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Toyota, Honda must fess up to less vroom

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Toyota, Honda must fess up to less vroom

New testing standards force carmakers to reduce claims

Nick Bunkley / The Detroit News

March 13, 2006

It turns out Toyota Motor Corp. isn't as strong as it appears in at least one area -- under the hood.

Testing under stricter new horsepower standards reveals that most of the models in Toyota's lineup have less oomph than the company has advertised. Even though the engines are unchanged, the automaker had to lower the horsepower ratings on all but few 2006 Toyota, Lexus and Scion models. The reductions range from 4 to 20 horsepower compared with 2005 models.

Honda Motor Co., the No. 2 Japanese automaker, also has downgraded the horsepower ratings on several models, including most of its Acura luxury brand.

But while the Japanese automakers overstated their power, an analysis of data compiled by Edmunds.com shows domestic vehicles have generally been testing at or slightly above previously stated horsepower. The testing suggests Detroit's automakers may have suffered unfairly in the battle of perceptions.

While drivers may not notice the difference, said George Peterson, president of consulting firm AutoPacific Inc, "it does matter to the manufacturers because each one is engaged in what I would call a brochure war where they're competing for the best specifications. And the average American likes a bigger horsepower number than a smaller one."

Most notably for Toyota, the rating for its top-selling Camry, when equipped with a 3.3-liter V-6 engine, had to be reduced to 190 horsepower from 210.

The V-6 version of Toyota's Highlander sport utility vehicle dropped from 230 to 215, and the Lexus LS and SC 430 decreased by 12.

The revised ratings comply with standards adopted by the Society of Automotive Engineers.

The standards specify which components and accessories should be on during testing and what kind of oil and fuel to use. To claim an SAE-certified rating, an automaker also must conduct tests in the presence of an independent witness.

"The intent of the revision was to tighten up the specifications," said Gary Pollak, an SAE program manager. "There were a lot of areas that were loose and subject to interpretation."

Peterson doesn't expect Toyota or Honda to face the same kind of backlash that Hyundai Motor Co. did after inflating the horsepower ratings of its U.S. vehicles by as much as 10 percent for more than a decade. The South Korea-based automaker agreed in 2004 to pay $30 million to settle a lawsuit filed on behalf of 858,000 owners.

But for consumers who covet powerful engines and allow horsepower ratings to influence which vehicles they purchase, the revisions could chip away at Honda and Toyota's reputations.

Consumers haven't taken kindly to overhyped claims.

In 2001, Nissan Motor Co. came under fire after overstating the acceleration of its Infiniti Q45 sedan. Ford Motor Co. admitted overstating the horsepower rating of its 1999 Mustang Cobra R, and Mazda Motor Corp. did the same with the 2001 Miata roadster. Buyers of both cars were offered compensation.

The new rating also could make some vehicles less appealing to consumers who start shopping by researching specifications on the Internet. The V-6 Camry's 190 horsepower pales next to competitors such as the 221-horsepower Ford Fusion, although that will change soon when the 2007 Camry is introduced with 268 horses.

Toyota spokesman John McCandless noted that the company was proactive in testing all of its vehicles under the new standards.

"We've never really been big on promoting horsepower," McCandless said. "The proof in the pudding is driving the car."

Darren Seeman, who runs the Web sites ToyotaLife.com, LexusLife.com and ScionLife.com from home in Portland, Ore., doesn't think people who bought a Toyota before the latest tests were conducted will feel misled or cheated. "Honestly, I don't think a lot of people buy a Toyota brand for the horsepower," said Seeman, 29. While Toyota and Honda have subjected their entire lineups to the new standards, Detroit's automakers are mostly retesting vehicles with new powertrains.

Eventually, all vehicles are expected to be rated according to the new standards.

"What we put in place were pretty much common practice at GM, and at Ford and Chrysler as well," said Dave Lancaster, a technical fellow at General Motors Corp. who chaired the committee that developed the standards. GM has submitted results from 11 engine lines -- covering popular vehicles such as the Chevrolet Malibu and Impala, Pontiac G6 and Cadillac DTS -- to SAE for certification. The tests bumped up the horsepower ratings for the Malibu, Impala and G6 by 1 for 2006.

DaimlerChrysler AG has retested its higher-performance vehicles, including the Dodge Viper and those equipped with a Hemi engine. The Viper went from 500 horsepower to 510, while the ratings for most others changed less than 4 percent, Chrysler Group spokesman Cole Quinnell said.

