The United States Environmental Protection Agency wants carmakers to road test their vehicles to verify mileage claims indicated on window sticker prices, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal, citing EPA officials. EPA’s proposal came as it restated mileage ratings on several cars and light trucks built by Hyundai, Kia and Ford.
The move is also part of a wider effort to more carefully scrutinize mpg figures published and claimed by carmakers. The agency has been receiving consumer complaints over the difference between a driver’s actual mileage and a vehicle’s mpg rating.
Chris Grundler, director of the EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality, told The Journal that while some carmakers are already road-testing their vehicles to verify its mpg rating, the agency is establishing a regulatory requirement for all automakers.
The Journal said that the proposal also would make it harder for carmakers to maneuver lab results to claim that their vehicles have high mpg ratings. Ford amended mpg ratings on several hybrids in June.
Hyundai is facing lawsuits in South Korea for allegedly overstating the fuel efficiency of the Santa Fe crossover. In 2012, Hyundai and Kia apologized and compensated vehicle owners for overstating mpg figures on light-vehicle models sold in the US.
The Journal noted that the EPA does not evaluate every new light-vehicle to verify mileage claims. Fuel economy tests are typically conducted by carmakers, which then shares the information with EPA.
The agency will then review the shared information and published them on its public Web site, www.fueleconomy.gov. The last time that EPA amended fuel efficiency testing was in 2008, resulting to lesser difference between window sticker numbers and actual mileage as experienced by owners.
The paper reported that EPA’s proposed road test would render real-world driving trials more rigorous, adding that it would better reflect air resistance and rolling friction.