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News: Consumer Reports and TOYOTA

Article Date(s):09/28/2016

Perhaps this will be the last flaw I'll point out regarding Consumer Reports magazine. If you still blindly use this thing as gospel, well, their marketing department has done their job. But this is topical (to the year 2010 ), and it confirms my suspicions that their misguided approach to vacuums ratings applies to other products. Case in point - Toyota cars. They are perennially rated as number 1 in this magazine for quality, performance, etc., and frankly, I don’t doubt that they are a fine car and / or truck. But all of a sudden, Toyota has a massive recall that the company was pressured into enacting for sticking accelerators after several accidents that were possibly linked to this problem. And then, "all-of-a-sudden", Consumer Reports dropped them from their "Best Buy" designation. BUT WAIT A MINUTE! What about all the extensive testing, research and analysis that went into making this (and all of their other) decisions to call something "good?" And then their decision to reverse this ranking came after Toyota's debacle was all over the 10 o'clock news for a month? It is obvious (for the 10th time) that whatever testing methods they use (if any ) are hap-hazard at best, and maybe, like the rest of the publishing world, they sustain themselves NOT from subscription revenues as they claim, but from a way that is more typical for that industry. In closing, if there was any testing, it wasn't extensive enough to uncover the problem. So they had two choices for damage control: 1) Stand by your methods as being generally sound, conceding that even the best testing won't catch every problem. This would have saved face and been actually one of the first things they said that I would agree with, or, the action they did go with, 2) Bail out on your "findings", sell your testing protocol down the river as having no credibility, showing those who are not brainwashed by the publication that you have no faith in your own testing. If they have no faith, why should anyone else?

P.S.... Based on opinions of people I know that have owned Toyotas, I'd conclude that they are generally an above average car for the money, and insofar as every car maker has recalls eventually, I wouldn't castigate them solely based on that. That is what makes this so maddening – the one time I believe them to have been correct and they chose this instance to declare themselves mistaken!

P.S.S. – as dealers for many manufacturers of vacuums, we get memos telling us to refrain from using “Best Buy” ribbons, etc.,  in our advertising this year, as the manufacturer will not be “renewing the license” for it. Well – take a second and read between those lines.I won’t list any of the publications, but it appears that this is how it works with most rating publications. In summary – don’t rely on them solely.


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