Automotive Critics Bribed for Good Reviews?

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.

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2 Comments on “Automotive Critics Bribed for Good Reviews?”

  1. This certainly influences the market, thus it’s arguable that receiving free cars to drink may appear unethical. However, it comes with the territory. It makes you wonder if food reviewers are influenced by giveaways. They, in turn, influence where some people eat, especially visitors from out of town looking online for where to eat. It’s a catch-22, that may be impossible to avoid.

  2. tmt818 says:

    Although getting a free car is always wonderful, critics need to be truthful and objective in their reporting. It is the job of the journalist to remember that good reporting is for the people in the community not the businesses or corporations. Maybe another system could be created that would allow the reporters to truthfully share information with the public about products on the market.


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