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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-09-2007, 11:16 AM Thread Starter
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Superior alternative to Consumer Reports

Because I thought there was serious room for improvement in exsiting vehicle reliability research, in late 2005 I started conducting my own. I'm reporting absolute stats like "times in the shop" that will make the differences between cars much clearer. These differences can seem much larger than they really are when only relative ratings are available in the form of red and black dots. I’ll also be updating results four times a year, so there will be information on new models sooner.

There's plenty of discussion about how the reliability of a Mercedes compares to a Japanese competitor. But there aren't any good numbers out there to enable a precise comparison. I'm going to fix this.

I'm collecting data on a few dozen models so far, but only one year and model of Mercedes, the 2005 C-Class. To get started on others I need more Mercedes owners signed up.

To encourage participation, panel members will receive full access to the results free of charge.

Details: Vehicle reliability research

Comments, questions, and suggestions welcome.

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-10-2007, 08:33 AM
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Anything other than CR is an improvement and bound to be more accurate.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-10-2007, 08:50 AM
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In Britain we generally use the JD Power surveys and they seem to be pretty respected by the motoring industry.

How are they perceived in the States?

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-10-2007, 09:00 AM Thread Starter
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JD Power in the US, and I'd think in the UK as well, chiefly serves the manufacturers. Which isn't bad itself, but it means that they provide a bare minimum of info to consumers.

Also, they only survey at the 90-day and 3-year marks.

The last time I saw the results for a JD Power survey in the UK, it was based on a set of questions that asked about PERCEIVED reliability, in other words how reliable did people FEEL their car had been. This is a very squishy way to ask about reliability, as it invites all sorts of bias into responses.

CR's survey also uses subjective wording.

In contrast, my survey is as clear-cut and objective as possible. Members should report every trip to the shop that includes more than routine maintenance. This is already leading to higher reported repair rates for some Japanese products, as people cannot decide to not report a problem because it didn't seem serious to them because of the brand's reputation, how much they like the car, etc.

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-10-2007, 04:19 PM
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JD Power isn't all that, I believe they have been accused of being bought off, however, I have nothing to base that on, just something I heard. Also, it ranked, the 300E lower then the 98 Jeep in long term quality. Which from personal experience is absolutely wrong.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-10-2007, 10:56 PM Thread Starter
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I don't think they're bought off. I do think they fail to provide sufficient information to consumers because their focus is on the manufacturers and their deep pockets.

Every manufacturer buys the survey results from JD Power, so it's hard to see how any particular manufacturer could buy them off.

With any survey, it's important to note what it measures and even the details of how the question is worded. This is why people think statistics can be twisted to say anything. But if all work is shown, it's possible to clean useful information from just about any study, because the results can be placed in the proper context.

If, on the other hand, all you see are the results, you'll very likely read things into them that shouldn't be.

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-11-2007, 03:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tazio
In Britain we generally use the JD Power surveys and they seem to be pretty respected by the motoring industry.

How are they perceived in the States?
Power is far superior to CR--but then just about everything is...

Don't believe everything you think
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