jalopnik's front page.

May 2014

The review pages are the first to receive the latest redesign, which automatically presents a mobile-friendly page in small windows.

April 2014

Added "most expensive repairs" pages.

March 2014

Added "My Next Car?" section where members can solicit suggestions from other members.

February 2014

New reliability stats that only include powertrain and chassis repairs, essential systems for the cars to be drivable.

January 2014

Added bar charts to the real-world fuel economy pages.

December 2013

Added repair cost pie charts to the car problem description pages.

September 2013

Added problem area pie charts to the car problem description pages.

August 2013

Added the ability to import fuel economy data from a spreadsheet or from a CSV file.

Added a photo module to the site, so members can post car photos.

Upgraded the review editor and made it possible to include photos with reviews.

June 2013

Added pie charts to the repair-odds pages. The first of many to come.

May 2013

Added specs comparison and standard / optional features pages.

April 2013

The Honda Accord becomes the first model with 2,500 cars enrolled in the Car Reliability Survey.

January 2013

Michael begins posting car reviews primarily to the TrueDelta site, writing at least one a week.

December 2012

With site improvements and traffic increases overloading the VPS, we move the site to a dedicated server.

October 2012

"Why (Not} This Car?" review format improved.

September 2012

Specs pages added for many non-US models.

Specs can be converted into units for Canada, UK, and metric.

August 2012

Gas mileage survey and reports added to mobile site.

Gas mileage survey upgraded. It's now possible to edit entries and enter dates and comments.

June 2012

Mobile site launched, beginning with pages for the reliability stats.

Michael Karesh starts posting car reviews to the site.

March 2012

Added ability to comment to pages in the reliability section.

February 2012

Upgraded Car Reliability Survey, making it possible to respond for up to a year (but still best not to wait that long).

December 2011

Redesigned site launched with much-improved navigation and many new features, including the ability to select two cars to compare in the reliability section.

October 2011

On the 25th, the BMW 3-Series becomes the second model with 2,000 vehicles enrolled in the panel. Thanks, BimmerForums.com.

August 2011

The latest Car Reliability Survey results include over 1,000 model / model year combinations for the first time.

January 2011

November 2010

New login system, so members can choose their own member name and password.

September 2010

Further streamlined site organization, reducing the number of clicks to get to survey results pages.

August 2010

Now averaging over 10,000 visitors a day.

July 2010

June 2010

66,667th car enrolled on the 11th--2/3 of the way to 100k!

Autospies posts the latest press release, refers nearly 1,000 visitors over the next two days.

May 2010

April 2010

Add summary statistics to the repair histories.

Add UK powertrains to the 2010s of most car models also offered in the US. Adding others upon request.

March 2010

Pass the 50,000-member mark on the 11th.

Upgraded repair histories to include many new features and serve as a personal car repair and maintenance record.

Add testimonials page to make it clearer that many people find the site helpful.

Add specs database for the 2000 model year, so owners of these cars can now participate in all surveys.

February 2010

Over 60,000 cars now enrolled in the Car Reliability Survey.

Add specs database for the 2001 model year, so owners of these cars can now participate in all surveys.

November 2009

Introduce the new "Nada-odds" and "Lemon-odds" stats, which report the odds of getting a car that required no repairs at all in the past year, and the odds of getting one that required three or more repair trips.

Upgrade survey so it is now possible to report repairs in real time, for those who wanted this option. Can alternatively wait until the end of the quarter to report any repairs that occurred during the quarter.

Cars that are up-to-date can now be reported as sold and closed out entirely on the site, no email required.

Excellent Autosavant.com article on GM's lingering quality problems, and some improvements visible in TrueDelta's results.

A TheTruthAboutCars.com article on the latest results results in over 100 new members.

The Great Lakes IT Report reports on TrueDelta's new reliability stats.

On the 18th, the Honda Accord becomes the first model with 1,500 vehicles enrolled in the panel. Thanks, DriveAccord.net.

September 2009

On the 22nd, the Kia Soul becomes the first 2010 model with 100 owners signed up. Thanks, KiaSoulForums.com.

