Reliability information

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by mkaresh, Jun 7, 2006.

  1. mkaresh

    mkaresh Member

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    Because existing sources of vehicle reliability information left much to be desired, in late 2005 I started conducting reliability research at TrueDelta.com. TrueDelta reports absolute stats like "trips to the shop" that will make the differences between cars much clearer. I'm also updating results four times a year, so any changes in a model's reliability will quickly become apparent.

    Priuschat and the people who operate it have been very helpful in getting the word out, partly by stickying this thread from time to time, and I deeply appreciate this. It takes a lot of people to make this research happen.

    Right now I especially need more 2004 (and earlier) and 2008 Prii.

    Participants report repairs the month after they occur on a one-page survey. When there are no repairs, they simply report an approximate odometer reading four times a year, at the end of each quarter.

    To encourage participation, anyone who helps provide the data will have free access to the results.

    For the details, and to sign up to help out:

    Vehicle reliability research

    TrueDelta also collects fuel economy data using a more sophisticated survey than most.

    To everyone who is already helping out -- thanks.
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. jeromep

    jeromep Member

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    Thanks for letting us know. I have already put my name in the hat and have gone through most of your web site.

    You have brought up a lot of the concernes I have had with Consumer Reports way of evaluating or rather presenting their evaluation of products. And of course it is nice to hear form somebody who also feels that JD Power is nothing more than a marketing pawn of various companies.
     
  3. mkaresh

    mkaresh Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(jeromep @ Jun 7 2006, 03:53 PM) [snapback]267405[/snapback]</div>
    I wouldn't quite go that far on JD Power. They do run a bit of a racket, but nevertheless manage to provide some helpful info. That said, they could be quite a bit more helpful to consumers than they are, and people often misinterpret what their awards mean.

    They're releasing the latest IQS scores this week. They've revised how IQS is calculated to include a "design quality" component as well as a reliability component. Aside from making it less clear exactly what is being measured, I doubt many consumers will be aware of this change or be aware of its implications.
     
  4. Mauibound

    Mauibound New Member

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    Very cool. I think it's a great idea. I'm sure you probably already know this after looking at your background, but I've had a chance to speak with a number of people at the various automobile manufacturers and many of them can't stand the JD Powers surveys and results either.

    I'm anxious to see the results on your site and will join as a panel member. I have also been very interested in the American Customer Satisfaction Index which is put out by the University of Michigan. They don't currently measure individual cars, but they do measure satisfaction with most of the major car manufacturers and publish those scores annually. Here are the rankings for those who are interested:

    http://www.theacsi.org/second_quarter.htm#alv

    While the ACSI has nothing to do with reliability, one could argue that satisfaction is probably the more important metric. The interesting thing about the ACSI is that the results tie to future financial performance. (Future...as in...predictive of future financial performance.)
     
  5. mkaresh

    mkaresh Member

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    A number of you have signed up. I'm now just three cars short of the minimum with the 2006 Prius, so I'll probably start collecting data on it this month.

    Where are all of the 2004 and 2005 owners? Are new owners most likely to hang out at this forum because they've just gotten the car and are very excited?

    Jasoncon,

    Thanks for the link to the ACSI study. I wasn't aware they were doing this at the brand level.

    With rankings it's always tempting to just see who is on top, as if this were a sports contest. But since the purpose is to figure out how good a car will be, the absolute differences matter. And in this study as in many others they're pretty small.

    Think of it this way: in basketball if you lose by a single point that's all that matters. You've lost. Period.

    But when listing reliability/quality/satisfaction scores, if one car is behind another by a point or two, you're unlikely to notice the difference in terms of the impact on your life.

    The main purpose of my site is to make the sizes of differences clearer.

    Again, thank you to everyone who has signed up to help out.
     
  6. Tadashi

    Tadashi Member

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    I also signed up also. I have two Prii (well one is my wife's). However we have mileage and maintenance data from day one (Feb 05). Even costs of insurance and car payments. Can't help it, its part of my Operations Research Analist side of me. :D But excludes money spent on car washes since the wife gave me the crazy look.
     
  7. shermon

    shermon New Member

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    I have signed up as well. Our '06 has not arrived yet but we should be taking delivery in the next 7-10 days.
     
  8. mkaresh

    mkaresh Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(shermon @ Jun 8 2006, 01:37 AM) [snapback]267739[/snapback]</div>
    Shermon--

    If you receive an email requesting that you fill out the survey in June, ignore it. Wait for the July email, since the surveys always lag by one month (have to wait for the month to finish before asking if the car was in the shop during that month).