Under the previous guidelines, Quinnell said, "a lot of times we chose to publish a number that was lower than what another manufacturer might choose."

Ford has found virtually no changes in testing under the new standards. Company officials say the new 3.5-liter V-6 planned for the 2007 Ford Edge, Lincoln MKX and Lincoln MKZ will provide at least the 250 horsepower it has promised.

"It's not in our best interest to give customers an inaccurate picture of what kind of power their car has," Ford spokesman Nick Twork said.

Honda saw the horsepower ratings on the Odyssey minivan and Pilot SUV fall from 255 to 244. The CR-V and Element went from 160 to 156. Various Accord styles had slight gains. Six of the seven Acura models were downgraded, including the RL, TL and MDX.

Honda spokesman Chuck Schifsky said the company wanted to be up-front with customers by retesting all of its vehicles, even though that meant reducing many of the horsepower ratings. "We're still pretty darn competitive with all of our vehicles, even with the new specs," Schifsky said.

Honda and Toyota have been educating dealers about the changes. Dan Hurd, a salesman at LaFontaine Toyota in Dearborn, said, "They're more concerned with the drive and the fit and finish."

Seeman, who operates the Web sites, said he doesn't feel any differently about his Lexus SC 430 knowing that it was downgraded from 300 horsepower to 288. "I'm still going to tell people it's 300."

You can reach Nick Bunkley at (313) 222-2293 or nbunkley@detnews.com.

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Hate to be cynical, but I wonder how much the new requirement for "To claim an SAE-certified rating, an automaker also must conduct tests in the presence of an independent witness" has to do with Toyota/Honda's new lower figures. :bs:

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Haha this is probably a good thing for Toyota and Honda. Because if they actually put the stated horsepower out of their engines, they'd probably self destruct! :P:deadhorse:

Guess the sheeple shoulda bought a domestic (GM) :CG_all:

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Hate to be cynical, but I wonder how much the new requirement for "To claim an SAE-certified rating, an automaker also must conduct tests in the presence of an independent witness" has to do with Toyota/Honda's new lower figures.  :bs:

None. Certification is optional and so far only GM is doing it.

At the moment the different rating systems are:

DIN 70020 - old and rather lax. Sometimes quoted by European manufacturers for comparison with the EEC.

EEC 80/1269 - new European standard required for type certification. Essentially similar to pre-2006 SAE standard. US subsidiaries sometimes forget to convert from PS to US hp.

JIS D 1001 - new Japanese standard developed by the Japanese SAE (a probable source of confusion). Similar to the UN ECE Reg.85 and DIN 70020, not to be confused with the EEC (European Economic Community).

SAE J1349 (2005) - latest SAE standard, revised to produce results closer to actual driving conditions. More losses to accessories, but also allowances for active exhaust systems which can produce more power.

ISO 1585:1992 - based on an older SAE standard, essentialy similar to EEC and SAE standards, often quoted by Ford Europe. In South America GM uses the Brazilian NBR standard based on the ISO.

The SAE certification standard applies to both gross and net horsepower tests and is in addition to the revised J1349 standard.

DIN, ECE and JIS standards are corrected to a lower temperature and higher pressure than the ISO/EEC/SAE standards. Just like an intercooled turbo, this produces higher output figures. Additionally "horsepower" in non-English-speaking nations generally refers to metric horsepower (PS/CH/CV/HK), not US or UK hp. 1 PS is not quite as much as 1 hp, so this also produces a higher figure, which translated press releases often don't correct for. VW America sometimes gets caught out, quoting the correct kW, but the wrong hp, as do media quoting European data. Prior to 2006 Honda and Toyota in the US had been quoting the Japanese JIS figures, without correcting for the SAE standard's higher temperature and lower pressure (there are standard conversion formula), or even converting from metric to US hp. Add in the tougher 2005 SAE standard and you get some rather big drops in apparent hp.

Where possible you can compare hp figures produced by each standard by cchecking European, Japanese and US specs for the same model. In general:

DIN (if quoted) will be highest, followed by;

JIS

EEC

SAE (post 01/2006)

Honda's figures for the new Civic appear to be JIS PS, rather than SAE hp as claimed (or at least, they quote the same figures regardless of standard or units—140 PS JIS, 140 PS EEC and 140 hp SAE). Somebody screwed up somewhere.

Edited by thegriffon

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Thanks, Griffon. I was waiting for a full explanation on the differences between standards used. I bolded some of the portions if you don't mind.

