To the Editor:
I am writing in response to Patrick R. Foster's July 10 column, "Remember the days of real mpg?"
He writes, in essence, that in the past we had fuel-efficient cars, but not today. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
What the auto industry has achieved over all these years is to make cars that meet all of the customers' demands -- safety, comfort, convenience, performance and reliability -- while achieving remarkably good fuel efficiency. More than 100 models of autos today achieve 30 mpg or better on the highway.
That is remarkable when you consider that these cars have multiple airbags and other safety improvements, they meet stringent emission control standards (99 percent control of smog-forming emissions), they achieve much better performance than cars of 30 years ago, they require much less maintenance, and all cars today are far more reliable and have sophisticated diagnostic systems that ensure proper repair when problems occur.
The auto industry is now selling more than 45 models of advanced-technology autos, including hybrids, diesels and ethanol-capable autos; and another 35 models are in development. Today, there are more than 8 million of those alternative-fuel vehicles on our roads.