Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Tell Your Grandparents to Cancel Consumer Reports Subscription

Hey, Consumer Reports - that Toyota bashing bandwagon is leaving, better catch..., Oh good, you caught it.

Consumer Reports magazine recently gave the Lexus GX460 (a Lexus version of the Toyota 4 Runner) a "Don't Buy" rating because of (supposed) roll over risk. But before anyone gives this too much credit let's recap Consumer Reports' legal troubles over the past few decades. This Wikipedia page sums it up nicely. Also, check out the web site Consumer Distorts for a little background on the magazine's problems in the late 1990s and what, at the time, seemed like an anti-SUV bias.

The bottom line is that Consumer Reports magazine has been sued several times by automakers for making false claims. The most notable was related to testing of the Suzuki Samurai in the late 1980s. Later, a court found that Consumer Reports had a "reckless disregard for the truth" with regard to Isuzu Trooper tests in the mid 1990s. More recently, the magazine said many child seats they tested were unsafe, later we learned the testing was done incorrectly. They also had to change their tune when stating that several hybrids wouldn't save buyers money over time - wrong again. Also, if you listen to the conclusions CR has come to concerning the Lexus GX, there are a lot of words like "may," "could," and "might." Maybe they should be sure when advising the over 60 set about what cars to buy or avoid.

My grandmother swears by Consumer Reports. I'm a bit more skeptical.

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