One again CR successfully sells old wine in a new bottle

Consumer Reports announced its Annual Auto Issue today. As in past years, the press treats the reliability ratings in it as news, even though they’re the same ratings that have been around since the New Car Preview reached newsstands last October. And are based on a survey that was sent out nearly a year ago, in April 2009. For some… More →

Updated Car Reliability Survey stats cover through December 31, 2009

We’ve updated the Car Reliability Survey results to include owner experiences through December 31, 2009. The new email process, which reduced the number of emails to members whose responses were up-to-date, was a big success. For the past year the response rate has been about 36 percent. This time around it was 38 percent. In absolute terms, we received responses… More →

2010 NAIAS: 2012 Ford Focus and 2011 Mustang engines

Okay, I’ve been busy, and my NAIAS coverage has been the most drawn out on the entire Internet. I’ve made it to F. Ford announced that the 2011 Mustang will be offered with two new DOHC engines that promise to cause major headaches for the Chevrolet Camaro and Dodge Challenger, a 305-horsepower 3.7-liter V6 and a 412-horsepower 5.0-liter V8. Yes,… More →

Toyota: illusions of trust, gone

Based on the emails I’ve been receiving from TrueDelta’s members, I have underestimated the impact of the unintended acceleration fiasco on Toyota’s future sales. This fiasco is going to hurt Toyota, possibly for years to come. The problem isn’t that many people feel that Toyotas are unsafe. Most seem to recognize that a very small percentage of Toyotas have suffered… More →

New survey system a success

Three months ago I changed the survey system to greatly reduce the number of emails to Car Reliability Survey participants. And I’ve been very worried about this change ever since. With fewer emails might we end up with fewer responses? Or fewer repairs being reported, and so lower quality data? These are the questions that keep me awake at night.… More →

Has Toyota’s quality control declined? Or is the real problem the company’s reaction?

Over the last few months, the media have become increasingly critical of Toyota and its handling of the unintended acceleration problem. Recently, Ralph Nader joined the fray, charging that Toyota has lost control of its quality control process. Has it? Or is this problem indicative of a broader, deeper problem in how cars are currently developed, everywhere? Should this problem… More →