August 2009

July 2009

Add "My Garage," a centralized personal car list with quick links to all of the surveys.

Clear 200,000 visits and 500,000 pageviews for the preceding 31 days.

May 2009

On the 6th, we were a featured guest on Twitter's #carchat, hosted by Michael Banoksky. There's a session every Wednesday evening at 8PM EST. For instructions, scroll down the linked page.

On the 8th, the Honda Accord becomes the first model with 1,250 vehicles enrolled in the panel. Thanks, DriveAccord.net.

May Car Reliability Survey results discussed by The Truth About Cars, Autospies, and The Great Lakes IT Report.

Quoted in Ward's Auto World article by Christie Scheinsberg, "Misgivings about Metrics."

March 2009

Conduct special survey on what motivates people to sell a car.

Autowriters.com profiles TrueDelta in its March newsletter.

dbusiness, Detroit's premier business journal, includes an article on TrueDelta in the March/April 2009 issue.

Autoblog writes up our February result for the Jaguar XF.

Over two-thirds of all enrolled cars are now included in the main survey.

Added European powertrains for most Audis, BMWs, Mercedes, Jaguars, Land Rovers, and VWs. So people with these powertrains can now participate in all surveys.

February 2009

The research panel now includes over 40,000 cars.

Autospies, AutoSavant, and WWJ write up the latest Car Reliability Survey results. Thanks, guys.

January 2009

Visits pass the 100,000 per month mark.

Added Car Reliability Comparison pages.

Added box at top right of each results page with links to all other results pages for the car model.

TrueDelta featured on Fox News.

Add curb weight to specifications and EPA fuel economy to price comparison results.

December 2008

Paid memberships now available. Some people help support the site this way. But the largest benefit is that this encourages more people to sign up to participate.

Further clean up the site design and improve navigation.

Google is sending much more traffic our way. On the 29th we have over 4,600 visits, the highest ever on a day when no email was sent to members.

November 2008

November 2008

October 2008

Reorganize homepage to include brandlist on lower half, for quicker access to information grouped by model. Oh the 8th, the Buick Enclave, GMC Acadia, and Saturn Outlook become the first model / model year with over 300 vehicles in the panel. Credit goes to the Acadia forum, Enclave forum, and Saturn forum.

September 2008

It had become increasingly obvious that having one vehicle list for the main survey and a second for the others was a BAD IDEA. So the two were merged. This was much more complicated that it sounds.

Move to a new webhost; the old one provided excellent service initially, but then went steadily downhill.

On the 22nd, the Honda Accord becomes the first model with 1,000 vehicles enrolled in the panel. Thanks, DriveAccord.net.

August 2008

Updated Vehicle Reliability Survey results include 149 full results, and over 300 total results.

These results include the 2009 Nissan Murano--the earliest we've had a full result for the new model year.

Infiniti G35 becomes the first model with 100 or more owners signed up for each of four model years. Thanks, NICOClub.com.

Tweak page organization in the reliability section to improve usability.

July 2008

Sixty percent of enrolled vehicles now included in the Vehicle Reliability Survey.

On the 9th, the Honda Accord becomes the first model with 900 vehicles in the panel. Thanks, DriveAccord.net.

June 2008

Now possible to filter Fuel Economy Survey results by traffic/city/suburbs/highway mix. More tweaks coming.

Revisions to monthly update sent to all members help add 202 vehicles to the panel in a single day, and another 175 the following day.

Vehicle Reliability Survey now accessible from the site as well as through links in monthly emails. If click through from email, now automatically logged into entire site.

May 2008

Now possible to update status, merge, and delete entries in the vehicle list for the on-site surveys.

Second monthly email to mention the new Why (Not) This Car? review section features it much more prominently. About ten times as many members respond, effectively launching the new survey.

May results covered by The Truth About Cars , AutoSpies, and the Great Lakes IT Report.

April 2008

New Why (Not) This Car? review section.

The Vehicle Pricing section now includes every mass-produced 2008 model year car, SUV, and minivan sold in the United States. It also includes more specific information about upholstery and wheel types.

