EPA Releases Updated Guidelines On Passenger Vehicle MPG Testing

2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid 1 photo
Photo: Ford
Automakers will have to adhere to new rules before conducting fuel-economy tests on new vehicles in an attempt to avoid misleading the public being misled by bogus miles-per-gallon ratings.
Nobody likes it when automakers come forward with exaggerated mpg ratings and such bad management examples can quickly throw off customers and leave deep, ugly marks on a brand’s reputation.

It happened in the past, with MINI, Ford and Mercedes but now EPA wants to stop that by implementing a set of guidelines that will hopefully result in getting closer to the real-world fuel efficiency numbers from carmakers.

Most important, these guidelines are all about how the vehicles should be prepared before being tested. EPA does go into detail with this and tackles aspects like the acceptable level of wear on the tires and the way vehicles are broken in before the actual testing begins.

In addition, road load tests used to determine the impact of aerodynamic drag and tire rolling resistance on gas mileage are also under the magnifying glass. Current testing is being done at 50 mph but the Environmental Protection Agency’s new guidelines suggest that carmakers should perform measurements at all speeds up to 70 mph.

We’ll probably ever know if automakers were intentionally or incidentally pushing the boundaries of fuel efficiency testing, but the new guidelines will make it harder for a car company to claim ignorance if its advertised numbers don’t align with real-world results”, said Karl Brauer, senior analyst at Kelley Blue Book.

These changes are a gust of fresh air after in November, both Hyundai and Kia agreed to a record-breaking $360 million settlement for overstating fuel economy ratings. Big-name brands like FoMoCo also stepped in the wrong direction, after dropping mileage ratings for the 2013 Ford C-Max hybrid from a combined 47 mpg to 43 mpg in August 2013.
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram

Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories