The things dealers do to get top scores

Last May TrueDelta conducted a special survey, asking people what, if anything, car dealers did to influence their responses on manufacturers’ sales experience surveys. Were tactics like asking for top scores, giving gifts in exchange for filling out the survey at the dealer, and so forth as widespread as anecdotal evidence suggested? Well, the results can now be viewed here.… More →

Sunroofs and stereos: like chocolate and peanut butter, or do they just sound good together?

In recent years, I’ve noted an increasing number of “Moon and Tunes” and “Sun and Sound” option packages, especially from Detroit. These usually include a sunroof and an optional audio system, perhaps with a CD changer or satellite radio also tossed into the mix, at a discounted package price. I say “usually” because in the Chevrolet TrailBlazer you can substitute a… More →

Why not provide separate results for each powertrain?

People often ask me why results for each model are not broken out by powertrain. For example, the VW Jetta, Rabbit, and GTI can be purchased with either a five-cylinder gas engine, a four-cylinder turbocharged gas engine, a four-cylinder turbodiesel, or a V6 gas engine. Transmissions include a manual, an automatic, and a DSG. Shouldn’t repair rates be expected to… More →

Why the 2007 Infiniti G35 will probably be more reliable than the currently reported repair rate suggests

The TrueDelta Vehicle Reliability Survey results suggest that the repair rate of the new for 2007 Infiniti G35 is high, about 79 repair trips per 100 vehicles per year. However, while this is the initial repair rate when annualized, in future updates the reported repair rate will likely be lower. The reason: nearly every repair reported was for one of two… More →

Analysis now includes some repair trips where parts were ordered

No part of TrueDelta’s Vehicle Reliability Survey (with the exception of email delivery) causes more trouble than the process of reporting a repair trip where parts were ordered and then another when the parts are installed. Often people only report one and not the other. How should this be handled when analyzing the data? To date, analyses have only included… More →

Best cars for tall, long-legged, and large people?

From time to time I receive an email asking which cars are most comfortable for someone who is tall, long-legged, large, or all of the above. Problem is, I’m none of the above–at 5-9 and 175 pounds I’m probably very close to the size person cars are designed around. So this isn’t something I can evaluate well during my test… More →

That pesky TPMS

I’ve been reviewing the 800 or so repairs reported over the past quarter, and once again one problem stands out as the most common. Beginning next month, all vehicles will have to be equipped with a standard tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS). Since last year 70 percent of all vehicles have been required to have such a system as standard equipment. Problem is, these system have… More →

Mountains out of molehills

In late June I asked, “Satisfaction studies, is there a point?” Well, today the results of another such study, by Claes Fornell of the University of Michigan, were released. And The Detroit News subtitled an article based on these results “Customer contentment with U.S. automakers improves sharply as Asian brands drop.” Really? Let’s take a closer look. Results were only released… More →

Filling the gaps

Each quarter, after data collection ends, I send emails to those with a gap in their responses seeking to close said gap. This time around, these emails went out to 50 members who responded for June and in earlier quarters, but who missed either December or March. Just a couple percent of the total, but still well worth doing. For… More →