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Comments: Consumer Reports/JD Power Rankings



  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,319
    >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.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • 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: 2,918
    I've gotten e-mails and have seen them on other sites. The problem is they look too much like spam.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    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: 18,907
    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: 3,469
    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.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    Your original statement led me to believe you were talking about all solid red dots equating to an overall black dot ranking. Yes, a new car with half-red dots could below average overall because most new cars today have very few problems in their first year.
  • delthekingdeltheking Posts: 1,152
    Since u asked,I checked Cr again.
    Some CR models like GMC Acadia,Saturn Outlook get final black dots even though they do not have any black ones in the ratings.
    Kia optima,Ford Edge ,Ford Escape,Nissan altima etc-- all these have 1 or more black half/full dots in the ratings --but the final verdict is a half red dot.
    How can this work both ways?Am I missing something here?
  • delthekingdeltheking Posts: 1,152
    Another example--when 04 Quest came out,it was a CR recommended model.
    But it actually is the worst minivan out there and the worst Nissan model and now CR lists it as used car to avoid...
    So is it why Cr has stopped recommending new cars..I amnot totally sure,,but CR still recommends new redesigned cars..
    Your opinion ?Thanks
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    Yes, there's more to this than dots. There's the numbers behind the dots. Also, some problems are weighted more heavily than others. Also, the dots are not the same in your examples. E.g. the Acadia has one "blank" dot, while the Edge has none of those. Also, you have to compare cars from the same model years, because the older a car gets, the more of a dropoff there is in reliability. So a newer car is expected by CR's rating scheme to be more reliable than an older car.
  • delthekingdeltheking Posts: 1,152
    So,say a 2007 car now in the 2009 CR survey has a red dot,,but then more problems emerge,,then in the 2010 survey ,,will the 2007 model now show a black dot as new data emerges or does it remain a red dot for the rest of it`s life.
    Sure CR is slightly complicated but in my experience very accurate.
  • nortsr1nortsr1 Posts: 1,060
    Between your replies to deltaking and his to yours, I am now so totally confused as to the red full, red half and black dots...I have finally decided to no longer look at the dots and from now on just read reviews and take it from said reviews.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,319
    In reading the attempts to explain how CR uses the actual data from its unscientific survey to determine dots and reliability, I can only comment what most have learned from a science and math background: the Law of Parsimony. When it takes this much in and outing of different alleged factors to explain how CR is manipulating their dot system and how the dot system has changed through the years, it's not the real answer.

    CR has manipulated the supposed data to fit their own opinions and uses that to set the dots. One only needs to read their evaluations of cars they like and one's they don't like in their comparison testing from an analytical POV to determine that's what's happening. The writing style used to minimize or maximize importance of problems noted in cars also explains their dot system is subjective.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • mickeyrommickeyrom Posts: 936
    Just because a car is dependable for it's first 25K miles does not mean that it will continue into the rest of it's life.My KIA has been great so far, but the jury is still out as far as I'm concerned.In other words lets see what the next 75K brings.That is the length of the warranty.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,319
    Not sure what your reply means for my post, but Hyundai is on my list to shop if we decide to buy a new car rather than a used one through the summer. Just as reliability for US brands has changed, the reliability for Hyundai/Kia has drastically changed.

    The big negative for me is there's no nearby dealer.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    So you are saying that it is not appropriate for CR to revise their reliability survey methodology over time--maybe in an attempt to make it better?

    Unless you have some hard evidence to back up your assertion that CR is manipulating the survey data to fit their own opinions, I have to take that as opinion.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,319
    >maybe in an attempt to make it better?

    How about they just list their data on each car with the number of questionnaires received for each model? That would be very clear. Instead, through the years, they have changed their data reporting appearance to make it appear that there are meaningful differences when there aren't. But that perpetuates their thinking and makes people believe CR has something meaningful in differences.

    Wouldn't you rather have them report their information with full transparency?

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    I would prefer that CR be more clear about their methodology, but moreso on how they rank cars through their testing vs. the reliability scores. I have enough info on how they determine the reliability scores to satisfy me. From what I've seen, CR has provided more details about that in recent years. There's a long Q&A on it on their Web site, for example (viewable to non-subscribers too) that I have found helpful. I understand that the "dots" are a convenient way to report the survey results to a broad range of consumers--many of whom would be befuddled by just the raw data, IMO. They aren't perfect, but other organizations e.g. JD Power use a similar approach, e.g. a numerical score 1-5 instead of different colored dots. Also, I don't see other organizations such as JD Power report on the number of survey responses they receive on each vehicle model.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    I don't think the 2004 Nissan Quest was ever recommended by CR. It really is not a bad minivan at all. The first year was disatrous though.

    Yes, I own one with 72k miles. Nissan extending the bumper to bumper to 5 yr/60k miles was a big help.

    I think I like my minivan better now since I paid it off 3 months ago. :shades:
  • delthekingdeltheking Posts: 1,152
    If u have access to CR reports,,u can check it out.Check out for the review on the 04 Quest in the used cars section.There it states it is recommended.Later it was listed as a used car to avoid.But initially for the 1st year till data emerged it was recommended .
    Also,I have 04 used Quest which I bought 3 months ago.Knew all it`s problems.But needed a minivan and had got a real heck of a deal on it.A screaming bargain!So went ahead.
    But a new Quest??Absolutely no way...No comparison to Ody/Sienna,,,not even remotely close!!
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    I'll have to check. I have access to the online version of CR.

    I agree i would not buy another Quest. We'll ride this one to 100k miles. We'll definitely need another minivan with 3 kids. Ody/Sienna will be top on the list. Of course, never know what might be on the market in 3 years.
  • choe13choe13 Posts: 348
    Hyundai just became the highest ranked non luxury brand in terms of the IQS jumping from 13th last year to 4th this year.

    The hungriest car company in the planet at the moment
  • longo2longo2 Posts: 347
    Now if Hyundai would just put a 2.2 ltr clean Diesel engine in a Sonata, that goes 40+ mpg, I get rid of my "seemed like a good idea at the time" car decisions, and get one.

    Seems I will have to buy a VW Jetta TDI until Hyundai gets the message that VW is busy selling their TDI's as fast as the trucks can deliver them.

    All things considered I would guess a Hyundai TDI would be a home run hit for them.
  • delthekingdeltheking Posts: 1,152
    JD Powers IQS is the most worthless survey out there.3 months to evaluate a car and create a ratings system.Sheesh! :confuse:
    CR is so reliable and accurate..And Hyundai has made terrific strides.You have got to hand it to them.From the ridiculed cars of the 90`s to the top of the pack challenging Toyota and Honda--well ,that takes some doing.
    CR`s info was so accurate for each vehicle owned--It was like a science.U could pinpoint a problem so correctly.
    Just MHO.
  • delthekingdeltheking Posts: 1,152
    I know it`s a bit off topic but since the CR vs JD Power thread is inactive and since a lot of folks-salesmen and buyers both- trash CR and say it is inaccurate and its reports are biased or false and that JD power relatively is a better survey,here is a link which shows the absurdity ,crappy nature of the JD Power.
    Brake dust is equivalent to engine failure on their survey and their chief acknowledges this brazenly :confuse: Go Figure !! No wonder brands like LandRover try to trumpet this stupid rating system and claim their vehicles are more reliable. ;) And it also shows how Hyundai is really catching up to Honda/Toyota which as a buyer is a good thing for me. :shades:
    The link:
    link title

    Mods,please feel free to move this to a different thread if it`s more relevant there.
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