Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Gas Mileage and EPA

I stopped by the tire shop today, and while I was waiting, I picked up a copy of Popular Mechanics.  I happened upon an interesting article about car mileage (the magazine was dated January 2006).  PM was testing the accuracy of the posted mileage.  As it turned out, the window sticker mileage, as reported by the benevolent EPA, fell well short of what the PM drivers actually got driving the car.  Imagine that!?

My first thought was “the EPA is duping consumers into buying a car with better gas mileage”.  After all, if you care about the environment, you’ll buy a hybrid, right?  The second thought in my head was “why is the EPA, or anyone else for that matter, legally obligated (federal law) to post mileage on the sticker of the car, especially since they cannot be relied upon for accuracy?”  If I want accurate mileage figures, I’ll do the research myself, thanks.
I also learned the EPA will be changing the way it reports gas mileage on the sticker of the car.  They are adding a lettering system to the normal skewed mileage figures.   As you can imagine, cars getting government-approved gas mileage will receive a letter of A or B, while cars getting non-government approved mpg will get a letter of D or F.  No, I’m not kidding.

This is nothing more than government attempting to guilt consumers into buying a more fuel-efficient vehicle, and it’s shameful.  Naturally, the EPA denies it is trying to influence consumers, but I give the EPA an F for honesty here.  If they truly wished to inform consumers about mileage, they’d leave it to some unbiased and more reliable third party to do the reporting. 

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