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Toyota, Honda must fess up to less vroom

New testing standards force carmakers to reduce claims

Nick Bunkley / The Detroit News

March 13, 2006

Of course, NO mainstream media coverage...

But while the Japanese automakers overstated their power, an analysis of data compiled by Edmunds.com shows domestic vehicles have generally been testing at or slightly above previously stated horsepower. The testing suggests Detroit's automakers may have suffered unfairly in the battle of perceptions.

No $h! sherlock?!?!?!?! They suffer ALL the time because media idiots like you believe EVERYTHING the import companies say as GOSPEL!!!! If they're not being honest in respect to something AS BASIC AS horsepower ratings, then WHAT ELSE are they LIEING about?!?!?!

While drivers may not notice the difference, said George Peterson, president of consulting firm AutoPacific Inc,

Oh geez.... The "dismiss it as not a big deal" disclaimer from an industry "analyst"

Most notably for Toyota, the rating for its top-selling Camry, when equipped with a 3.3-liter V-6 engine, had to be reduced to 190 horsepower from 210.

Weak ass OHC motors :rolleyes:

Peterson doesn't expect Toyota or Honda to face the same kind of backlash that Hyundai Motor Co. did after inflating the horsepower ratings of its U.S. vehicles by as much as 10 percent for more than a decade. The South Korea-based automaker agreed in 2004 to pay $30 million to settle a lawsuit filed on behalf of 858,000 owners.

Okay...

1) OF COURSE NOT!!! They're Honda and Toyota, our saviours and masters.

2) What a stupid reason to sue a company for, and one that I (SURPRISE!!!) hadn't heard about. Americans will do ANYTHING for $$$.

But for consumers who covet powerful engines and allow horsepower ratings to influence which vehicles they purchase, the revisions could chip away at Honda and Toyota's reputations.

READ: all 59 of you.... A their reputation isn't DAMAGED, it's "chipped"

Consumers haven't taken kindly to overhyped claims.

The new rating also could make some vehicles less appealing to consumers who start shopping by researching specifications on the Internet. The V-6 Camry's 190 horsepower pales next to competitors such as the 221-horsepower Ford Fusion, although that will change soon when the 2007 Camry is introduced with 268 horses.

A day short and a dollar late... AS ALWAYS!

"We've never really been big on promoting horsepower," McCandless said. "The proof in the pudding is driving the car."

Oh, what the F*ck ever..... Just wait until that new Tundra comes out. THEN we'll see that this statement was a calculated LIE just like 90% of Toyota's PR.

Darren Seeman, who runs the Web sites ToyotaLife.com, LexusLife.com and ScionLife.com from home in Portland, Ore., doesn't think people who bought a Toyota before the latest tests were conducted will feel misled or cheated. "Honestly, I don't think a lot of people buy a Toyota brand for the horsepower," said Seeman, 29. While Toyota and Honda have subjected their entire lineups to the new standards, Detroit's automakers are mostly retesting vehicles with new powertrains.

Nope... They're MINDLESS drones who buy them because they're told to and they haven't got the sense to GET A LIFE and test drive for themselves.

I'd love to meet this 29 year old loser.... I bet he still lives with his parents, wears vanilla khakis and sweaters and hasn't been laid in 10-12 years.

Oh, and I love the "let's screw Detroit's perception over" there at the end of this paragraph. It's akin to saying "Toyota and Honda are still better because" with your nose up in the air.

Under the previous guidelines, Quinnell said, "a lot of times we chose to publish a number that was lower than what another manufacturer might choose."

More Detroit good sportsmanship that gets them nothing but SCREWED OVER.

"It's not in our best interest to give customers an inaccurate picture of what kind of power their car has," Ford spokesman Nick Twork said.

Wow... Did he have the script in his hand when he read that line?

Honda spokesman Chuck Schifsky said the company wanted to be up-front with customers by retesting all of its vehicles, even though that meant reducing many of the horsepower ratings.

LOL... Yeah, I'm sure of it.... [damage control mode: ON]

But, if that were the case, why not BE UP-FRONT with those customers in the first place?????????

"We're still pretty darn competitive with all of our vehicles, even with the new specs," Schifsky said.

Well, if "pretty darn competitive" doesn't count for GM (according to the media) then it sure as hell shouldn't count for you.

