The Mileage-Per-Gallon Fraud

San Francisco's Alternative Daily looks at the problem of inaccurate EPA fuel economy numbers.

Published: 08-Jan-2006

After buying a hybrid a few months ago, I soon learned that the car was not achieving the projected miles per gallon. I heard from others that all cars fall below the EPA estimated gas mileage, but in my case the numbers were not even close. Fortunately, the current issue of Sierra magazine provides the details behind EPA’s misleading estimates, and the situation is even worse than suspected. How does the auto industry get away with this fraud, and why do legislators stand for it?

When someone sells a vehicle based on false representations of fact, this is ordinarily considered consumer fraud. But a different set of rules appears to govern the auto industry, which knowingly sells cars with false mileage per gallon estimates to unknowing consumers.

Dashka Slater’s article, “Sticker Shock,” in the current Sierra magazine reveals the truth behind the pervasive EPA fuel-efficiency standards. These are the standards that everyone talks about when shopping for a car, and that have become an even greater selling point as environmentally-conscious consumers seek to reduce gasoline consumption.

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