    Tadashi--

    Currently I only ask about trips to the shop going forward, and don't ask about maintenance at all. (It would be good to know how much people maintained their cars, but it would require more of people's time and I doubt everyone would be honest about how often they change the oil, etc.)

    However, a number of people have wanted to report their entire vehicle history, so I will probably make this possible in the future. This information would not be used to calculate reliability, but I think some people would like to read vehicle industries in addition to the reliability stats.
     
  9. JimboK

    JimboK One owner, low mileage

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(mkaresh @ Jun 7 2006, 10:10 PM) [snapback]267647[/snapback]</div>
    2005 owner here, just signed up. My car is in the shop as we speak for some minor warranty work, due to be picked up this afternoon. Shall I include this trip?

    Thanks,
    Jim
     
  10. mkaresh

    mkaresh Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(JimboK @ Jun 8 2006, 08:13 AM) [snapback]267787[/snapback]</div>
    This one would get included--if I start collecting information on the 2005 this month or next. But I'm still well short of the minimum for the 2005.

    In general, most people who sign up either have very new cars, or 2001-2003 cars (about to shop for a new one). So I tend to have fewer 2004s and 2005s for most models.
     
  11. mkaresh

    mkaresh Member

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    Current counts:

    16 2006
    12 2005
    6 2004 and older

    I'm also going to add a fuel economy reporting feature in the next month. Like the other areas of the site, it'll be innovative.
     
  12. mkaresh

    mkaresh Member

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    Updated current counts:

    19 2006
    13 2005
    8 2004 and older

    Those of you already helping out, thanks! Overall response rates are excellent so far this month, but I haven't checked them by model. A follow-up will go out this afternoon to those who haven't responded yet.

    The programming is complete for the fuel economy survey. But before launching it I'm creating databases for some past models years, so people can report on more than 2006s. It'll be up by the end of the month.
     
  13. efusco

    efusco Moderator Emeritus
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    Need to add the Highlander Hybrid as well as Priuschat.com, Priusonline.com, Yahoo! groups, Greenhybrid.com, Cleanfuel.com, and a number of other sites as online groups in the dropdown list.
     
  14. withersea

    withersea DNF is better than DNS

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    I signed up today.
     
  15. mkaresh

    mkaresh Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(withersea @ Jul 12 2006, 09:56 PM) [snapback]285381[/snapback]</div>
    Thanks. I really appreciate how helpful people here have been.

    If you'd been wondering where the survey email was, well, I thought I'd added the 2006 Prius to the "active" list but had not. So I just sent a special mailing to 2006 Prius owners. There are now 25 of you in the panel.

    As for the Highlander Hybrid and other hybrids based on conventional cars, just sign up under the regular listing. When I start collecting data on a model I have a one-time survey that asks about engine type and other such things.
     
  16. momfortheenvironment

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    I signed up using the link, I have a 2006 Prius thats about 2 weeks old! Do I need to do anything else
     
  17. mkaresh

    mkaresh Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(momfortheenvironment @ Jul 18 2006, 09:56 PM) [snapback]288484[/snapback]</div>
    Not yet. You'll receive an email asking you to fill out the first survey early next month. Thanks for signing up.

    Update: I just sent a follow-up to people who signed up before the 10th or so. But right before sending it I resent the special email I earlier sent to Prius owners by mistake. So unlike the rest of the panel, you guys received two emails when you should have only received one. I apologize for the clutter.
     
  18. Mary Snyder

    Mary Snyder New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(withersea @ Jul 12 2006, 09:56 PM) [snapback]285381[/snapback]</div>
    Withersea,
    What is that you signed up for and in what way will it help?
    Mary
     
  19. mkaresh

    mkaresh Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Masnyd @ Nov 20 2006, 09:10 PM) [snapback]352345[/snapback]</div>
    I've tried to explain my project at the beginning of this thread. I think there's a need for more useful reliability information, but to make it happen many people have to participate. Withersea is one of the Prius owners who has signed up to participate in the research.

    While I'm here, current counts:
    2004: 15
    2005: 35
    2006: 52
    2007: 3
    Total: 106 (includes years before 2004)
     
  20. chimohio

    chimohio New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(mkaresh @ Jun 7 2006, 11:50 AM) [snapback]267301[/snapback]</div>
    Just found this - always willing to help - just signed up.
     
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