Sychophantic (and biased) motoring media?

Sychophantic (and biased) motoring media?

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Discussion

K666ADM

156 posts

130 months

Monday 7th March 2016
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This is very true, you can even spot the manufacturers going after the 'new media' and the You Tube bloggers and Twitter Monkies with nice incentives and press packs that give generous gifting, tours, trade show access, even sponsorship. Dont beleive anyones opinion but your own - as X Files guided us - Trust No One.

williamp said:
It happens, but could it happen any other way?

Back in the mid 90s, jobbing car journo Jeremy Clarkson wrote for performance car magazine. One month his back page, which I still have told about the press launches: deliberately an exotic location. Flown out there, best booze flowing on tap, best food, best hotels. The bunfight over the car with the most powerful engine, even though they knew the majority of owners would buy the 1.4 L model. Caning the car for a laugh, seeing what would go wrong.

Get to the hotel, to find the free gifts the manufacturer had left for you in the rooms. Go to dinner, try not to fall asleep during the engineers briefing, try to shag the car companies PR girl...

Then writing good stuff about it, coz it as basically a free few days holiday somewhere hot and pretty. And who in their right mind would want to leave that gravy train, knowing you will easily be replaced?

And if you started your own car company, could you honestly get the same press coverage (or any coverage???) if you invite them to your HQ on a Corby industrial estate, with a hand typed press release and a tin of mints so say thanks??

spreadsheet monkey

3,477 posts

166 months

Monday 7th March 2016
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No input from PH staff on this article!

swisstoni

7,462 posts

218 months

Monday 7th March 2016
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I can't remember reading about chocolate Porsche engines in any established press. I had to research it (on PH forums to some extent) when thinking about getting a 997 and a Cayenne in the past (see I'm not anti-German cars, just anti-junk from any manufacturer).

yonex

13,373 posts

107 months

Monday 7th March 2016
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twoblacklines said:
The only equivalent BMW to an R8 is...the i8 which is nothing like it.
Neither is an A3. There is little point discussing how numb an A3 is, that is not prejudice, it's fact.

Ozzie Osmond

21,189 posts

185 months

Monday 7th March 2016
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swisstoni said:
I can't remember reading about chocolate Porsche engines in any established press.
That's an interesting point and one that's of interest to many owners.

My own research indicated that only a small proportion of engines have failed and there are at least some links to the way the cars have been used. However, because Porsche sell a LOT of sportscars the actual number of failures looks significant even though it's a small percentage. As a proportion it stands in contrast with the Rover K Series engine, which was generally recognised as a head gasket failure waiting to happen, and the TVR 6-cylinder which played a role in their demise.
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RB Will

5,528 posts

179 months

Monday 7th March 2016
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I guess most relatively new car reviews wouldnt know about common problems after months/ years of ownership.

Most places that do buyers guides would list common faults.

highway

1,079 posts

199 months

Monday 7th March 2016
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996 engine issues were known on 997 launch. Totally glossed over by magazines. As were the fact early 997's suffered the same issues. Car magazine once famously called a VW they tested a lemon. The motoring press are too timid to risk nibbling the hands that feed. Wouldn't you wonder why it wasn't a dedicated car magazine who broke the news re VW emissions cheating?

Why have none of the plethora of car magazines written anything significant regarding how no new cars can meet the mpg figures they publish?

You may think this would be there bread and butter. Everyone knows the mpg figures published relate to lab conditions. There's a 'scandal' there commensurate with VWs having some cheat code installed in the ECU. It would be damaging to many marques and its in the public interest to highlight. Nothing. Ask why...

s m

17,239 posts

142 months

Monday 7th March 2016
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highway said:
996 engine issues were known on 997 launch. Totally glossed over by magazines. As were the fact early 997's suffered the same issues. Car magazine once famously called a VW they tested a lemon. The motoring press are too timid to risk nibbling the hands that feed. Wouldn't you wonder why it wasn't a dedicated car magazine who broke the news re VW emissions cheating?

Why have none of the plethora of car magazines written anything significant regarding how no new cars can meet the mpg figures they publish?

You may think this would be there bread and butter. Everyone knows the mpg figures published relate to lab conditions.

[There's a 'scandal' there commensurate with VWs having some cheat code installed in the ECU. It would be damaging to many marques and its in the public interest to highlight. Nothing. Ask why...
To be fair to What Car, AutoExpress and Autocar they've all done articles on 'Claimed/Govt mpg' and when they do a full test they produce actual real world mpg figures

swisstoni

7,462 posts

218 months

Monday 7th March 2016
quotequote all
Ozzie Osmond said:
swisstoni said:
I can't remember reading about chocolate Porsche engines in any established press.
That's an interesting point and one that's of interest to many owners.

