Since 2012, three automakers were discovered to have exaggerated their mileage estimates for certain models, so US regulators now plan to change the rules for assessing the fuel economy.
The Environmental Protection Agency aims to have new fuel-saving technologies spot on their advertised efficiency gains. For that, the federal regulator has made its top priority the adjustment of how tests are conducted and then listed by the manufacturers. According to Christopher Grundler, director of the agency’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality, the new rules – which may be out in 2015 – would aim to better mirror real-world driving.
“We want to protect the integrity of this label,” said Grundler. “We want to make sure consumers trust the information.”
“It’s extremely serious when automakers fudge the numbers,” added Dan Becker, director of the Washington-based Safe Climate Campaign. “When the manufacturers discovered they could get away with this flagrant activity, it may have been more than just two automakers. Nobody was watching.”
Ford recently toned down on fuel saving estimates for six models and in November 2012 Hyundai and Kia had to change the window stickers for many of their best-selling US models. According to Grundler, the EPA could move to force automakers to further add tests to the usual procedure.