After numerous automakers have revised fuel economy figures in recent years, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued new guidelines in hopes to increase the accuracy of published MPG estimates.
Major automakers including Hyundai, Kia and Ford have all had to reissue fuel economy figures on their vehicles and the EPA is hoping new guidelines will produce more accurate figures when it comes to testing. The guidelines detail how vehicles must be prepared prior to testing along with outlining the acceptable level of wear on the tires and how vehicles should be broken in ahead of testing.
The EPA is also hoping to improve the road load tests that determine the impact of aerodynamic drag and tire rolling resistance on gas mileage. Automakers currently measure the road load tests at 50 mph but the new guidelines will have automakers conducting the results at all speeds up to 70 mph.
The EPA will be watching to make sure that automakers are following the new rules and will implement fines if there are discrepancies. Last year, both Hyundai and Kia agreed to a record-setting $360 million settlement for overstating fuel economy ratings. Ford also had to drop mileage ratings on its 2013 C-Max hybrid from 47-mpg combined to 43-mpg combined, while the Lincoln MKZ hybrid was also downrated by 7 mpg.
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