My own research indicated that only a small proportion of engines have failed and there are at least some links to the way the cars have been used. However, because Porsche sell a LOT of sportscars the actual number of failures looks significant even though it's a small percentage. As a proportion it stands in contrast with the Rover K Series engine, which was generally recognised as a head gasket failure waiting to happen, and the TVR 6-cylinder which played a role in their demise.
There was much discussion about actual number of failures when I was reading up on it. Nobody knows is the answer. A lot would have been dealt with under warranty inside the cloisters of the OPC and never breathed a word of again and the rest seem to keep Hartech very busy to this day. I read where a certain well regarded independent Porsche specialist (with 3 letters for a name) simply won't sell certain model years.

RB Will

5,528 posts

179 months

Monday 7th March 2016
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highway said:
Why have none of the plethora of car magazines written anything significant regarding how no new cars can meet the mpg figures they publish?

You may think this would be there bread and butter. Everyone knows the mpg figures published relate to lab conditions. There's a 'scandal' there commensurate with VWs having some cheat code installed in the ECU. It would be damaging to many marques and its in the public interest to highlight. Nothing. Ask why...
I only read Top Gear mag but they have done a big feature on the VW thing, a had a few small articles on offical mpg being balls.

A lot of their tests refer to the cars not meeting the claimed mpg and they show their monthly and long term mpg of their long term test cars in every issue.

They have done a few feature articles doing road trips trying to get near claimed mpg and failing.


Lowtimer

4,014 posts

107 months

Monday 7th March 2016
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highway said:
Why have none of the plethora of car magazines written anything significant regarding how no new cars can meet the mpg figures they publish?
We all know why: it's because the legally mandatory EU test regime bears no relationship to any real-world driving conditions, and that is something that every car magazine covers. It's not a scandal at all, it's official policy.

Can you name a single car magazine that *doesn't* say what actual MPG it got on test, and publish that number alongside the official numbers? They all do.

coppice

5,038 posts

83 months

Monday 7th March 2016
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Plus ca change- manufacturers have published spurious claims for mpg for decades. At least the current testing regime is applied consistently and offers some general basis for comparison - except for leccy cars and hybrids- which will doubtless mean a 918 will do 89mpg.

But duller than dull Which and What Car apart , who the hell wants to buy a magazine that says 'Scoop- Aygo does 55mpg and not 72mpg ! We probe the scandal!' . I'd possibly buy the one with a picture of a Singer 911 and saying "Sensational Singer 911- how we drove Stuttgart's finest from Patagonia to Alaska"

highway

1,079 posts

199 months

Monday 7th March 2016
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Strange how the fact manufacturers mpg figures are mostly fiction causes so little ire yet VW programming a few lines of code which kick in during lab tests sends people into a rage. PH and those interested in cars may 'get' the fact that mpg figures are largely unachievable. However, the wider public have a reasonable right to expect the product they are buying is capable of doing what it's maker claims it can do.

This for me is a scandal on par with VW's cheat software. Yet no one really cares. Hence it continues. If a tabloid made an issue of it for a few weeks we might see a change.

Lowtimer

4,014 posts

107 months

Monday 7th March 2016
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highway said:
Strange how the fact manufacturers mpg figures are mostly fiction causes so little ire yet VW programming a few lines of code which kick in during lab tests sends people into a rage. PH and those interested in cars may 'get' the fact that mpg figures are largely unachievable. However, the wider public have a reasonable right to expect the product they are buying is capable of doing what it's maker claims it can do.
The conspiracy you appear to be looking for is a legislative one not a car-maker one. The fact that the EU test cycle is ridiculous is the EU's fault, not the car maker's, and nowhere does the EU test cycle claim to be representative of what you will get driving your way over your routes. Car manufacturers certainly don't claim that for it.

highway said:
If a tabloid made an issue of it for a few weeks we might see a change.
Not without significant changes in the law at an EU level, you wouldn't. I'm afraid you simply don't understand the legal position on this.

It is explicitly illegal for any EU car manufacturer or importer to make any claim to fuel economy which is not the official EU test results. If a manufacturer or dealer said "here are the official numbers, but they're completely unrealistic, actually you might get anything between 18 and 35 mpg depending on how and where you drive" they'd be guilty of a criminal offence and liable to prosecution.

highway

1,079 posts

199 months

Monday 7th March 2016
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Try to be a bit less patronising. I understand that car makers are publishing mpg figures related to an eu cycle. My point is the figures published can't realistically be achieved in the real world. That's the story. That's the 'scandal' maybe you disagree. I maintain, for Joe Average, might look at published mpg figures and quite rightly expect that is what his prospective purchase can achieve.

Fact is, it can't. That's at best misleading. You seem to be arguing the manufacturers aren't at fault as they follow an unrealistic test formula. I expect better. Maybe you don't.

Stickyfinger

8,429 posts

44 months

Monday 7th March 2016
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Lowtimer said:
It is explicitly illegal for any EU car manufacturer or importer to make any claim to fuel economy which is not the official EU test results. If a manufacturer or dealer said "here are the official numbers, but they're completely unrealistic, actually you might get anything between 18 and 35 mpg depending on how and where you drive" they'd be guilty of a criminal offence and liable to prosecution.
Only if they claim it can do more......