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Fomoconews Opinion:Toyota Troubles Bring Consumer Reports Ratings into Focus.
(San Diego Ca.) We are currently witnessing an unprecedented downfall of an auto company. Long the darling of quality ratings at consumer reports, Toyota’s quality reputation has been held up on a pedestal. For years GM and Ford have insisted that their internal quality data shows that their vehicles either match or Exceed Toyota or Honda quality standards. GM's Vice Chairman and Car Czar the ultimate car guy in cardom has famously called this discrepancy between the quality reality and perception “the Quality Perception Gap” that Detroit must overcome. However, these internal reports, almost always backed by scientific reports from respectable firms such as JD powers and associates data and True Delta whose data is gathered to scientific standards have almost always been met with skepticism due to the public information space being occupied by a myriad of reporters unfamiliar with the auto industry who almost always rely on consumer reports finding to call into question domestic vehicle reliability.​

On Tuesday, Toyota announced it was suspending all sales in the U.S. of eight recalled models which have had problems with the accelerator sticking. Initially, the problem involved the floor mat depressing the accelerator. Then, it received isolated reports of the gas pedal sticking on its own.​
In another blow to the world's No. 1 automaker, Toyota Motor Co. said Tuesday it would halt some production at six assembly plants including two in Ontario beginning the week of Feb. 1 "to assess and co-ordinate activities." The Japanese automaker says the sales suspension includes the 2009-2010 RAV4, the 2009-2010 Corolla, the 2009-2010 Matrix, the 2005-2010 Avalon,

Almost all Toyota buyers in the United States will sight consumer reports ratings on their particular vehicle as one of the reasons they purchased it instead of a Ford, Chevrolet dodge or you can fill in the blank here with whatever domestic or imported brand you are referring. In addition resale values of Toyota are largely driven by the same report.​

Over the years countless widespread issues on Toyota’s poor quality have surfaced. They range from sludge buildup in sienna and corolla engines, rear tires falling off Toyota Hilux, 4 Runner, Tacoma and Land Cruiser Prado II vehicles, rusting truck frames across all models, to most recent quality wows. Toyota’s well oiled PR department has always countered these reports by carefully managing recalls as “service bulletins” to sometimes carrying out repairs of recalls under the auspices of dealer freebies to royal customers to complete buyouts of old trucks and or replacing customer vehicles quietly without addressing the wider issue of the millions of vehicles they have with the same potential problem on the road.​

Knowingly or unknowingly, Consumer reports have been complacent in its quality reviews. Almost without question Toyota Models get recommended status with Consumer reports, even in their first model year. Recently they had to “recommend 4 cylinder models of the Camry and withhold the V6 Model recommendation due to widespread chatter in the blogging world. Despite the excellent and bullet proof Malibu and Fusion V6 twins, an automatic recommended to Ford or GM would never be granted by consumer report. The never granted is used because it’s not happened ever in consumer reports history.​

Thus it’s time to publicly question whether Consumer reports has not been an enabler for Toyota’s irresponsibility and has failed to warn the millions of consumers of the potential pitfalls that come with the buying of a Toyota.​

This article is written by the founder of Fomoconews.com and he can be reached at [email protected]
 

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great article Ndwariga I always have believed for years that CR has always given preferential treatment to the oriental three (Toyota Honda and to a lesser extent Nissan). CR has a recommended a few domestic vehicles but if you look back through there archives most of the top pick and recommended spots are dominated by Asian makes. Personally I think CR and the other publications should at least judge cars (both domestic, asian, and european) with an equal amount of scrutiny to see which car gets recommended, which ones get a good word and which ones don't cut the mustard and end up on there list of not so great cars
 

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This is a sad day for CR because I always thought of them as unbiased, but now think differently after reading that report.

I think it is easier for people to base their opinions on previous owners input. I think I use TrueDelta.com and report all my stuff. I have had my Milan for almost 3 years and 26k miles later have only had to replace the rear license plate light harness due to a rusting issue, but I would say it is better then any in her same class no matter what anyone says.

All I can say now is 5 months to go till I get my new girl and she is going to turn heads!!
 

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I stopped believing CR years ago. It's useless to measure quality the way it does. Here's how it goes with CR.

1. We tell you what is good quality.
2. We survey you to tell us what is good in quality.
3. We hear from you what we told you.

Uh, yeah.

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter #5
True, its kind of true. They tell you what to buy, becouse they think its good, then come back and ask you, what do you think of what we told you to buy? Sort of a self fullfilling prophesy.

I stopped believing CR years ago. It's useless to measure quality the way it does. Here's how it goes with CR.

1. We tell you what is good quality.
2. We survey you to tell us what is good in quality.
3. We hear from you what we told you.

Uh, yeah.

Mark
 

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I think what we are witnessing here is a downfall of epic proportions. Based on what has been coming out so far today Toyota has a massive and possibly Global nightmare on it's plate with this recall. Personally I hope the NHTSA puts Toyota on the hook for violating it's policy by selling the affected cars for five days after the recall was announced. Even if they do recover from this crisis It'll take many months and years for them to restore there reputation. In the meantime this is a golden opportunity for the domestics (who were getting walloped by Toyota in the market for the past few years) to use this to there advantage and win consumers over who may be second guessing a Toyota purchase in the midst of all that is unfolding with this recall
 

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Thank you fomoconews for the article. Obviously you are people who think outside the box.
I have not heard about the "perception gap" comment, but reading this opinion, my view of CR is completely changed.
I also love USA1's analogy. They only evaluate stuff that their subscribers buy. and their subscribers rely on them to decide what they are going to buy. Seems like a self defeating circle to me.

