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New Report Underscores Need for Improved Fuel Efficiency

Thursday, September 8, 2005

New Report Underscores Need for Improved Fuel Efficiency
Consumer Reports test show up to 50% shortfall in new car window sticker figures

(Washington, DC) – In light of skyrocketing gas prices and disruptions in domestic oil production as a result of Hurricane Katrina, Consumers Union today reissued its charge to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to improve fuel efficiency and Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards.
A new report from Consumer Reports, the flagship publication of Consumers Union, shows that fuel efficiency figures on new car window stickers may be off by as much as 50 percent. In addition, the Consumer Reports study of 303 cars and trucks, model-years 2000 to 2006, found shortfalls in overall miles per gallon (mpg) occurred in 90 percent of the vehicles tested.
“Not only have Americans endured out-of-control gasoline prices, but it is all the more painful when the car they purchased usually doesn’t perform as advertised,” said Janell Mayo Duncan, Counsel at Consumers Union. “It’s clear that we must do more to conserve our finite energy resources, and one place to do that is to provide consumers with more accurate information and to demand improved efficiency standards for all cars sold in America.”
According to Consumer Reports testing, most automakers fail to meet current CAFE standards. Based on these tests, Consumers Union once again calls for increased CAFE standards and urges NHTSA to improve testing methods and fuel efficiency for all vehicles.
“Considering two-thirds of oil consumed in this country gets put into the cars we drive, it’s imperative that we not only improve our accuracy when it comes to reporting fuel efficiency, but that we raise the bar,” said Duncan. “Consumers deserve to have the $3-plus per gallon they put in their tank go a little bit further.”
A full copy of the report is available at http://www.consumersunion.org/pub/core_product_safety/002632.html.
Janell Mayo Duncan
Matt Hartwig
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