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AAA Supports New Consumer Information Labels on Cars

(LOS ANGELES, May 25, 2011) –  AAA supports today’s announcement by the Obama Administration unveiling the new model year 2013 motor vehicle fuel label that informs consumers about a vehicle’s annual fuel costs/savings and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.  Leading up to today’s announcement, AAA submitted comments supporting these consumer improvements.
Those comments included guidance from the Automobile Club of Southern California’s Automotive Research Center (ARC) which suggested that the new label would benefit from synchronizing with the style of label California adopted in 2009.
“Reducing fuel costs and being mindful of the vehicle’s environmental impact are top of mind for many Americans these days. This new and enhanced label will arm consumers with more information to make informed purchasing decisions when it comes to new vehicles,” said the ARC’s Steve Mazor.  
The new labels, which are the most dramatic overhaul to fuel economy labels since the program began more than 30 years ago, will provide more comprehensive fuel efficiency information, including estimated annual fuel costs, savings, as well as information on each vehicle's environmental impact. The new labels underscore the benefits of the historic, bipartisan passenger car and truck fuel economy rule adopted under this administration by the EPA and DOT in 2010, according to the announcement made in Washington D.C. Wednesday.
These improvements will give consumers better, more complete information to consider when purchasing new vehicles that are covered by the increased fuel economy standards. Starting with model year 2013, the improved fuel economy labels will be required to be affixed to all new passenger cars and trucks – both conventional gasoline powered and "next generation" cars, such as plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles.
Last November, AAA provided written comments to the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on the proposed label changes.  AAA viewed these changes as important because consumers deserve easy to understand, comprehensive information on the energy cost savings and environmental impact of vehicles while making purchasing decisions. AAA has been active on the issue of accurate and comprehensive vehicle labeling for many years. In 2006, AAA, with significant support from the Auto Club’s Automotive Research Center, was one of the leading consumer groups that worked closely with the EPA to revise its testing procedures for fuel economy to ensure that vehicle stickers provided motorists with accurate, real-world miles-per-gallon information. 
While the labels must start appearing in 2013 models early next year, automakers can voluntarily adopt them for 2012 vehicles, the EPA said.  AAA said it plans to help educate the public about the new vehicle labels through AAA’s member magazines, websites and social media channels.
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The Automobile Club of Southern California is a member club affiliated with the American Automobile Association (AAA) national federation and serves members in the following California counties: Inyo, Imperial, Kern, Los Angeles, Mono, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Tulare, and Ventura.