The Vehicle Repair Histories section now includes repairs reported via the Vehicle Reliability Survey as well as its own survey.

Vehicle Reliability Survey results are now included on the Model Information pages.

On the 8th, the Honda Accord becomes the first model with 800 vehicles in the panel.

March 2008

Changed the page layout on the Fuel Economy and Repair History intro pages. Text now follows the log in. Rate at which people join the panel jumps again.

Oh the 16th, the Nissan Veras and the Buick Enclave, GMC Acadia, and Saturn Outlook become the first model / model years with over 200 vehicles in the panel. Credit goes to the Nissan forum, Acadia forum, Enclave forum, and Saturn forum.

February 2008

Cleaned up the homepage and the main reliability page a bit, in advance of a thorough redesign.

On the 3rd, the Honda Accord becomes the first model with 700 vehicles in the panel.

The February results include a few 2008s, including the new Accord. Quickest results so far, and proof of a major advantage of TrueDelta's process.

December 2007

Hire first continuous employees, begin work on enhanced site.

Percentage of vehicles in the panel included in the main survey passes 50.

November 2007

On the 20th the Honda Accord becomes the first model with 600 vehicles in the panel.

Upgraded the Fuel Economy Survey so that it's now possible to enter distance and fuel used separately.

Added the Common Auto Repairs Database (CARDb) to gather and provide information about common repairs.

October 2007

Stephan Wilkinson uses and recommends TrueDelta's price comparisons in his Cadillac CTS review for Conde Nast's The Perrin Post.

Kelly O'Brien talks about TrueDelta's Fuel Economy Survey on NPR-affiliate KUSP's Life in the Fast Lane.

On the 24th, post preliminary November results early--for members only.

Add static price comparison pages. These permit single-click price comparison results from any "most popular price comparisons" list on the site, including the top 40 price comparisons page.

New daily visit record of 3,168 on the 3rd and then another record of 3,325 on the 16th. The latter is the day Consumer Reports released its latest results. Over 100 vehicles were added to the panel that day.

Another record, of 3,803, and 100+ more vehicles added on the 24th.

September 2007

August 2007

July 2007

June 2007

Gayla Bassham assumes responsibility for publicity and partnerships.

Begin supplying The Truth About Cars with vehicle pricing and specifications.

May 2007

On the 28th the Honda Accord becomes the first model with 400 vehicles in the panel.

New daily visit record of 2,815 on the 23rd.

Add exterior and interior photos to the Model Information pages.

The third set of quarterly Vehicle Reliability Survey results includes new ribbon graphs to show how the reliability of each model compares to others in the model year.

Oh the 13th, the Nissan Versa becomes the first 2007 model and the first single nameplate with over 100 vehicles in the panel. Much of the credit goes to a helpful Nissan and Infiniti forum, NICOClub.com.

Upgraded survey to include open issues. Database now tracks issues across repair trips.

April 2007

March 2007

Improve site organization, clean up home page.

The panel passes the 10,000-member mark on the 19th.

Added database with 2002 model information, so now possible to provide repair history and fuel economy data on 2002 and newer models.

Dave Zatz of allpar.com suggests that people join TrueDelta to help create an alternative to Consumer Reports.

A GMInsideNews "news ticker" post on the 8th (thanks, ChevroletRevived!) boosts the number of vehicles added to the panel that day to 174, a new record.

The superior "freshness" of TrueDelta's information is the subject of an Autospies editorial. Thanks, 009.

February 2007

New daily visit record of 2,564 set on the 21st. Average daily visits up another 20 percent.

Written up in Matt Roush's Great Lakes IT Report on the 19th.

Invited to call into Harry Douglas' "Car Concerns" radio show on the 18th; my first-ever radio appearance. I appear two more times on Harry's shows later in the month. Total number of new panel members gained as a result: one. It seems radio isn't my medium.

Attend press days at the Chicago Auto Show. Impressions in the blog.

Panel members can now "check in" in months when no response is required; this will stop follow-up emails

January 2007

Average over 1,000 visits per day for the entire month; previously never had more than two consecutive days over 1,000

Add specifications comparison table to price comparison results page.

