Automotive Critics Bribed for Good Reviews?Posted: September 21, 2011
While some car critics can be depended on to give honest reviews, a number may be holding back to preserve free car privileges.
Often critics are given top notch cars insured for a week of free use, and while use of the car is necessary to write a review, are the privileges keeping consumers from getting the information they deserve?
Steven Cole Smith, the automotive editor of the Orlando Sentinel and Sun-sentinel, believes that his reviews are honest and helpful to consumers, but he sometimes doubts his colleagues’ integrity.
Former Chicago Tribune’s car reviewer Jim Mateja says, “A few — or more than a few — would never say anything bad about a car, because they wanted to keep getting free cars to drive.”
If we want the public to know the truth about cars perhaps we need a better system to weed out the “free riders” and find the honest critics of the industry.