US: Mini changes mpg ratings image

The British brand, owned by the world’s largest luxury automaker – BMW, is the latest in a long series of automakers that had to call back their Munroney window stickers because they overstated EPA ratings.

The BMW subsidiary had to admit to an error for its 2014 Mini Cooper – actually getting anywhere from one to four miles per gallon less than it first stated. Mini follows suite after Mercedes-Benz, Ford, Hyundai and Kia also rolled back on various models mileage claims.

What’s worse is that these numbers have been sanctioned by the Environmental Protection Agency – tasked to oversee fuel economy regulations – and many consumer groups repeatedly complain that in real life usage the window stickers of all brands are far from reality.

According to Christopher Grundler, director of EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality, “to provide consumers with the most accurate, reliable and repeatable fuel economy values, we are continuing to strengthen our oversight.” Buyers of cars are now waiting for the EPA to introduce stricter enforcement of the procedures and changes to the testing scheme to better reflect real-world figures.

Mini recently unveiled a new generation of its iconic hatchback and now the 2014 Cooper and Cooper S models need to restate new mileage ratings: for example, a base 3-door with a manual gearbox was rated in the past at 30 City, 42 Highway and 34 Combined – the revised figures are 29/40/33. Automatic transmission models also lose one to three miles per gallon.