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Comments: Consumer Reports/JD Power Rankings



  • longo2longo2 Posts: 347
    If Consumer Reports had picked up on the Honda transmission problems in the Odysseys, I would never had purchased a new one in 2004. The same transmission was used in several other Honda models for years that got a pass as well.

    There was a know defect in the thing that finally got a recall after years of owner grief. The Honda transmissions that were replaced under warranty with OEM had the same defect and burnt up just like the rest. (even the recall "fix" is iffy in my mind and just a stop gap measure to get them over theold Odyssey run and into the new 05 models.)

    The new 05' Odyssey had a different transmission that solved the issue. (no oil supply to a gear that ran dry, heated up and fried) But in the years of every Honda owner haveing the same problem, a CR warning was no where to be found.

    Toyota a/t's were also problematic for years...Camrys and Avalons a/ts would 'lock up the tourque converter in high gear and not allow the transmission to shift down quickly...lots of reports of owners nearly getting run into because the car would hesitate and stumble, looking for a lower gear to handle acelleration through an intesection.

    That went on for years as well, and CR had no mention. Don't get me started on Toyota engine 'Sludging'!
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Posts: 936 how did these two brands get such a great reputation for quality and dependability?
    I just test drove a new Insight and came away unimpressed.The thing seemed totally underpowered,had a extremely stiff ride and has what to me looked like a cheap interior.It is well equipped unless you get the base model in which case it comes without cruise control and has hubcaps.It's hardly cheap,still over 20K so why the cheap down of a fairly expensive car.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 17,690
    Isn't it amazing how CR wasn't on the forefront of notifying folks. The

    Odyssey discussion

    here about transmissions has new failures continually, often multiple failures in the same car. And the replacement transmissions are over-priced even after Honda pays "part" of the cost.

    This message has been approved.

  • longo2longo2 Posts: 347
    " how did these two brands get such a great reputation for quality and dependability?"

    Good question mickey, I think part of the answer is the companies relentless happy face PR departments who provide the 'loaners' and free junkets to the Gearheads working at the Car-Mags.

    The publications depend on adverstising, and if a few big companies permanently pulled their glossy ad' pages, they would quickly diasapear off the magazine racks.
    Car Mags are Big multinational Businesses, and the last place you can source long term reliability information about the Cars they test, but enough people glance at all the glowing quicky reviews and think, "wow, that sounds great!"

    Look at the case of Hyundai, they were the Goats of the industry, running jokes on late night talk shows and had replaced the Skoda, Fiat, Lada and the Ford Pinto ( to name a few) as examples of how bad a car could be.

    Some Gear Heads still preface the test results of the highly rated Hyundai products by making snide remarks about the companies early models.
    It's about time Hyundai had a little chat with these one dimensional hacks and gave them some ideas about original 'lead ins for their reviews.

    Ever read a Car-Mag piece mentioning Toyotas 'Early Model ' rust buckets to start a review of the new?
    Or mention the Cadillacs with leaky engine blocks (we had one) that sprayed antifreeze like lawn sprinklers to begin a piece on GM products?

    To make this long story shorter, my point is, there's no money to made on head line stories of transmission problems, engine sludging, bad head gaskets, leaky interiors, or a thousand other poorly designed or manufactured items from any of the 'Majors'.
    Or a car writer that posted his own mpg calculation on his new test model?

    In fact if you did take this road, it would be a one way trip to the unemployment office.
  • delthekingdeltheking Posts: 1,152
    CR lists the 99-03 Odyssey`s as used cars to avoid.If u subscribe to CR or have an account with them-- u can check out.

    It specifically mentions the Ody tranny problem on these years and hence lists it in the CR used car list to avoid.

    Well for all cars I have owned,CR was so accurate ,,a black dot and I had that problem.I have 2 Camry`s-- absolutely problem free ,one with 120k miles and CR is very accurate on that.Toyota sludging also gets a mention in CR and it lists all the Toyota models and years which were affected.It also states the sludging is mostly due to folks not changing their oil regularly.
    I have an 04 Nissan quest and every problem CR lists as a black dot,,I have it.Same for my 99 Ford and 00 Nissan sentra.

