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Old 11-27-2012, 08:56 AM   #21
Lifesaver1
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Re: Consumer Reports Downgrade: Fuel System Reliability

Thanks for the many replies. Sounds like no one has a specific answer yet, but Onital offers a hint.

As several have noted, the good thing about the CR survey is that it is just that, a survey of owners based on their experiences (details here: http://bit.ly/Y0pM9g). One potential bias is that these are CR subscribers, but CR surveys all of their subscribers and they have over 7 million subscribers. (I don’t know how many people return the surveys of course.) Since CR doesn’t take advertising, there is no reason for them to skew or bias the results of their surveys. There would also seem to be no reason for owners to improperly rate their own cars or for the experiences of a CR subscriber with a car to be different from that of the general population. As for the specifics behind the ratings, as I recall in completing a survey, they ask questions that are as broad as the ratings themselves. They really don’t have the resources to delve into the reasons behind each aspect of each rating of each car by customers. So it is a broad brush response, but a Much Worse than Average response is a concern.

Onital (above) noted that the fuel injectors in his 2012 Ridgeline had to be replaced and his car had to be towed. That could be an anomaly or there could be some serious problem in some 2012 Ridgelines. If one person reading this forum and this particular thread, who was also willing to speak up, had that problem, it could be that many, many more have had the same problem. Or not. But even if there was a small sample in the CR survey, as CISMO muses, something caused a lot of CR subscribers in that sample who are Ridgeline owners to seriously downgrade the fuel system reliability of the 2012 and not the 2011 or prior models.

Does anyone have access to service bulletins that might speak to this?
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Old 11-27-2012, 09:07 AM   #22
Lifesaver1
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Re: Consumer Reports Downgrade: Fuel System Reliability

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian Brantford View Post
This is the explanation that sprang to mind for me. If you look at the full user reviews, there are only three of them for 2012, and they all quote problems that are virtually unknown here on the ROC. I do recognise the one complaint about doors bouncing back from someone here a while ago.

2012 owners, please report your findings to CR!
Mr. Brantford: Just to clarify your point for others reading, what you are referring to here is people who went to the CR website and posted reviews about their 2012 Rideline. That would be similar to posting a product review on Amazon, for example. As you note, there were three people who did this. However, for those who may not know, that is not the annual survey sample. I don't think there is any way to know what the size of that sample is, unless someone has access to raw CR data. I think it is safe to assume it is much more than three people.

There is a live by the sword, die by the sword issue here that we need to consider. The Ridgeline has had outstanding reliability reviews through CR for many years, with few problems. I think Ridgeline owners would agree with that positive rating. It has been my experience. That is why an unusually bad rating needs some respect and inquisition. Something caused a random sampling of CR subscribers who are Ridgeline owners to ding their vehicle in this category. Something's up.
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Old 11-27-2012, 09:15 AM   #23
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Re: Consumer Reports Downgrade: Fuel System Reliability

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian Brantford View Post
This is the explanation that sprang to mind for me. If you look at the full user reviews, there are only three of them for 2012, and they all quote problems that are virtually unknown here on the ROC. I do recognise the one complaint about doors bouncing back from someone here a while ago.

2012 owners, please report your findings to CR!
Yes, doors bounce back if they are not closed with enough force.... specially the back doors being so light weight; but I think that is due to the inside being air tight... and when I leave a window crack open, that problem goes away and it does shut without too much force.
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Old 11-27-2012, 09:27 AM   #24
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Re: Consumer Reports Downgrade: Fuel System Reliability

Quote:
Originally Posted by csimo View Post
I was a member of the JD Power, Power Panel for several years and I can tell you that the article you site is about as biased as it gets. It was actually written by a competitor to JD Power. I am not saying his data is better or worse than JD Power, but he is a competitor and as a result his opinions on a competitor should obviously be discounted.

There is a significant difference between what JD Power does compared to the other consumer surveys. The customer for the two primary JD Power automobile studies are the auto manufactures... not the public. There is incidental data released to the public, but they are not the customer, and the actual data provided by the study is much more elaborate and detailed than what the public can see.

As for the Consumer Reports situation with the 2012 Ridgeline... I have ZERO information from Consumers Union and I cannot speak for Honda, but I will say that the comment I heard was that the sample for the 2012 Ridgeline was so small that it was considered a statistical anomaly. I don't know if Consumer Reports releases the sample size for each vehicle, but there is obviously going to be a huge difference between maybe 50 responses for a Ridgeline vs 500,000 for a F-150.
All true, and why if you're interested in rankings beyond the 3 year warranty period you won't ever look at JD Powers data. The manufacturers generally aren't as interested in that post-warranty data. JD may have more information than it releases to the public, but generally the info that is provided is collected in the same manner as CR data - via self report surveys from actual owners. So both are prone to the same data problems but JD stops following cars at 36 months while CR continues to follow them long after that. If you're planning on keeping a car 6 years, the CR data is lots more important IMO. If you want to trade at 3 years, guess it doesn't matter much. But the fact is the cars JD puts at the top of their list are rarely at the top of the CR list after 6 years ownership repair data have accumulated. IMO anyway.
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Old 11-27-2012, 10:39 AM   #25
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Re: Consumer Reports Downgrade: Fuel System Reliability

How many Ridgeline owners are also CR subscribers and fill out the surveys may not be huge, but over time the dots on their surveys over the years can be quite revealing.

