EPA to make MPG Audit Results Public

EPA to make MPG Audit Results Public

After fuel economy scandals involving Hyundai, Kia and Ford, the EPA plans to publicly release the results from auditing those claims.

This fall, the agency will release results from tests spanning more than 20 cars and light trucks, Automotive News reports. Tests were conducted at tracks in Arizona and Michigan to examine automaker results in the “coast-down” test where problems cropped up with Hyundai and Kia.

Christopher Grundler, head of the EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality, couldn’t share the results but said they “will be very interesting to some people.”

Fuel economy ratings are currently determined using a dynamometer, but the coast-down test is used for calibration before that can happen. Vehicles are brought to 80 mph and allowed to coast to a stop and measuring aerodynamics, rolling resistance from the tires and friction in the drivetrain.

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Three years ago, the EPA began auditing automakers more regularly on coast-down results, but this fall will be the first time those results are made public.

The decision will discourage automakers from fudging fuel economy claims. Ford’s mileage scandal resulted from a rule that allowed the company to re-use figures on the C-Max Hybrid that it measured with the Fusion Hybrid because the two cars share a drivetrain.

That’s one of several complicated nuances to how automakers arrive at their states fuel economy claims. Similarly, the coast-down test produces results that would be difficult for consumers to decipher useful information from. But the won’t need to. Grundler also said the EPA will offer results in “plain english” so that consumers can make a more educated decision about their purchase.

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[Source: Automotive News]