FAQs

What is The Truth About Cars?

How did the site get its start?

How are you different from other automotive sites?

Why haven’t you reviewed a _________?

What’s TTAC’s commenting policy?

Why can’t I enter a comment?

I can’t see the comment I just entered.  What happened?

How can I try my hand at writing for TTAC?

What is The Truth About Cars?

The Truth About Cars provides no-holds-barred, take-no-prisoners automotive news, reviews and editorials. Our writers call it like they see it, and pull no punches. We also provide a comments section for readers to voice their informed and passionate opinions in an atmosphere of mutual respect.

How did the site get its start?

Back in the day, Robert Farago was a freelance writer living in the UK. After Autocar blacklisted the auto writer for slating then Editor-In-Chief Steve Sutcliffe (for boasting about driving a Lamborghini with his eyes closed), Farago started posting rants on www.pistonheads.com. Despite (or because of) Fahrenheit 451 temp replies, he created a regular series called “The Truth About Cars.” Farago started TTAC when Farago moved to the U.S.

In 2009, Robert Farago left The Truth About Cars, leaving then-Managing Editor Edward Niedermeyer “at the con.” When Edward Niedermeyer left in 2011, then-Managing Editor Bertel Schmitt took over. Jack Baruth succeeded Bertel Schmitt as Editor In Chief in 2013. A year later, Jack Baruth vacated the position, leaving Derek Kreindler in charge in his position of Managing Editor. Derek left TTAC in 2015 and Mark Stevenson took over as Managing Editor.

In the summer of 2017, Mark Stevenson vacated the Managing Editor position. He became an editor at large, and Tim Healey replaced Mark as Managing Editor.

How are you different from other automotive sites?

The Truth About Cars prides itself on its editorial independence. Even though we accept advertising, the ads do not influence our editorial content. All advertising is handled by TTAC’s parent company, VerticalScope. We also believe in full disclosure. Any time we receive a car loan or travel considerations from a manufacturer, we state the fact in the review.

Why haven’t you reviewed a ___?

There are lots of reasons why we haven’t reviewed car X or Z.

In some cases, we just haven’t scheduled one for a press loan yet. In other cases, the car has been driven but the review hasn’t yet been written. Some manufacturers don’t loan us vehicles, or won’t loan a certain vehicle to us, for whatever reason.

Some OEMs won’t loan a car to an outlet if they don’t like the coverage they’ve received. Some OEMs base their loans on a site’s web traffic. Sometimes, a car gets rotated out of the press fleet before one of us has a chance to drive it, and other times a car isn’t available in any of our local press fleets. Sometimes a car is only loaned to journalists who write for “prestige” outlets or are considered better at performance driving than most.

As far as junkets go, the OEMs only invite so many outlets to each one, and it’s not always clear why certain outlets get invited and others don’t.

Finally, there’s the element of time. There’s only so much of it. If a staffer gets loaned one car a week, and drives 10 cars on junkets, that’s a little over 62 cars. Not all of our staffers review cars, of course, but a few of us do. Even with multiple staffers reviewing cars, it’s just not possible to drive all 300+ cars on the market in a given year.

Our job is to drive as many cars as possible, but we can’t get to them all. That’s why we haven’t reviewed car X.

What’s TTAC’s commenting policy?

It is not what you say that matters but the manner in which you say it; there lies the secret of the ages.

William Carlos Williams

Comments are an inseparable part of TTAC. TTAC has a reputation for high quality comments written by knowledgeable people. We appreciate all comments that improve this reputation. Quality will lapse without quality control. Therefore, the following commenting guidelines are in effect. If you do not agree with these guidelines, do not post comments on TTAC.

Posting comments on TTAC constitutes an acceptance of these guidelines.

There are two very simple guiding rules to commenting on TTAC

When commenting, picture yourself being invited to a dinner party with a roomful of strangers. You probably will not attack or insult the host, or the other guests. You will get annoyed by rude and uncivilized guests. You will understand that the host will not invite people back who violate simple rules of civility. Attacking the host could mean an end of the dinner before desserts are served.

You have a right to your opinion, you are immediately wrong if you are rude. Rude, uncivilized remarks mean an immediate loss of the argument. They also can mean a loss of commenting privileges.

However, should you feel the need for a more structured guideline, the following are TTAC’s Six Rules of Civility. Failing to adhere to these guidelines is grounds to be removed from current and future conversations:

  1. No personal/ad hominem attacks. One can communicate disagreement without attacking those with which they disagree.
  2. No racism, sexism, or bigotry.
  3. No spam/unwarranted self-promotion/advertising.
  4. No flaming/trolling.
  5. No political campaigning/hackery.
  6. And most important of all TTAC reserves the right to take away commenting privileges for any reason, even those not listed in the guidelines. We provide the comment section as a service. It is not a right. Treat it as a privilege that can be removed at any time.

Terms of Use: Thetruthaboutcars.com terms of use are in effect.

 

General comments

TTAC moderators do not read all comments. If they see a violation, they can take administrative action. TTAC moderators usually do not edit or censor comments. Commenters are responsible for their own comments. Moderators are not here to clean up after commenters. The WordPress banning function usually removes the comment at which the ban is exercised, but we will try to keep the comment in place. Banned posters leave and are not invited back, but the nonsense stays in most cases. In egregious cases, we may remove whole posts or edit them with an annotation.

What about free speech? We cherish and defend the right to free speech. Freedom of speech is a right to express opinions in public. Freedom of the press means that one can publish on any “press” to which one has access. Freedom of press is not a freedom of venue: One can picket a business in a public street, however, the business can evict protesters from its own premises. Likewise, the owner of a “press” cannot be forced to publish our words. We reserve the right to exercise our property rights, and we request commenters to respect our right to undisturbed possession. If you don’t like what you read here, stop reading. If you disagree strongly with what is written in TTAC, get your own website, and show us how to do it right.

These are commenting guidelines, no editorial guidelines. Just like a firefight in a movie is OK,  but a firefight in a movie theater is not, these commenting guidelines apply to comments, not to articles. TTAC articles have their own, internal policies.

 

Why can’t I enter a comment?

To enter a comment you have to be registered on the site and signed in.

I can’t see the comment I just entered. Wassup?

You have just registered. Comments of new sign-ons need to be manually rescued from the moderation queue. This is to keep comments free of spam.

The comment was caught by the “bad word filter.”  WordPress has a “bad word” list.  A comment with a word that is on the list is put into the moderation queue and needs to be manually rescued – or deleted…

The comment was caught by the spam filter. This is tricky. The filter will reject comments it considers spam. How it does that is its dirty little secret, and it appears to have a mind of its own. If you don’t see your message, try to change it a bit and post it again. If it still does not show up, please drop us a line.

You are using a “throwaway” email address.

Comments from people (or bots) who use certain anonymous email providers have a high rate of spam, and therefore are blocked at TTAC. It is a long list, ranging from “@advertfast.com” via “@discardmail”  all the way to “@zoo-hardcore.com” (We kid you not). If you sign up using one of those, the sign-up will not be accepted. Once you are successfully signed-up, this lockout should not be a problem for you, unless you manually change your email address to one of the throwaway guys.  If you can’t comment after changing your email address, change it back.

How can I try my hand at writing for TTAC?

TTAC does accept story pitches, news tips, links and documents at our contact form. Due to the high volume of submissions, not all contacts can receive responses. The quickest and easiest way to propose a story is to send it. If you never hear back, it did not pass muster. If you see it published, then we like it. Any material published by TTAC becomes the property of TTAC.

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