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jpd80

EPA seeks real-world tests of mileage claims

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The Environmental Protection Agency wants to put automakers’ mileage claims to the test.

An EPA proposal would require automakers to road test vehicles to verify mileage claims

posted on window sticker prices, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing EPA officials.

 

The move follows the recent restatement of EPA ratings on several cars and light trucks by Hyundai,

Kia and Ford. It's part of a broader effort by the agency to more carefully scrutinize mpg figures published

by automakers.

 

The difference between a driver’s actual mileage and what a vehicle is rated is among the most

frequent consumer complaints and questions posed to the agency.

“Some automakers already do this, but we are establishing a regulatory requirement for all automakers,”

Chris Grundler, director of the EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality, told The Journal.

The proposal also would make it difficult for automakers to manipulate lab results to deliver higher mileage claims,

the paper said...... more at link

 

 

Too many inaccuracies of late, all in favor of auto companies whether deliberate or accidental.

The EPA needs to change the way things are done and restore some faith in published figures.

Locking in more parameters in dynamometer testing so that manufacturers have much less wiggle

room would be preferable to resorting to real world tests where there's even more variables in road

courses...

Edited by jpd80

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Locking in more parameters in dynamometer testing so that manufacturers have much less wiggle

room would be preferable to resorting to real world tests where there's even more variables in road

courses...

 

Not sure they can lock in any more parameters. The variation is not due to variations in the test runs, it's due to the test procedures not matching the real world. It's better than before but they're still using 100% gas not E-10 like most of us. There are no short trips on a cold engine. No temperature extremes. No extended A/C use. Slower than normal highway speeds. Add all of that up with the natural variability of real world drivers and there is no way you're going to get a single good number.

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Not sure they can lock in any more parameters. The variation is not due to variations in the test runs, it's due to the test procedures not matching the real world. It's better than before but they're still using 100% gas not E-10 like most of us. There are no short trips on a cold engine. No temperature extremes. No extended A/C use. Slower than normal highway speeds. Add all of that up with the natural variability of real world drivers and there is no way you're going to get a single good number.

Yep, it should start with a 5 to 10 mile cold engine trip to Home Depot, wait 30 min. then drive home. Do that three or four more times with varying cool down times. The next day drive 30 miles city/highway combined with speeds up to 75mph, wait 8.5 hours then drive the same 30 miles home, this time in stop and go traffic. Do that for 5 days, then use that number for City MPG number.

 

After that drive with two people and a large dog, and bags for a weekend and drive 400 miles from San Jose to Los Angeles via Interstate 5. Your cruising speed between 70 and 80mph, with outside temps. of 95 to 105+. Make one or two stops for food, bathroom and or gas along the way. The next day, drive back, that is your Highway MPG.

 

The whole thing would take a week, and they could run it a couple times and use the best numbers, as the temperature, winds and other forces change a bit.

 

If you want, you could lump in a trip to Tahoe with four people and luggage. Do it in January to throw in some cold weather driving, and throw in a loop around the lake. It's not Great Lakes cold, but it is at 6200ft.+ altitude below freezing, and you'll probably have to drive at least a few miles with chains going over the summit. Welcome to my real world. :)

 

PS, I'll be doing this myself for my new Edge 2.0L EcoBoost. So far total MPG: 20.9 with a best tank of 24.9 on a trip from L.A. to S.J. on Hwy 101.

Edited by traxiii

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Too many inaccuracies of late, all in favor of auto companies whether deliberate or accidental.

The EPA needs to change the way things are done and restore some faith in published figures.

Locking in more parameters in dynamometer testing so that manufacturers have much less wiggle

room would be preferable to resorting to real world tests where there's even more variables in road

courses...

lol...just give CR a side job....

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What the EPA should first do is seek real world validation that their testing methodology modeling something other than what a comparative handful of people do. That might start making their windows stickers more accurate to peoples real world driving, and thus, making peoples observations of their real world mpg line up much more closely with their window stickers. But that would require, you know, admitting you have a problem...

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What the EPA should first do is seek real world validation that their testing methodology modeling something other than what a comparative handful of people do. That might start making their windows stickers more accurate to peoples real world driving, and thus, making peoples observations of their real world mpg line up much more closely with their window stickers. But that would require, you know, admitting you have a problem...

 

You really have no clue how the EPA testing works or what it's designed for.

 

It's not at all designed to tell people what mpg to expect.

 

Besides - if the window sticker says 25 but you get 20 and I get 30 then what number should they use?

