Well it looks like Consumer Reports must be hurting for money again. Remember, they have to keep conjuring up attention-grabbing stories in order to sell enough magazines to fund themselves, since they won't accept advertisment revenue to allow for a secure source of income that encourages fair, unbiased reviews.
They made gobs of money at Suzuki's expense in 1988.
They made gobs of money at Isuzu's expense in 1996.
They'll be making gobs of money at Mitsubishi's expense in 2001.
A quote from their article describing the test shows the fault in their testing procedure: <blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr>
Our avoidance maneuvers are designed to simulate real-world emergencies in which a driver steers sharply left into an adjacent lane--to avoid hitting an obstacle or person in the road--then quickly back to the right to avoid oncoming traffic, and left again into the original lane.
The problem with this is that in the real world, drivers won't subject their vehicles to any more than 0.2-0.3 lateral G's in normal driving, and no more than 0.4-0.5 lateral G's in an emergency-avoidance maneuver. It's been proven in simulations and in real-world analysis of drivers' habits.
There is much too significant a chance for testing error to occur in CR's "scientific" rollover testing method. One of the main points that won Isuzu's case against CR was that the path of the Trooper through the cones compared to that of the other SUV's was completely different. Through analysis of the paths taken through the cones, it was found that while the other SUV's were not subjected to anymore than 0.7 lateral G's in CR's test, the Trooper was subjected to 1.2 G's. Something would have been wrong if it didn't
Fair and scientific testing? Not a chance. They tried 47 times to get the Samurai to tip up before finally
getting it to do so, resulting in cheers and applause from the CR staff being caught on tape. They were on a (difficult) mission and had finally reached their goal, so they cheered.
If you look closely at Consumer Reports' stories about the Samurai, Trooper, and Montero, you can see how they have learned how to cover their asses. They are fully expecting to be sued over this as they have in the past, so in reading their latest article it is plainly obvious the extent to which they are sugar-coating their "mission" and trying to eliminate any source of criticism from their reported testing methods.
They play on people's fears, making lots of money in the process but also taking advantage of their trust from the public. The problem, though, is that most people simply aren't smart enough to think for themselves and to consider Consumer Reports' motives; most of the public takes everything printed in CR's pages as The Word Of God, and don't question it.
Read the article for yourself at http://www.consumerreports.org/static/0107mit0.html
-- Geoff Beasley