Add a blog to provide a more thorough sense of what's going on.

Attend press days at NAIAS.

On the 29th the Chrysler LX cars become the first model / model year with over 100 vehicles in the panel.

On the 5th the Honda Odyssey becomes the first model with over 300 vehicles in the panel. The Accord isn't far behind.

December 2006

Starting this month, panel members who respond within five days to the survey email will no longer receive follow-up emails in those months when a response is not required. This could halve the amount of email they receive from TrueDelta.

Posted first results from the Vehicle Reliability Survey.

Upgraded Fuel Economy Survey and Vehicle Repair History Survey to display previously entered vehicles and data.

Added RSS feed.

November 2006

The entire site is now set up to pass session information from page to page, so once members log in they can stay logged in.

Monthly update pushes the daily total to 1800 visits on the 21st.

Expanded Member Page now includes Backup Email and Change of Address forms.

In response to popular demand, launch the Vehicle Repair History Survey. Results will be posted in raw form.

Posted initial results from the fuel economy survey. Only raw data for now. Analyzed results will follow once there are more data.

Revised the reliability survey to incorporate learning over the past year. Member feedback was extremely helpful. Read about the improvements.

October 2006

Completed the first year of data collection. Everyone who has helped out, thanks.

Continued to upgrade the fuel economy survey. Added databases to support the 2003 model year.

A bad experience with my wife's PT Cruiser inspired an editorial on the logic of out-of-warranty assistance. It's time for manufacturers to realize that standing behind their products even after the warranty expires often makes good business sense.

September 2006

Patent application filed covering innovative aspects of the pricing tool.

Members can now set their own feature values to reflect the amount they'd actually pay for a feature.

Basic specifications now provided on model information pages.

Cars and especially compact cars have enjoyed a surge in popularity. Since the site began, the most popular price comparison, by a wide margin, has been Honda Odyssey vs. Toyota Sienna. But in recent months Honda Accord vs. Toyota Camry has been gaining ground, and now has pulled ahead. Honda Civic vs. Mazda3 is a close third.

August 2006

Monthly update pushes the daily total over 1,500 for the first time on the 29th.

Thanks to a TTAC editorial on why just knowing the top scorers in a reliability study isn't helpful, posted on the 28th, it's also the first time daily visits exceed 1,000 for two days in a row.

MazdaForums wants to host a banner to help out, so Robert Staddon creates a couple for the site. They can be viewed at the bottom of the About Us page.

Continued to upgrade the fuel economy survey. Added databases to support 2004 and 2005 model years.

The list of most popular price comparisons is now based on the last 90 days. It will be updated at least once a month.

July 2006

June 2006

Vehicle Comparison Survey launched on the 26th.

Low interest rate deals can now be calcalated with the appropriate adjustments to rebates. Low rates, if available, will be shown in the "recalculate as payments" section of the price comparison results page.

Combined with the ability to report employee prices, it will be possible to learn which deal is best during this summer's big sales.

On the 13th, an enhanced version of my critique of J.D. Power's 2006 IQS is posted to The Truth About Cars. Daily site visits top 1,000--the first time this has happened without an assist from the monthly update. The panel grows by 52 vehicles.

Link up with MotorAlley, which provides unique dealer ad searches as well as dealer price quotes. They will be sending people interested in reliability information to this site.

May 2006

Added base price mode and option of excluding rebates.

April 2006

Added capability to convert all prices into loan payments.

Upgrade to a virtual private server at a new host.

March 2006

Thorough site redesign.

Added tax credit for hybrids.

February 2006

On the 3rd, Joel Arrelano's Autoblog entry on the J.D. Power think piece sends a surge of traffic to the site. 772 people visit that day, and 113 vehicles are added to the panel. Both are daily records.

A list of models currently being surveyed has been added here.

The first 2007s have been added to the database--the Audi Q7, Chevy Tahoe, and Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Going forward it will be possible to compare different model years of the same model.

