EPA May Require Track Testing to Validate Automakers' Fuel Economy Claims | Edmunds.com

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edited July 2014 in General
imageEPA May Require Track Testing to Validate Automakers' Fuel Economy Claims | Edmunds.com

The EPA is considering regulations that would require automakers to track-test vehicles in order to validate their fuel economy claims.

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  • greenponygreenpony Chicago, ILMember Posts: 531

    How effective can this be? You're trying to validate a repeatable scientific process with non-repeatable track test data?

    I've said this before, but the entire fuel economy rating system needs to be reinvented. The current system relies on procedures developed half a century ago. The 2008 revision introduced three new tests to the rating system, but allowed automakers to calculate the fuel economy numbers in those tests, which could lead to inflated numbers. And the whole thing is still tied to CAFE. Under this system it's common for diesel vehicles to be underrated, and hybrids and turbocharged/direct-injected vehicles to be overrated.

    What we need is a realistic test procedure that yields usable and comparable values so the buying public can make educated choices. I'd suggest three separate tests - urban, suburban, and highway - plus a notation for the speed of maximum fuel efficiency (should be in the 30-40 mph range). The rollout could be over several years, in order to generate rough comparisons with the current system. We could seize the opportunity to change from mpg to gal/100mi too, if that's the way the country wants to go. The ultimate goal is to completely separate the window sticker rating from the grossly out-of-date CAFE tests.

  • jeffinohjeffinoh Member Posts: 156

    There are too many variables in real roads and real drivers to accurately tell a consumer exactly what mileage they can achieve. As long as the same lab test is used for all cars, the consumer can reasonably compare models. Their actual mileage will vary. But if EPA can improve the accuracy of the test, great. Since automakers have to meet CAFE standards, the EPA is most concerned that they are not cheating. It's not really about consumers.

  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457

    Although I typically meet or beat the EPA estimates, I mostly use the mpg rating to compare a car to its competition. One or two mpgs won't make a difference, but a difference of four or five mpg combined can be a deal killer.

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