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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The New York Times reports that Doug Betts, Fiat-Chrysler quality chief, abruptly abandoned his post this morning. The company, where Betts worked for the past seven years, occupied the very bottom of Consumer Reports magazine’s annual rankings released yesterday, with Fiat, Jeep, Ram, and Dodge taking the bottom four slots and Chrysler nabbing number 22 on the list of 28.

Betts, whose official title was senior vice president of quality, had also served in quality-control positions at Nissan, Toyota, and General Motors. But since joining Chrysler in 2007, Betts faced an uphill challenge turning around the company’s poor reliability scores.

Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram all dropped in CR’s quality rankings compared with last year, with nagging problems like the rough-shifting nine-speed automatic transmission in the Jeep Cherokee providing constant headaches. We’ve also experienced some issues, including a Fiat 500L with one of the more bizarre transmission shift faults we’ve come across.

http://blog.caranddriver.com/fiat-c...day-after-terrible-consumer-reports-rankings/
 

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Hmm. I didn't know Fiat-Chrysler had a "quality" chief.
 

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Here is a link to the chart from the story:

LINK
 

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Hmm. I didn't know Fiat-Chrysler had a "quality" chief.
Same here. Judging by Chrysler Group's perennially low scores in both Consumer Reports' reliability survey and J.D. Power's IQS and VDS, it seems that "uphill challenge" is quite the understatement to describe Betts' situation as the company's quality chief.
 

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I just don't get it. Why is it American brands have such a difficult time with reliability? It must be a cultural thing because it's year...after year...after year, much to their chagrin...and nothing changes. If it were not a cultural thing, it only seems logical the companies would have addressed the issue by now. There really is no other way to explain it.

Or am I just not seeing the bigger picture? Please help me and please don't say Buick as a counter example because Buick has been inconsistent at best and is just a microcosm of a huge industry of across the board failure.
 

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When it comes to recalls, Fiat-Chrysler is an arrogant S.O.B., they basically tell the NHTSA to stick it where the sun don't shine and do recalls on there own time frame or argue their vehicles are safe when in fact they are defective.
 

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I just don't get it. Why is it American brands have such a difficult time with reliability? It must be a cultural thing because it's year...after year...after year, much to their chagrin...and nothing changes. If it were not a cultural thing, it only seems logical the companies would have addressed the issue by now. There really is no other way to explain it.

Or am I just not seeing the bigger picture? Please help me and please don't say Buick as a counter example because Buick has been inconsistent at best and is just a microcosm of a huge industry of across the board failure.
It is important to take into consideration that perception is reality. Those who continuously purchase the status quo will inherently give said brands a pass on things as just part of the "normal" ownership experience and/or a perception that "it's gotta be so much worse if it were a domestic." Thus, they will continue to give high marks despite any negatives that truly occurred.

To explain the continued drop when Chrysler has released compelling products (comparative to years prior), one might find that many of these are conquest ownership experiences. Pointing to my antecedent above, I believe this is again due to the perception that one took on so much trepidation to "give Chrysler a shot," but "buyers remorse" may set in at even the most minor of "issues" so as to exaggerate problems and reinforce one's perception that their previous import was far superior -- "I should have known better than to try domestic"
 

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Well, first of all, as always with CR, you have to make sure of the sample data - because you know ..... let's just call it the six to ten year old Audi in the sample data effect.

You cannot string together 55 months of massive sales improvements - which go far beyond just raw volume metrics - and be off the pace like this.

Meanwhile, many of the top picks for Toyota and Lexus continue to SUA their silly asses off; and oh yes that includes not only recalled product that has been laughably fixed but also new builds well past MYR 2010.


Funny thing is..... longer term sales success seems to be best predicted by an average or below score......
 
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Has anyone seen what Consumer reports weights and how they weight it in their survey?. I know they have been flagged for using poor methods in the past, though some placements seem to line up with other surveys while others do not.
 

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I just don't get it. Why is it American brands have such a difficult time with reliability? It must be a cultural thing because it's year...after year...after year, much to their chagrin...and nothing changes. If it were not a cultural thing, it only seems logical the companies would have addressed the issue by now. There really is no other way to explain it.

Or am I just not seeing the bigger picture? Please help me and please don't say Buick as a counter example because Buick has been inconsistent at best and is just a microcosm of a huge industry of across the board failure.
There is a LOT that you are flat out missing with these surveys....

The way JDpower does its survey makes it easier to understand one consistent factor from the data in these surveys. That is overall long term the industry is worlds better then what it once was. The worst brand today is probably a good deal better then the best brand some 20 years ago.

also the way a survey is done and what is weighted how has a huge impact on the results. The one flaw in JDpowers overall score is that they really take things that have nothing to do with reliability and that has an impact. For example I may not like the way a touch screen infotainment system is working so it takes a hit. However JD does give you just the mechanical stuff as well though you have to read into the information. Though the problems per 100 vehicles method means this years results can be compared to previous years results. Just a flat ranking system will not tell you that all brands did worse or better.