    So ,CR in MHO is the most accurate out there,,,almost clinical,,U can almost predict the next problem in your car based on its findings.
    Just MHO.
  • longo2longo2 Posts: 347
    "It specifically mentions the Ody tranny problem on these years and hence lists it in the CR used car list to avoid."

    Good to know, problem was, CR was behind the curve on the Ody transmission issues, when I bought my new one in 2003.
    Now if the Ody' was rated then as "New Car to Avoid" I would still be driving my Old Blue Van.

    I think CR has to pick up on the problems faster than they do and go with it.

    BTW, to be fair, I too have had vehicles that were Black Marked in certain areas that we never had issues with...luck of the draw..built on a Wed?
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,278
    Well it took about 3.5 years or 42,000 miles for my 2003 Accord's transmission to start showing problems and fail (after warranty mind you). Still, Honda stepped up and covered it and paid for everything immediately and I got a brand new tranny for free within 2 days.

    This makes complee sense, SINCE CR could not predict the future, but sure enough, around 2007 I started to see black dots on the Accords V6 Auto Tranny in CR. CR made no mistake here with Honda. It's just that the parts didn't fail right away (often enough) to affect CR's rankings.
  • longo2longo2 Posts: 347
    "around 2007 I started to see black dots on the Accords V6 Auto Tranny in CR"

    My point exactly...that bad Honda a/t had been out since 1999, and it took CR 8 years, and 2 years after that model was replaced by the new 2005 drive train did they finally mention it.
    The Accord, Acura and Odyssey all used the same a/t. at least those are the ones I know about.

    So, for all of us who bought those affected Honda products from 1999 to 2004 there was no mention of any issues with the a/t's from CR until 2007!

    If you research Honda transmission problems from 1999 and on, you will find lot of them were buring up in much less than 3.5 years, some of them in 6 months or less.

    Here's a good place to start if you are interested...
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 17,690
    >Accord, Acura and Odyssey all used the same a/t.

    Many people report the replacements failing after a similarly small amount of mileage. Does get people to 100K to trade the vehicle, but for those keeping a car longer since they are reliable, having the transmission fail at 120K is on their own dime. So the free replacements (actually in the price of the car) aren't good if the replacements fail later on the customer's cost rather than running 200-250K.

    CR was too blinded by their favoritism to report on early symptoms. Note the popular smiling tester in from of a red S2000 with a big smile on his faceas an ad for CR.

    This message has been approved.

  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    I would hardly call it " blinded by their favoritism." The reliability survey depends on consumers reporting their problems. If failing transmissions aren't reported for whatever reason, then it's simply not going to show up in the magazine. My guess is that not enough failed in the earlier years for a downgrade to show up.

    BTW, I have no dog in this fight, having never owned a Honda product.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 17,690
    >having never owned a Honda product.

    Point taken.

    For how many years have Hondas had early transmission failures... Back in the 90s the transmission warranties were extended to 100K and a longer time period because of Honda's transmissions. It's not an unknown problem.

    This message has been approved.

  • longo2longo2 Posts: 347
    Reporting on reliablity of the current crop of fast depreciating, poorly put together vehicles out there, needs to be improved, not only for the benifit of the Consumer, but for the health of the car companies as well.

    It does no one a service not to due everything possible not to hunt down reliabilty issues with the same focus as keeping track of your credit rating.

    If CR chiefley relies on it's members to report a/t issues, they are doing a great disservice to the rest of the car buying public.

    I stopped supporting CR years ago, after I too discovered that certain car brands got passes for problems with no reporting on those issues until long after anyone shopping for a that car, had already done the deal.

    Imagine how fast Honda would have come up with a solution to their a/t problems if CR had nailed them years sooner, early enough to cut into their $ales numbers.