IMO it is all about TRENDS .. and in that light I think CR does a commendable job. I think True Delta also does, and I contribute to TD myself.
I don't think the fact that the reliability charts look similar to each other is any big surprise.

JD Power may be good for collecting data of dealerships and what gets reported back to the mfrs. as defects, etc. I am generally less interested in how many defects per 1000, but rather WHAT areas of the vehicle are generally a problem for specific vehicles. And I think that is what is most helpful for buyers.

In that respect I think CR and TD do a commendable job, even if they may be the only ones really doing it.
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Last edited by rollinhonda; 11-27-2012 at 10:43 AM.
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Old 11-27-2012, 10:59 AM   #26
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Re: Consumer Reports Downgrade: Fuel System Reliability

Is it possible that the 2012 still has the recurring "check fuel cap" warning?
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Old 11-27-2012, 11:10 AM   #27
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Re: Consumer Reports Downgrade: Fuel System Reliability

I don't have a 12 but my 13 is actually getting better than posted mileage and better than my 08 did......I bought a new one because my old one was great and I wanted an upgrade. So far I'm happy and have 1200 miles on it
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Old 11-27-2012, 11:14 AM   #28
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Re: Consumer Reports Downgrade: Fuel System Reliability

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lifesaver1 View Post
Mr. Brantford: Just to clarify your point for others reading, what you are referring to here is people who went to the CR website and posted reviews about their 2012 Rideline. That would be similar to posting a product review on Amazon, for example. As you note, there were three people who did this. However, for those who may not know, that is not the annual survey sample. I don't think there is any way to know what the size of that sample is, unless someone has access to raw CR data. I think it is safe to assume it is much more than three people.
Yes, I should have gone on to explain that the reviews are separate from the survey responses. The survey requests go everyone and are forms. The reviews are an extra step that users must take. There have been fewer reviews for the Ridgeline since 2008 than those who accidentally recorded their 2006's as 2005's. Of the three for 2012, all were negative, yet it did not keep the Ridgeline from getting high overall survey results and CR "would buy again" user rating. Review response counts were:
2005 (17)
2006 (130)
2007 (53)
2008 (26)
2009 (18)
2010 (9)
2011 (7)
2012 (3)
2013 (0)

I could not find anywhere that says how many people responded to the survey for the Ridgeline, but according to this article, the minimum for any model to be reported is 100 responses.

What is less clear is how many bad reports of one problem area (such as the fuel system) it would take to spoil that survey result. If all it takes is for, say, 1% to report a problem (a fair indicator of a real problem in a much larger sample), then a single report could spoil the rating of that area for that year's survey.
Quote:

There is a live by the sword, die by the sword issue here that we need to consider. The Ridgeline has had outstanding reliability reviews through CR for many years, with few problems. I think Ridgeline owners would agree with that positive rating. It has been my experience. That is why an unusually bad rating needs some respect and inquisition. Something caused a random sampling of CR subscribers who are Ridgeline owners to ding their vehicle in this category. Something's up.
It might indicate a real problem, but given the limited feedback, I would offer a more likely explanation for 2012: people who encounter early problems will report things within weeks or months. People who have no problems will wait to reply in order to see if problems crop up. I think that I waited more than two years before doing the survey for my 2009.
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Old 11-27-2012, 01:56 PM   #29
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Re: Consumer Reports Downgrade: Fuel System Reliability

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian Brantford View Post
What is less clear is how many bad reports of one problem area (such as the fuel system) it would take to spoil that survey result. If all it takes is for, say, 1% to report a problem (a fair indicator of a real problem in a much larger sample), then a single report could spoil the rating of that area for that year's survey.
You can find part of the answer here: http://bit.ly/SrvScl. Not sure if you have to be logged in.

First they explain that the “fuel system” rating includes: “Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.”

Basically, the verdict of better or worse than average are against all cars for that model year, as I read it, so you are scoring the Ridgeline against every car rated that year. “Scores are based on the percentage of survey respondents who reported problems for that trouble spot, compared with the average model of that year.” For this reason, the Ridgeline would not seem to be disadvantaged in comparison to other cars or a tendency for people to report problems they experienced right away over those not.

They further state that, “Models that score a Much Worse than Average are not necessarily unreliable, but have a higher rate of problems than the average model. Similarly, models that score Much Better than Average are not necessarily problem-free, but had relatively few problems compared with other models.”

Finally: “Because problem rates in some trouble spots are very low, we do not assign a Much Worse than Average or a Worse than Average unless the model's problem rate exceeds 3 percent. If a problem rate is below 2 or 1 percent it will be assigned a Better than Average or a Much Better than Average respectively."
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Old 11-27-2012, 02:27 PM   #30
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Re: Consumer Reports Downgrade: Fuel System Reliability

Consumer reports is , IMO, as unbiased/reliable as it gets. When they say it's a good truck, everybodys a cr supporter. When they say the quality has slipped, out come the knives,
I've had a 2007' 2009' 2011 and 2012. The quality/reliability I've experienced has indeed slipped. My 2012 has a highway vibration, clicking steering wheel, grossly miss adjusted hood, has had the check gas cap light on several miles and seems to take noticeably longer to catch than the previous 3. The 2009 was ok. The 2011 and 2012 are pathetic compared to the 2007.
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