EPA Adjusts Fuel Economy Ratings for 900,000 Vehicles

 In Inside FleetCarma
Kia Soul: affected by fuel economy reductions.  6 mpg highway 3 mpg city

Kia Soul: The vehicle most affected by fuel economy reductions.

Today it was announced that the EPA is reducing the fuel economy ratings for several models of both Hyundai and Kia vehicles.

It is estimated that over 900,000 vehicles are effected, affecting Hyundai and Kia vehicles between the years of 2011-2013.  The vehicles have a mpg rating that is 1 -4 mpg less than what was advertised, with the largest adjustment needed for the Kia Soul, which was off by 6 mpg on the highway and 3 in the city.  The adjustments are so widespread it will lower the fuel economy of the entire fleet  by 1 mpg.

For the owners affected there will be a debit card, given each year, which will account for the extra money each owner had to pay for gas based on their yearly mileage.

The question on everyone’s minds seems to be: “Could this be true for my vehicle too?”

Only 15% of Vehicle Models Audited by EPA

Many vehicle owners report being dissatisfied with the EPA fuel economy ratings for their vehicle as oftentimes the ‘city’ and ‘highway’ numbers don’t match what they experience in the real world.  However even with the understanding that EPA ratings are more of a guideline, to be used to compare each vehicle, only 15% of the vehicle models manufactured are audited by the EPA.

According to the EPA the vehicles involved had a large number of changes in their car that were designed to improve mileage, the changes introduced complications into the test, leading to the error.  The EPA had previously found two instances of vehicles that failed to live up to their advertised claim.  One of which was the BMW 328i which had fuel economy ratings drop 1 mpg in the city and 3 on the highway.

It is important to note that these adjustments are different from the variation many users find between the sticker rating and the amount their paying for at the pump.  The variations most consumers experience are related to both a driver’s style as well as the route taken.

This type of news highlights why it is important to understand and measure personal fuel economy ratings, so that drivers can make more informed decisions as they purchase a car.  Understanding your particular drivecycle and fuel economy can prevent ending up disappointed or frustrated down the road.

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