    Everyone except CR seemed to know about the problem 5 or more years before they started Black Marking it.
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    Well this source gives more timely feedback, but the problem is not enough people know about it and therefore don't participate.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,915
    I've gotten e-mails and have seen them on other sites. The problem is they look too much like spam.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,406
    While the transmission problem Honda had was real, and serious it did not effect every car. Most people did not have a problem. Look at the Chrysler transmission, now those were terrible and got a black dot as quite a large percentage failed.

    CR used to compare how a car did against other cars of the same year, and that was probably a better system. Now the reliability is on an absolute scale. The absolute scale may give a better idea of problem areas, but it is hard to tell reliability.

    To illustrate (making up numbers as I don't have any in front of me) - by the new method if a car is above a certain failure rate it gets a red circle no matter what the year. The tendency is for less red to show up as the car ages and the parts get less reliable. This helps to illustrate that cars are less reliable as they age.

    With the old method, a car was compared to its peers. So it would get a red circle even if it failed a fair amount as long as there were other cars that failed more. Or a car that only fails 5% of the time would still get a black mark if the other cars only fail 2% of the time

    With the new method a car that is two years old might get a red circle as it has a relatively low failure rate, but it could still be below average and would have a black circle by the old method.

    This is why problems don't stick out as early on the CR tests as they used to.

    The way to find problem areas now is to compare to other cars of the same year. Basically any new car that does not have a full Red circle is a poor bet. Honda does/did not have a full red circle for transmissions, and should have been suspect if the charts were read properly.

    Understanding how data is gathered is very important and they (CR) explain it every year in the auto issue.
  • delthekingdeltheking Posts: 1,152
    I thought CR still did the comparative rating.When did they change to the absolute problem rating system?
  • delthekingdeltheking Posts: 1,152
    Also CR is now recommending new models with less than 3 yr history.Previously it never used to do that.
    Also for a new car--it has all red dots in reliability stats--but at the end it gets a black dot--saying much worse than average.
    So does it mean -the car is reliable enough,,but still below average compared to other cars?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,621
    CR has recommended new models with less than a 3 year history for a long time. They did it when the overall reliability record of the manufacturer was strong, e.g. for Toyota and Honda. However, they recently got burned by this policy when their survey found problems in the current-gen Camry's transmission--bad enough to put the V6 "below average" for a time. So CR announced they would no longer give Toyota a "free pass" on recommending new models. They still seem to do it for Hondas, however.

    I have never seen CR give a car all red dots, but a black dot for overall reliability. Can you give us a specific example or two of where they have done that?
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,406
    I don't remember the exact year they went to an absolute system, but it was at least 3 or 4 years ago maybe more. I could thumb through some old issues I guess.

    Yes a car can now get mostly all red (some would have to be half red I would think) dots and still get a black circle for overall. This is because a new car is supposed to get almost all solid red. Just a few half red marks will bring the reliability down and result in an overall rating of below average.

    I should clarify my earlier post as well. The overall score is still compared to other cars of the same year, just the individual parts are on an absolute scale. This is why a new car with mostly red can still get black for overall.

    So if a 1 year old car has a half red mark for transmission it could be a well below average if most other cars have solid red (which is the case). Even though one would intuitively think that a half red circle is good.
  • delthekingdeltheking Posts: 1,152
    The newer models--GMC Acadia,Saturn Outlook-- these have all red full/half dots but at the end the overall reliab. is much below average.
    I was sure that CR changed their absolute rating system 3 or 4 years before.
    So is it better now to check the individual car`s whole rating instead of just the final verdict??B`cos if the difference between a half and a full red dot finally at the end gives it a black dot,then it is a minor difference.Am I correct in assuming that?
    CR has been pretty darn accurate on every single car I have owned.U could see the ratings and almost predict it.It was like a science.
    But,,CR for some reason seems to give a free pass to Honda,,especially with the tranny problems,,not for Toyota or other brands.
    If there is 1/5th chance of tranny failure,,even if other parts are good ,,I dont think it should be recommended.
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