TrueDelta Releases New Reliability Results

By Brendan Moore

02.22.2008

TrueDelta, one of our favorites here at Autosavant, has released their quarterly reliability results based on owner experiences up until the end of calendar year 2007.
In a previous life, I did a lot of consumer surveys and statistical modeling work with the results of those surveys, and since I had that experience, I always felt as if there were some gaps in the vehicle reliability data provided by companies like J.D. Power and Associates.
When I first ran across TrueDelta early last year, I was intrigued with the difference they offered in this segment.
Just to be clear, we have no business relationship of any kind with TrueDelta, and that stated, if you’re looking for vehicle reliability data, you might find their stuff very helpful in that regard.
Here is TrueDelta’s official press release:
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TrueDelta.com Releases Quarterly Reliability Results Based on Owner Experiences Through December 31, 2007
Includes 2008 models introduced last fall.
West Bloomfield, MI (PRWEB) February 21, 2008 — Truedelta.com, the automotive website that provides fast, accurate vehicle reliability, pricing, and fuel economy information, has announced the latest results of its Vehicle Reliability Survey (VRS.)
The results capture owner experiences through the end of December 2007, and reflect TrueDelta’s ability to provide car buyers with the “freshest” reliability information.
This set of results even includes some recently introduced 2008 models, among them the redesigned Honda Accord. “Our primary competitor won’t provide any reliability information on these models until late October, eight months from now,” explained Michael Karesh, developer of TrueDelta.com. “For other model years, our data is nearly a year more recent than theirs. When considering a car, do you want to know how reliable it was a year ago, when it was a year newer, or how reliable it has been recently?”
Results show margins of difference
When reliability information is reported in terms of relative “dot” ratings, the actual size of differences remains unclear.
“As a result, people often think that the differences between different car models are much larger than they actually are,” says Karesh.
TrueDelta.com reports reliability as an absolute number based on the average number of successful repair trips per year. These results demonstrate that, while a few models truly do require significantly more repairs than others, in most cases the differences are slim.
Some car buyers will choose to avoid the (now clear) number of additional repair trips, while others will decide other factors outweigh these differences in reliability. Either way, TrueDelta’s information makes the car buying decision clearer.
“Oversimplified information leads to oversimplified buying decisions, which are often not the best decisions,” asserts Karesh. “At TrueDelta, we aim to help people sort out which car is truly best for their needs.”
Quick results on 2008s introduced last fall
The February 2008 release of Vehicle Reliability Survey (VRS) results includes more models than ever before, among them a few 2008 models introduced last fall. Among the highlights:
Based on the recent experiences of fifty-two owners, the redesigned 2008 Honda Accord has had a nearly trouble-free launch. “The new Accord doesn’t appear to be suffering from the teething problems that affect many first-year cars, including Honda’s own Civic two years ago and the 2007 Toyota Camry V6 more recently,” says Karesh.
Forty-three owners responded for the 2008 Infiniti G37 and G35. Like most Nissan products lately, the redesigned G37 coupe appears to have an average repair rate.
Back in November TrueDelta posted an initial result for the 2008 Buick Enclave, GMC Acadia, and Saturn Outlook. (Even now, three months later, no one else has reliability information on these 2008s.) The recent experiences of 127 owners confirm the initial finding: the 2008 Lambdas require only about half as many repair trips as the 2007s.
TrueDelta is posting qualified VRS results based on sample sizes in the 20s and 30s for ten other 2008s, including the redesigned or all-new Cadillac CTS, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Nissan Rogue, Saturn Vue, and Scion xB. Owners reported no completed repairs for the Mercedes or the Rogue, indicating smooth launches for those models. The Cadillac CTS, Saturn Vue, and Scion xB aren’t faring as well; they’ll be lucky to post average repair rates when results are updated again in May.
These 2008s are only one to three months old, and their reliability could change as they age and manufacturers identify and correct common problems. With TrueDelta’s prompt quarterly updates, any improvement in the reliability of the new Cadillac CTS, Saturn Vue, or Scion xB, or any change for the worse on the part of the Honda Accord, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, or Nissan Rogue, will become clear much sooner than it would through others’ sluggish annual updates.
About TrueDelta.com
The most innovative automotive website, TrueDelta has repeatedly identified ways the Internet can be leveraged to better serve the information needs of car buyers and car owners. Car owners join TrueDelta as “panel members” and provide TrueDelta’s data through brief online surveys. In exchange for their participation, these owners receive full access to TrueDelta’s quarterly results free of charge.
Through rapid growth, the number of vehicles in TrueDelta’s panel will reach 25,000 in March. This growth is due in part to enthusiastic support from owner forums such as DriveAccord.net, NICOClub.com, SaturnFans.com, EnclaveForum.net, and CadillacForums.com. These forums were essential in quickly building a viable sample of 2008 model owners.
Car owners can view the latest VRS results and become involved at TrueDelta.com.
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Author: Brendan Moore

Brendan Moore is a Principal Consultant with Cedar Point Consulting , a management consulting practice based in the Washington, DC area. He also manages Autosavant Consulting, a separate practice within Cedar Point Consulting. where he advises businesses connected to the auto industry. Cedar Point Consulting can be found at http://www.cedarpointconsulting.com.

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1 Comment

  1. I’ll give them a shot, always willing to get another point of view if it’s good research.

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