Consumer Reports Says New Tundra Is Below Average
Toyota quality is slipping, and Consumer Reports says it’s due in large part to the new Tundra. Evidently, Consumer Reports has found that the new Tundra, specifically the V8 4×4 model, has “below average” reliability. Even more astounding, the new Camry V6 model was also found to have “below average” reliability. Because of the poor showing of these two new models, Consumer Reports has decided that they will no longer automatically recommend new Toyota models as they have in the past. Instead, Consumer Reports says that they will now wait for a full year of survey data before making a recommendation.
Before anyone decides to return their new Tundras, we’d like to clear the air.
1. Consumer Reports shouldn’t automatically recommend any model. Ever.
While it’s great that Consumer Reports had enough confidence in the Toyota design team to automatically recommend everything Toyota made, isn’t the idea of an “automatic recommendation” a little ridiculous? After all, an independent authority should at least test a vehicle before they recommend it. Consumer Reports saying that they’re no longer going to automatically recommend Toyota is a lot like saying “as of right now, we’ve decided to do our job”. That’s hardly news.
2. The survey data is extremely tainted.
According to the press release, the data that Consumer Reports used to conclude that the Tundra is “below average” was collected in the spring of this year. Amazingly, Toyota released the Tundra in the spring of this year. The question that we have for Consumer Reports – if anyone is listening – How exactly can you determine the reliability of a vehicle that’s only been out a couple of months? How many surveys could they possibly have collected – a few dozen? Whatever the number is, it’s certainly not enough to form an opinion. After all, didn’t they say in this same press release they’re going to wait for a full year of data before making a recommendation? At best, CR‘s declaration that the Tundra is “below average” is irresponsible.
3. Toyota is still a top rated brand.
Despite the headlines, Toyota still remains one of Consumer Reports top-rated brands. According to their latest Buyer’s Guide, Toyota is still one of the best brands overall coming in behind Honda/Acura and Subaru (Scion also placed higher than Toyota, but as we all know Scion is a Toyota product). Considering that Honda/Acura and Subaru have yet to make a real truck (anyone that thinks the “Ridgeline” is a real truck needs their head examined), Toyota is still the top ranked brand that offers a real truck.
4. Toyota is a victim of it’s own success.
As we’ve said, time and again, the bar is raised much higher for Toyota than just about any other vehicle manufacturer. The recent declaration that “Toyota quality is slipping” is a great example – two models indicate “below average” and the sky officially begins to fall. Compare Toyota’s situation to GM — according to Consumer Reports, the new Pontiac Solstice and Cadillac Escalade EXT were both 220% LESS RELIABLE than an average vehicle. Of course, recent headlines about the new CR Buyer’s Guide didn’t read “Two Popular GM Models Twice As Likely To Break As Anything Else.” Maybe that’s because, unlike GM, people expect Toyota will make a good vehicle…
Filed Under: Tundra News