Seeman, who operates the Web sites, said he doesn't feel any differently about his Lexus SC 430 knowing that it was downgraded from 300 horsepower to 288. "I'm still going to tell people it's 300."

:rotflmao: !!!!!!!!

There you have it!!!! A tried and true TOYOTA fan/representative!!!! LIES ABOUT HIS CARS DEFICIENCIES, PULLS THE WOOL OVER THE EYES OF THE CONSUMER 'JUST BECAUSE', IS SO OUT OF TOUCH WITH REALITY IN HIS TOYOTA MINDF*CK THAT EVENTHOUGH SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE TELLS HIM THAT HIS PERCEPTION ISN'T RIGHT HE STILL CONTINUES TO STICK TO IT LIKE A SALTED SLUG AND FURTHERMORE, IF HE DOES BELIEVE THE SCIENCE, BOTCHES THE NUMBERS IN TOYOTA'S FAVOR ANYWAY

HEY CONSUMER REPORTS!!!!!!! I found you a new editor!!!!!!!!

Frikkin' BEAUTIFUL!!!! I couldn't ASK for a better example.

**** This is just a PRIME example of SHADY BACK HANDED Asian business practices. Detroit plays fair, the asians DO NOT. And it's high time that either someone INFORMS the world of that fact OR Detroit stops being a fair handed pansy.

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Of course, NO mainstream media coverage...

No $h! sherlock?!?!?!?! They suffer ALL the time because media idiots like you believe EVERYTHING the import companies say as GOSPEL!!!! If they're not being honest in respect to something AS BASIC AS horsepower ratings, then WHAT ELSE are they LIEING about?!?!?!

Oh geez.... The "dismiss it as not a big deal" disclaimer from an industry "analyst"

Weak ass OHC motors :rolleyes:

Okay...

1) OF COURSE NOT!!! They're Honda and Toyota, our saviours and masters.

2) What a stupid reason to sue a company for, and one that I (SURPRISE!!!) hadn't heard about. Americans will do ANYTHING for $$$.

READ: all 59 of you.... A their reputation isn't DAMAGED, it's "chipped"

A day short and a dollar late... AS ALWAYS!

Oh, what the F*ck ever..... Just wait until that new Tundra comes out. THEN we'll see that this statement was a calculated LIE just like 90% of Toyota's PR.

Nope... They're MINDLESS drones who buy them because they're told to and they haven't got the sense to GET A LIFE and test drive for themselves.

I'd love to meet this 29 year old loser.... I bet he still lives with his parents, wears vanilla khakis and sweaters and hasn't been laid in 10-12 years.

Oh, and I love the "let's screw Detroit's perception over" there at the end of this paragraph. It's akin to saying "Toyota and Honda are still better because" with your nose up in the air.

More Detroit good sportsmanship that gets them nothing but SCREWED OVER.

Wow... Did he have the script in his hand when he read that line?

LOL... Yeah, I'm sure of it.... [damage control mode: ON]

But, if that were the case, why not BE UP-FRONT with those customers in the first place?????????

Well, if "pretty darn competitive" doesn't count for GM (according to the media) then it sure as hell shouldn't count for you.

:rotflmao: !!!!!!!!

There you have it!!!! A tried and true TOYOTA fan/representative!!!! LIES ABOUT HIS CARS DEFICIENCIES, PULLS THE WOOL OVER THE EYES OF THE CONSUMER 'JUST BECAUSE', IS SO OUT OF TOUCH WITH REALITY IN HIS TOYOTA MINDF*CK THAT EVENTHOUGH SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE TELLS HIM THAT HIS PERCEPTION ISN'T RIGHT HE STILL CONTINUES TO STICK TO IT LIKE A SALTED SLUG AND FURTHERMORE, IF HE DOES BELIEVE THE SCIENCE, BOTCHES THE NUMBERS IN TOYOTA'S FAVOR ANYWAY

HEY CONSUMER REPORTS!!!!!!! I found you a new editor!!!!!!!!

Frikkin' BEAUTIFUL!!!! I couldn't ASK for a better example.

**** This is just a PRIME example of SHADY BACK HANDED Asian business practices. Detroit plays fair, the asians DO NOT. And it's high time that either someone INFORMS the world of that fact OR Detroit stops being a fair handed pansy.

LOL...