The biggest issue in the way that I know Consumer Reports does its survey is they draw from their subscribers (I don't know if they still do it that way). Because of this two things will happen, one is certain brands will have a very small sample volume (Buick may be an example of this). When you have a tiny sample size getting a few good results can swing your car up and a few bad can swing your results down. Consumer reports years ago was called out because they gave a rating on a vehicle on a tiny sample size. This would explain Buicks wild results, from one year to another as one year they could get the good results and the next they can get the bad. Another huge factor which is probably the biggest factor involved is confirmation bias, Japanese cars can get away with more problems before people consider them to be unreliable then can American cars. So if you were someone who subscribed to consumer reports for a long time you are probably more likely to buy something Japanese. If you purchase something that is either European or American and you experience one problem then confirmation bias will kick in and boom it is a POS.

For that reason CR results on cars are completely useless (if some of the results are skewed and flawed then it taints all results). And JDpower can be hard to understand, though truth be told there is the other factor. People will look to CR like you because they have a bias against American cars and they are looking for affirmation. And some others will look for surveys that show American cars well because of their bias for American cars. In those situations there could be 10 good or bad reports however they get ignored and the one that shows what they want to see sticks out to them.
 

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People will look to CR like you because they have a bias against American cars and they are looking for affirmation.
CR definitely doesn't have any bias against American cars, as several vehicles that have garnered very high ratings and 'recommended' status from the publication are American (e.g., Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Impala V6, Tesla Model S).

If there's any bias on CR's part, it's against recommending products that have not scored well in their evaluations and/or have dubious repair & reliability records. That's a judicious stance.

BTW, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is not an American company.
 
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CR definitely doesn't have any bias against American cars, as several vehicles that have garnered very high ratings and 'recommended' status from the publication are American (e.g., Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Impala V6, Tesla Model S).

If there's any bias on CR's part, it's against recommending products that have not scored well in their evaluations and/or have dubious repair & reliability records. That's a judicious stance.

BTW, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is not an American company.
The bias that would show up at least with the way that they use to do things isn't within CR itself. I find that they do a pretty good job with their reviews, it is actually with the user base which is where they get their data from (unless they no longer do things that way). When I said they (i should have been more clear) I am talking about those who subscribe to consumer reports. As it turns out we don't take ad dollars doesn't mean that your results are going to be perfect or better.
 

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One thing that you will find with Dodge/Ram, Ford, and Chevy/GMC is that they sell HD trucks that the "higher" rated companies do not. These trucks are used hard and put away wet. They are used for hard work. Thus, they will have more issues. These issues reflect poorly on the companies when much of the time it comes from right out abuse of the product.

You will also fine the Big 2.5 also have a much higher percentage of their 1/2 ton trucks used in fleets, which also leads to the same issues.

Consumer reports allow their personal bias to show also. They hate MFT and Cue, and thus are much more harsh on those products than they are on products that have low tech infotainment systems, like Toyota. Of course, that does not explain the Fiatsler issue, as they have generally liked U-Connect.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I just don't get it. Why is it American brands have such a difficult time with reliability? It must be a cultural thing because it's year...after year...after year, much to their chagrin...and nothing changes. If it were not a cultural thing, it only seems logical the companies would have addressed the issue by now. There really is no other way to explain it.

Or am I just not seeing the bigger picture? Please help me and please don't say Buick as a counter example because Buick has been inconsistent at best and is just a microcosm of a huge industry of across the board failure.
One thing to remember is that these rankings are all relative to an average. It's not that American brands are that bad, it's just that the competition keeps improving year after year and American brands lag instead of lead.
 

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Why is this a surprise? It has ALWAYS been this way.

Since the '50s when my Dad bought Plymouths because they were the cheapest and crappiest used cars. But he was a genius at keeping them going because they were simple and parts were cheap.

Since the '60s when Dad finally decided to but a new station wagon, and the shifter on the Plymouth he was test driving fell off in his hand. He bought a Ford (something he had never done before) because he couldn't wear a hat while sitting in the Chevy. Fords served us well for another 40 years.

Since the '70s/'80s when my brother was left on the road multiple times by various MOPAR compact fleet vehicles at AT&T. When he asked about getting something better his boss laughed and told him "maybe, give it another ten years, too many ahead of you who paid their dues in those POS's".

I know MOPAR builds some appealing looking vehicles, but there is just very little substance there. They depend on each new generation of buyers not hearing or not believing the institutional knowledge out there. I don't know, but suspect adding FIAT to the mix isn't going to help. Those of use who worked on the FIATs of the 70's will NEVER forget.
 

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They also dumped on the Cruze and Ford small cars as they are way inferior to there love children Corolla and Civic. I know a total of 8 Cruze owners and none have had issues with any 2012 on up cars. Only a small number of 2011 cars had turbo issues and the oil smell problem.
 

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One thing to remember is that these rankings are all relative to an average. It's not that American brands are that bad, it's just that the competition keeps improving year after year and American brands lag instead of lead.
You mean like toyota's taco,or nissan's frontier? Same same with the tundra and titan.I know,they're trucks,but I don't care much about cars but the point is the same.The taco and frontier are damn near 10 years old.The tundra had a bling upgrade but still has the same old underpinnings.The titan should be all new for my15....with a cummins option.same with the frontier maybe for 15 or 16.
 
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