In August 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) proposed changes to the motor vehicle fuel economy label. The changes would add more efficiency information to fall in line with the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which requires new vehicles to include information about fuel economy, greenhouse gases and smog-forming pollutants.
[Rewind: New Fuel Economy Label: Open for public comment 60 days]
Although the original proposal was opting to grade the vehicles on a scale from A+ to D, the final decision will base the comparisons off of numbers.
According to statement by National Automobile Dealers Association spokesman Bailey Wood in a press release, “Nothing’s more accurate than a number in comparing vehicles. The letter grade was more subjective.”
The new fuel mileage label will include:
• Estimates on amount consumers will save or spend on fuel over the next five years compared to the average new vehicle
• Ratings comparing models to others for smog emissions and emissions of pollution
• An estimate of how much fuel or electricity it takes to drive 100 miles
• Driving ranges and charging time of an electric vehicle (if applicable)
• A QR Code that allows users to access online comparisons on fuel economy and other environmental and energy factors on various models on smartphones
All 2013 models will require the new fuel economy label to be displayed, although automakers are able to voluntarily adopt them for 2012 vehicles.
At this point, the new changes are receiving good reviews from consumer focus groups as well as environmental groups, dealers and automakers. Some believe it will put pressure on car companies “to make changes,” said Consumer Federation of America spokesman Jack Gillis in a press release. “Those vehicles that get ratings of just `1’ or `2’ will be stigmatized.”
If consumers have any questions about fuel mileage or other information about the new fuel economy label, they can visit www.fueleconomy.gov.
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[Source(s): AutoNews, EPA]