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Along the same vein, I do not believe that I am the only one that was led (or shall I more accurately say, deliberately MISled) to believe that Toyota employed roughly 130,000 people here in the United States. It was a number that was tossed around at the same time they rolled out their NASCAR race car. But as the article imply's, it is perfectly fine for Toyota to twist a few words here and there to put a message in a potential customer's "mind". But on the odd chance a greedy American manufacturer forgets to dot an "i", it is symbolic of their inherent dishonesty.

BTW, exactly who is deliberately manipulating currency values to put Americans out of work? Not "give value" but destroy the competition's profit. When the present is the past, what Americans are buying will be revealed as not the "best product" but the worst choice.

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......well I wouldn't say they have less vroom.......

Even de-rated, the new Avalon still shoots from 0-60 in 6secs flat (C&D comparo) and the slightly de-rated Passat 3.6L (280 down to 276) went even quicker at 5.9secs to 60 (C&D road test.)

Even as impressive as the new pushrod 3.9L is in the Monte Carlo rental I'm driving now is.....it's nothing compared to these two V6 motors.......

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......well I wouldn't say they have less vroom.......

Even de-rated, the new Avalon still shoots from 0-60 in 6secs flat (C&D comparo) and the slightly de-rated Passat 3.6L (280 down to 276) went even quicker at 5.9secs to 60 (C&D road test.)

Even as impressive as the new pushrod 3.9L is in the Monte Carlo rental I'm driving now is.....it's nothing compared to these two V6 motors.......

At least it's hp and torque are acurately represented. And I have never been able to duplicate C&D's 0-60 times on any car I have driven, GM's included. They even admit to using calculations and formulas to derive the times to adjust for altitude, temperature and road surfaces etc.

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At least it's hp and torque are acurately represented. And I have never been able to duplicate C&D's 0-60 times on any car I have driven, GM's included. They even admit to using calculations and formulas to derive the times to adjust for altitude, temperature and road surfaces etc.

....but at least if you compare 0-60 times all from the same source (in this case, C&D) then I think it's somewhat relative.....ESPECIALLY in C&D's case because they DO correct for testing-condition-variations....

Avalon 6.0secs

Passat 5.9secs

Lucerne V8 6.9secs

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The Avalon has not been de-rated, it's a new engine only tested to the new SAE standard. By comparison, the slightly more powerful version in the RX350 has been tested to under the Japanese standard as well. While the SAE figures for that engine are 272 hp and 252 lb-ft, under the Japanese test (Toyota Harrier) it gets at least 276 hp (Toyota will not own up to more in the Japanese market) and 255 lb-ft. The direct-injection version in the IS350 is rated at 306 hp SAE and in Japan 314 hp (it's no-holds-bared for Lexus when it comes to reporting hp). Just think about all that extra hp you get in colder weather, useful for overcoming all the extra drag from the denser air.

Edited by thegriffon

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....but at least if you compare 0-60 times all from the same source (in this case, C&D) then I think it's somewhat relative.....ESPECIALLY in C&D's case because they DO correct for testing-condition-variations....

Avalon  6.0secs

Passat  5.9secs

Lucerne V8  6.9secs

Aren't they both alot lighter than the Lucerne though? That should be taken into consideration when comparing engines.

4013lbs, Length: 203.2 in. Width: 73.8 in. for the Lucerne,

3560 lbs Length: 197.2 in. Width: 72.8 in. for the Avalon

3576lbs Length: 188.2 in. Width: 71.7 in. for the Passat.

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Aren't they both alot lighter than the Lucerne though? That should be taken into consideration when comparing engines.

4013lbs, Length: 203.2 in.  Width: 73.8 in.  for the Lucerne,

3560 lbs Length: 197.2 in.  Width: 72.8 in.  for the Avalon

3576lbs Length: 188.2 in.  Width: 71.7 in. for the Passat.

Maybe.....but it all depends on what stat you wanna look at.

Nearly fully equipped, all three are in the same price range ($36k - $39K.) SO, if you are shopping for a vehicle in that price range, you are presented with two V6 offerings that perform far superior to the V8 GM product......with supposedly superior fuel economy.

That's my point.

Now, maybe that's not the final deciding factor in your decision, but it is an interesting point to ponder.

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Interesting how the media didn't make a big deal out of this. <_< Now on the other hand if it had been GM or Ford who were guilty of this it would have been on the front page of every newspaper in N. America! :rolleyes:

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isn't it sad.

Well Detroit Free Press has a reason i guess. The Unions Strikes.... but thats a long story and was long ago. and it doesnt help that they will pay you for info and False sayings. I KNOW FOR EXPERIENCE.

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