When is 40 mpg not 40 mpg?
|Rick Kranz is product editor for Automotive News|
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Are some automakers fudging their mpg numbers?
An executive of one U.S. automaker suggests there might be some sleight of hand going on and that the EPA is not catching the offenders.
The issue: There's a noticeable difference between the mpg number posted on some cars' window sticker and an analysis of the data submitted by automakers to the EPA.
The executive raised a red flag earlier this year. He told me his company was unable to replicate the city, highway and overall fuel economy numbers achieved by some automakers for their 2011 car models.
He didn't name the automakers or the car models in question. Neither would he give the percentage differences between the mpg numbers posted on new-car window stickers and an analysis of the data taken from dynamometer readings his company purchased for certain competing models.
But he said consumers are being misled. The mpg numbers on some window stickers or in advertising are being misrepresented, he said.
The EPA is in the process of finalizing regulations for the new Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards for 2017 through 2025. The new regulations call for a lofty standard of 54.5 mpg by 2025. By comparison, the 2016 standard is 35.5 mpg.
The finalization process, which includes determining the procedures for collecting and submitting data to the EPA, is expected to be announced some time next year.
Perhaps now is the time for the EPA to look at its procedures and make modifications to how the data is collected.