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> Re: Audi #3 in JD Powers Survey!

> > In a message dated 97-03-26 12:38:46 EST, MSV96@aol.com writes:
	[snipped to preserve bandwidth]

> > However, you have reasonable justification to be a bit sceptical of this
> > particular J.D. Power study (Vehicle Durability Index). The statistical basis
> > is rather small, especially for manufacturers like Audi.  However, anybody
> > who impugns the validity of the "Consumer Reports" reliability data (the red
> > dot/black dot summaries) simply has not done their homework.  

Here's how I did my homework many years ago (mid 80's) when I last 
considered using Consumer Reports to guide my decisions:

- Pick one of the many vehicles GM flogs in more than one division which 
  is built on one platform (the Blazer/Jimmy comes to mind for example).
  These vehicles are produced in a single factory, then shipped to 
  Chevrolet or GMC for final preparation; the interior trim, badges, grill 
  assemblies, and those other minor distinguishing details. Mechanically, 
  these vehicles are identical.

- Look the products up in CR, compare the mechanical results: lo & behold, 
  wide variations in the reported reliabily/durability of the _mechanicals_
  of each model.

Conclusion: Although having the largest sample set available on the
market, CR still has big problems with their results. Since the mid 80's,
I have not checked for this phenomenon. If it is no longer visible, they
are probably aware of the problem and the discrepancy may be fudged out. 
Perhaps they have improved their methods or, perhaps they have become 
omniscient. I have to add however, that I think they do make valid 
observations, especially in the realm of appliances.

Jon Sala 
Clinical Engineering			jsala@skynet.uah.ualberta.ca
Walter McKenzie Centre 0D1.00		http://skynet.uah.ualberta.ca
University of Alberta Hospitals 	(403) 492-6711
Capital Health Authority
8440 112 Street
Edmonton, Alberta, CANADA T6G-2B7