Product Reviews

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Policy & Research Partners

Consumer Reports participates in and works with other organizations on the frontlines of consumer safety, testing, research, standard-setting, and advocacy.

For example, Consumer Reports is a member of the Consumer Federation of America, an association of nonprofit consumer organizations established in 1968 to advance consumer interest through research, advocacy, and education. CR is also a member of International Consumer Research & Testing (ICRT), a consortium of international consumer organizations established in 1990. ICRT uses methodologies and results from a broad range of international labs, including Consumer Reports (such as for computer printers), to provide other consumer-focused organizations in more than 30 countries with insights for product recommendations and reviews. Through standardization and data sharing, ICRT estimates that it saves member organizations between 60 and 90 percent for some tests, while enabling more consumers around the world to have the same quality of test results published in local magazines and digital content.

From the manufacturing and service delivery perspective, Consumer Reports participates with standards-setting bodies to improve reliability, interoperability, and safety across a wide range of consumer products and services. Our staff experts regularly collaborate in standards development through ASTM International, the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, the Society of Automotive Engineers, Underwriters Laboratories, and other leading standards bodies and industry organizations.

The Digital Standard is an ambitious, open, and collaborative effort to create a digital privacy and security standard to help guide the future design of consumer software, digital platforms and services, and internet-connected products.

The standard defines and reflects important consumer values that must be addressed in product development: electronics and software-based products should be secure, consumer information should be kept private, ownership rights of consumers should be maintained, and products should be designed to combat harassment and help protect freedom of expression.

Our goals are to enable consumer organizations to test, evaluate, and report on whether new products and services protect consumer security and privacy, and to empower consumers to make smarter choices about the products they buy. We also work to ensure that innovation is harnessed for the common good, and, together with consumers, to drive product design, market trends, and industry standards in ways that put the needs of people first.

The project is a collective effort, led by Consumer Reports, Disconnect, Ranking Digital Rights, and The Cyber Independent Testing Lab, with assistance from Aspiration, and seeks participation from a broad community of researchers, testers, and hobbyists. Learn more at thedigitalstandard.org.

With the goal of achieving a data-driven understanding of how drivers leverage vehicle automation, driver-assistance technologies, and the range of in-vehicle and portable technologies for connectivity and infotainment, the Advanced Vehicle Technology Consortium was launched in September 2015 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's AgeLab, Touchstone Evaluations, and Agero. Its members include AutoLiv, Delphi, Jaguar Land Rover, Liberty Mutual Insurance, Toyota, and Consumer Reports.

Using advanced computer-vision software and big data analytics, researchers are gathering data to quantify drivers’ actions, such as how they respond to various driving situations and perform other actions like eating and having conversations behind the wheel. The research is studying the moments when control transfers from the driver to the car and back again, as well as how drivers respond to alarms (such as forward collision and proximity detectors) and use new technologies (such as semi-autonomous parking assistance and assisted cruise control). The effort aims to develop human-centric insights that drive the safety and efficacy of automated vehicle technology development and advances the consumer’s understanding of appropriate technology usage.

 
Lab Partners

In addition to our own lab and track testing, some of our product evaluations, such as food safety or tires' rolling resistance, also involve specialized tests conducted in partnership with third-party testing labs and organizations, which must conform to CR's rigorous standards for accuracy.

 
Health Partners

Consumer Reports' information on drugs benefits from the work of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), a national professional association comprising more than 44,000 members—pharmacists, student pharmacists, and pharmacy technicians—who work with doctors and other healthcare professionals in hospitals, ambulatory-care clinics, health systems, and long-term-care and home-care facilities. ASHP's mission is to support pharmacists' efforts to help people realize the best possible healthcare experiences through the safe and effective use of medication. ASHP publishes the American Hospital Formulary Service (AHFS). The AHFS is a professional drug information source widely trusted for its established record in refuting unfounded efficacy claims, its rigorous science-based editorial process, and its independence from the influence of pharmaceutical manufacturers.

The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists represents that the information provided to Consumer Reports is formulated with a reasonable standard of care, and in conformity with professional standards in the field. The ASHP makes no representations or warranties, express or implied, including, but not limited to, any implied warranty of merchantability and/or fitness for a particular purpose, with respect to such information, and specifically disclaims all such warranties and representations. Users are advised that decisions regarding drug therapy are complex medical decisions requiring the independent, informed decision of an appropriate healthcare professional, and the information is provided for informational purposes only. The entire monograph for a drug should be reviewed for a thorough understanding of the drug's actions, uses, and side effects. The ASHP does not endorse or recommend the use of any drug. Its information is not a substitute for medical care.

The Leapfrog Group uses the collective leverage of large purchasers of health services to encourage improvements in the safety, quality, and affordability of American healthcare. The Leapfrog Group was founded in November 2000 by the Business Roundtable and is now independently operated with support from its members. The Leapfrog Hospital Survey compares hospitals' performance on the national standards of safety, quality, and efficiency that Leapfrog believes are most relevant to consumers and purchasers of care. Hospitals participate in the survey on a voluntary basis, and their data are publicly reported on the Leapfrog website. Leapfrog also provides hospital ratings based on measures beyond the Leapfrog Hospital Survey and licenses that data to other organizations, including Consumer Reports.

The Leapfrog Group does not warrant or endorse the accuracy, reliability, completeness, currentness, or timeliness of any data shown on cr.org and does not warrant or endorse the methodology used to compile data from different sources. The Leapfrog Group shall not be held liable for any and all losses or damages of any or all kinds caused by reliance on the accuracy, reliability, completeness, currentness, or timeliness of such information. Any person or entity is solely responsible for determining whether the data provided by The Leapfrog Group to Consumer Reports is suitable for their purposes. Any person or entity that relies on any data obtained from The Leapfrog Group via Consumer Reports does so at their own risk. The data is provided as is, as available and with all faults, and The Leapfrog Group disclaims any and all warranties, express or implied, including any warranty of title, non-infringement, fitness for a particular purpose, merchantability, or arising out of any course of conduct. The Leapfrog Group does not control or guarantee the accuracy, reliability, timeliness, or completeness of information contained in Consumer Reports’ use of its data.

The ratings of surgical groups that perform coronary artery bypass graft surgery that appear on cr.org are based on data from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS), a not-for-profit organization that represents about 7,400 surgeons, researchers, and other healthcare professionals who are part of cardiothoracic (heart, lungs, and esophagus) surgery teams worldwide.

STS contracts with an independent organization, the Duke Clinical Research Institute, to analyze the data and prepare reports for participating surgical groups, comparing their performance with national benchmarks for surgical quality. The STS and surgeons from each group have agreed to share some data on heart bypass surgery with Consumer Reports as part of their ongoing commitment to improving care and helping patients make informed decisions.