Consumers Union, nonprofit publisher of Consuemr Reports, asked SUV Owners of America, Inc. to immediately stop running an advertisement on fuel economy. The ad twists our recent ratings on washing machines to suggest we agree that increased fuel efficiency standards for washing machines and motor vehicles limit consumer choice. Consumers Union believes that energy efficiency mandates do work to reduce consumption without adversely impacting choice or safety.
June 19, 2007
Barry W. McCahill
President, SUV Owners of America, Inc.
P.O. Box 34076
Washington, D.C. 20043
Dear Mr. McCahill:
Consumers Union, the non-profit publisher of Consumer Reports, writes to request that you immediately stop running your ad on fuel economy. The ad is misleading because it twists our recent ratings of washing machines to suggest we agree with the premise that increased fuel efficiency standards for washing machines and motor vehicles limit consumer choice. In fact, we strongly disagree with your ad, and believe that energy efficiency mandates do work to reduce consumption without adversely impacting choice or safety.
The June issue of our magazine did rate washing machines. Although it is true that some top-loading washing machines did a poor job cleaning our test swatches, we saw a wide range in cleaning performance, as we stated in our article. The best top-loaders did a very good job in our washing performance tests. The best front-loaders did an excellent job. And the new washing machine energy standards have increased minimum efficiency by 21 percent.
Moreover, we believe that increasing the fuel efficiency of motor vehicles is one of the most important things we can do to end our nation’s addiction to oil, help lower consumers’ gasoline bills, and cut emissions of gases that cause global warming. CU is on record as supporting the increase in Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFÉ) standards as reported by the Senate Commerce Committee, and strongly opposing efforts to weaken them.
Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.
Vice President, Federal and International Affairs