(Los Angeles, March 3, 2005) — Each year, Automobile Club of Southern California and AAA car review experts test new vehicle models under "real world" driving conditions and come to the same conclusion as many motorists — the actual miles per gallon achieved during the daily use of a vehicle generally falls well short of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates. These driving tests found dozens of examples where vehicle miles per gallon of on 2003 and 2004 model years were overestimated because of outdated 30-year-old EPA tests.
To address this issue, the Auto Club joined AAA today to announce its support of the "Fuel Efficiency Truth-in-Advertising Act of 2005" that would require EPA to update its miles per gallon testing procedures. The legislation has bi-partisan support in the United States Congress and is sponsored by U.S. Representative Nancy Johnson (R-CT) and U.S. Representative Rush Holt (D-NJ).
"New car buyers soon see that their experience with mileage often falls short of EPA estimates," said Steve Mazor, principal automotive engineer. "It's not a case of 'your mileage results may vary.' We know that, in most cases, 'your results WILL vary.'"
In its analysis, AAA cited mpg in its test drives of some of the most popular vehicles driven today that were significantly lower than EPA city estimates. (See examples below.)
Although the AAA test drives are neither standardized nor scientific, the nation's organization for motorists says its "real world" driving trips may be more meaningful to consumers as they make car-buying decisions. AAA's testers put vehicles through a range of driving cycles that include stop-and-go traffic, climbing steep grades, trips to the grocery and a combination of both highway and city driving
The current EPA tests were established in the late 1970s and do not take into account higher speed limits on many interstates and increased congestion nationwide. The tests are even conducted with the air conditioner off.
"We believe consumers should have the most accurate information possible when it comes to expected gas mileage of the vehicles they purchase," said Mazor. "This would be accomplished by requiring EPA to use real-world tests in setting federal mileage estimates."
|CHEV TRAIL BLAZER||03||15||21||13.9|
|CHEV TRAIL BLAZER||04||15||21||13.6|
|CHRYSLER PT CRUISER||03||20||26||17.5|
|CHRYSLER PT CRUISER||04||21||29||17.5|
|CRYSLER SEBRING LXI||03||20||29||18.9|
|JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE||03||15||20||14.5|
|JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE||04||15||21||14.5|
|LEXUS LX 470||03||13||16||10.8|
|LEXUS LX 470||04||13||17||10.8|
|MERCURY GRAND MRQ||03||18||26||17.9|
The Automobile Club of Southern California, the largest AAA affiliate, has been serving members since 1900. Today, Auto Club members benefit by the organization's roadside assistance, financial products, travel agency and trip planning services, highway and transportation safety programs, insurance products and services and automotive pricing, buying and financing programs. Information about these products and services is available on the Auto Club's web site at www.aaa-calif.com.