I have no respect for CR anymore
 

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from ON THE TABLE - AutoExtremist.com
January 27, 2010

...Consumer Reports. Wait a minute, weren't you the guys that basically forged your influence over the domestic automobile industry by holding up Toyota as an example of everything good and righteous and great about quality automobiles and regularly took great pleasure in reminding everyone of that fact - especially the Detroit automakers - whom you relentlessly took pot shots at and trashed with glee every chance you got? Yeah, we thought so. Maybe you ought to take a break from the car business for a while - after all, if you can't write anything good about Toyota, what are you guys going to write about?...


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I want to know when CR is gonna RECALL their previous editions AND offer REFUNDS! :mad:
 

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from ON THE TABLE - AutoExtremist.com
January 27, 2010

...Consumer Reports. Wait a minute, weren't you the guys that basically forged your influence over the domestic automobile industry by holding up Toyota as an example of everything good and righteous and great about quality automobiles and regularly took great pleasure in reminding everyone of that fact - especially the Detroit automakers - whom you relentlessly took pot shots at and trashed with glee every chance you got? Yeah, we thought so. Maybe you ought to take a break from the car business for a while - after all, if you can't write anything good about Toyota, what are you guys going to write about?...


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I want to know when CR is gonna RECALL their previous editions AND offer REFUNDS! :mad:
I am glad to see its not only fomoconews on to consumer reports. They are borderline un american.
They have this country countless billions of dollars and jobs by working aganist countless us industries.
 

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I am glad to see its not only fomoconews on to consumer reports. They are borderline un american.
They have this country countless billions of dollars and jobs by working aganist countless us industries.

Personally I'm happy that all of this happened. Toyota is FINALLY being held accountable for what is starting to look like a long road of bad decisions and PR blunders, and CR's lasse faire method of rating cars (especially asian makes) is coming back to haunt them. To be fair CR has given a few domestic models there recommended or top pick honors in the past but something is seriously wrong and flawed with the rating criteria when one or two companies (Toyota and Honda for example) can have nearly half of there entire vehicle lineup breeze through with top honors for multiple years whereas things are way different for the domestic and European brands. Even the Korean brands do not do as well as Toyota and Honda when ratings are compared side to side. Personally I would like to see two things come out of this

1. An investigation by the NHTSA and the Feds into why Toyota still sold affected cars for five days after the first recall was announced, Why Toyota repeatedly sent out false PR to consumers, and an investigation into the decisions and events that took place prior to the current recalls that are unfolding right now

2. a complete revamp and change in the way CR rates and reviews automobiles to a set list of criteria that would provide a fair playing field for all makes (domestic and foreign) and prevent one or two companies from having unfair results
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I think we sort of reported on a possible scenario through autoblog sometime back LINK
 

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Even Toyota's biggest PR man of Consumers Report David Champion is getting involved. (Has he every stuck his nose "in defense" of other OEM recalls?)

Of 2.3 million vehicles in the recall, there have been only 200 complaints to date, and drivers who encounter the "rare" stuck accelerator pedal can deal with it safely if it occurs, said David Champion, senior director of Consumer Reports' Auto Test Division.

"If it does stick, don't panic," Champion said. "Just slip the car into Neutral. By pushing the transmission into Neutral, the engine will rev a very high RPM. It may sound pretty scary, but it's not going to cause any problems. Pull over to the side of the road in a safe place, turn off the engine, and call a tow truck."
http://www.philly.com/inquirer/brea...oyota_dealers_cope_with_a_massive_recall.html

Whats your opinion on Mr.Champion getting into the fray?

IMO, it looks bad and cements my previous perceptions of David Champion being a Toyota kiss-ass fan boy.
 

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Even Toyota's biggest PR man of Consumers Report David Champion is getting involved. (Has he every stuck his nose "in defense" of other OEM recalls?)

Of 2.3 million vehicles in the recall, there have been only 200 complaints to date, and drivers who encounter the "rare" stuck accelerator pedal can deal with it safely if it occurs, said David Champion, senior director of Consumer Reports' Auto Test Division.

"If it does stick, don't panic," Champion said. "Just slip the car into Neutral. By pushing the transmission into Neutral, the engine will rev a very high RPM. It may sound pretty scary, but it's not going to cause any problems. Pull over to the side of the road in a safe place, turn off the engine, and call a tow truck."
http://www.philly.com/inquirer/brea...oyota_dealers_cope_with_a_massive_recall.html

Whats your opinion on Mr.Champion getting into the fray?
Has he heard of the group called "americans for class action"?

He will probably be one of the co defendants..

He should be trying to put as much distance between CR and toyota as possible.. He is an idiot.

I can see it now "did consumer reports know that there was a problem with Toyota's and kept recomending them"?
A good jury of his peers might not agree with him...
 

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2009 started as a nightmarish scenario for GM and Chrysler. It seems like 2010 is going to be **** for Toyota. I would not be suprised if they go through a chapter just like GM.

One has to wonder, what will 2011 bring? Disaster for Volkswagen, BMW, Ford?
 

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