January 2006

On the 14th, the 100th Honda Odyssey is added to the panel. It is the first model to reach this milestone. The Honda Accord and VW Passat are not far behind.

December 2005

Focus on improving email procedures. Too much getting caught in spam filters.

TrueDelta displays GM's "Red Tag" and Ford's "Keep It Simple" prices. Nothing is really special about these programs, and visitors to TrueDelta display little interest in them.

November 2005

Data collection began on the 3rd. The first round includes 276 vehicles.

October 2005

Everyone hated the bright green type. Well, at least my wife and one other person did. So the type in the headings and logo was changed to a more soothing light blue. If nothing else I feel more relaxed when working on the site now.

Added a page for each make to provide more direct links to the model information pages. Content will be added to all of these pages in the future.

A GMInsideNews post on the 4th (thanks, Arizona Slim!) boosts site visits that day to 506. Seventy-one people join the panel. Both are records.

Steve Hofer in an entry to his blog labels me "The Hardest Working Car Reviewer on the Web." TrueDelta doesn't receive much traffic as a result, but still very much appreciate that someone recognizes the amount of time I put in.

Added an option package analysis run when a single vehicle is priced. This analysis lists the contents of each selected option packages and then calculates the percentage that was requested.

Daily visits regularly top 200. Traffic has tripled since April.

September 2005

Filed a provisional patent application covering the innovative aspects of the site.

John Neff at Autoblog posts an article about TrueDelta's reliability research on the 6th, boosting visits for the day to 425. The panel grows by 60 vehicles. Both are daily records.

Began writing "think pieces." Posted the first two, which discuss the thinking behind the site.

August 2005

Revised the model info pages to include links to the most popular comparisons including the model. Relocated the link to the model name on the complex feature selection page.

Revised the sample reports to more closely resemble those planned. Clarity, ease of use, and practical value are the top priorities.

Revised the survey to make it simpler and clearer.

Updated the pricing tool to save the selected features when the user returns to the feature selection pages. This makes minor modifications much easier.

Many new pages added: a proper home page (finally), a links page, a form making it easy for people to recommend the site, and this news page.

July 2005

Added sample reports. Composed largely of tables, they could be more user-friendly.

Daily visits unaided by positive mention in a blog top 200 for the first time.

June 2005

TrueDelta states that only active participants in its reliability research will have free access to detailed reliability information on the site. The panel begins to grow at ten times its former pace.

Added first draft of the survey to be used in the reliability research.

GM offers employee pricing to everyone, so TrueDelta provides employee pricing on GM models. Car sales surge, and visits to TrueDelta surge with them.

May 2005

A list of the forty most popular comparions is added and proves very popular.

Daily visits begin to regularly top 100.

April 2005

Friends and family had been pushing for a redesign of the site's look and feel for months. The last straw hit the camel's back when Jalopnik's review described the original design as "super-minimalist (or maybe 1994-era retro-chic)." The site receives a new logo and complete redesign.

March 2005

At the suggestion of the administrator of fordforums.com, which has an international membership, expanded panel eligibility beyond North America. The great majority of the cars entered continue to be from the U.S. and Canada, but eventually reliability information will be available for all major markets.

Carpundit positively reviews the site. Jalopnik reads her review and writes one of his own. Visits briefly soar, topping 300 visits the day of Jalopniik's review and 200 the next. Then it's back to the then normal 70 to 90. It seems that fame is especially fleeting on the Internet.

February 2005

TrueDelta begins to recruit a panel for its reliability research.

Janaury 2005

TrueDelta gets its first logo. No one likes it much.

Individual models can now be priced without entering the same information in both slots.

December 2004

A new FAQ page provides tips for using the price comparison tool.

Daily visits top 100 for the first time on the 27th.

October 2004

Early on engines, transmissions, and drivetrains were selected individually. To make it easier to select valid combinations, information pages become accessible through a link on the complex features page. Few people take advantage of it. Not long after individual selection is replaced by selection of powertrains.

September 2004

After seven months of development, TrueDelta is launched the evening of the 29th with about 65 models in the pricing database. Ten people use it the next day.