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Relative to the actual buyers of vehicles looking at their window stickers, it exists to produce numbers that they use in their buying process. To an end user, that is all that matters. If the window sticker says 18 city and in their city use it gets 6 city, then the EPA methodology has completely failed, despite the manufacturer following it. I've said before the failure here is trying to lump something called City, something called Highway, and something called Combined into many types of driving. Apparently it is too complex for people to look at a window sticker with 6-7 easily understood categories (which would necessitate much more representative testing methodologies), because that suggestion previously was met with FUD. GIGO, can't have everything, which despite adherence to EPA testing protocol, will be exactly what far too large %'s of drivers will get in their window to Reality comparison. I await the new FUD...

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Relative to the actual buyers of vehicles looking at their window stickers, it exists to produce numbers that they use in their buying process.

 

Wrong. The purpose of EPA testing is for CAFE certification. Period. It would not exist otherwise. Window stickers are just a side effect and they don't even use the actual test results - they use a combination of new tests that were added a few years ago plus other "adjustments".

 

The only VALID numbers you could really show would be a range of absolute worst case to absolute best case so that 99% of drivers would fall into that range. The problem is that range would be so large as to be totally useless (14-28 mpg e.g.).

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If the window sticker says 18 city and in their city use it gets 6 city, then the EPA methodology has completely failed

 

If the window sticker says:

 

18 City

 

12 City winter

 

10 City summer

 

20 City hyper-miler

 

9 City jackrabbit-starts

 

15 City oxygenated gas

 

9 City summer, oxygenated gas

 

11 City winter, oxygenated gas

 

8 City jackrabbit-starts, oxygenated gas

 

19 City hyper-miler, oxygenated gas

 

16 City, with two passengers

 

14 City with four passengers and oxygenated gas

 

15 City with four passengers

 

AND

 

You get only 6MPG Then the EPA methodology has completely failed.

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Relative to the actual buyers of vehicles looking at their window stickers, it exists to produce numbers that they use in their buying process. To an end user, that is all that matters. If the window sticker says 18 city and in their city use it gets 6 city, then the EPA methodology has completely failed, despite the manufacturer following it. I've said before the failure here is trying to lump something called City, something called Highway, and something called Combined into many types of driving. Apparently it is too complex for people to look at a window sticker with 6-7 easily understood categories (which would necessitate much more representative testing methodologies), because that suggestion previously was met with FUD. GIGO, can't have everything, which despite adherence to EPA testing protocol, will be exactly what far too large %'s of drivers will get in their window to Reality comparison. I await the new FUD...

 

Sigh, this just goes on and on and on...

 

The only useful purpose for the mileage numbers on cars to a customer is to compare make A to make B or model 1 to model 2. That's it. If model 1 says 20 MPG and model 2 says 30 mpg, then you should get roughly 50% better MPG numbers in model 2 than model 1. It does not mean you will get 20 mpg in model 1 or 30 mpg in model 2.

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Really, they should just simplify it to a "range" number and then just use a separate unpublished number for CAFE. The "combined" number they started using is at least a step in the right direction. No one will ever be entirely happy with it though, as outliers to data sets will always exist.

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Doesnt matter for me what the sticker said, I average 20-30% less anyways, so I gave up on that fantasy. I figure if someone is that "cheap" and need to whine and complain about a few MPG here and there, then they obviously cannot economically sustain their driving, and should just look for some poverty alternatives like public transportation or hitchhiking.

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You really have no clue how the EPA testing works or what it's designed for.

 

It's not at all designed to tell people what mpg to expect.

 

Besides - if the window sticker says 25 but you get 20 and I get 30 then what number should they use?

YOur right. I am just a country dumbass but get the window sticker on everything every made before and consitantly. Fords EB engines will remain suspect.

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Not sure they can lock in any more parameters. The variation is not due to variations in the test runs, it's due to the test procedures not matching the real world. It's better than before but they're still using 100% gas not E-10 like most of us. There are no short trips on a cold engine. No temperature extremes. No extended A/C use. Slower than normal highway speeds. Add all of that up with the natural variability of real world drivers and there is no way you're going to get a single good number.

In the latest instances, Ford did not correctly apply Total Road Load Horsepower, something that affects fuel economy on all their vehicle but in particular smaller Ecoboost and hybrids where those small changes make huge differences to fuel economy figures.

 

What I'm suggesting is that the EPA begin standardizing the methodology all companies use to gather data including that TRLH figure and how its determined. Lock down all those methodologies and that means the car makers much use those check points as recordable/audit able data points. More surveillance is needed instead of relying on manufacturers to do the right thing..

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But the procedure for doing that is locked down. The problem is ensuring that it's accurate and since that number is different for each vehicle it has to be physically tested to be verified and the EPA is not capable of testing every single vehicle.

 

They only audit about 10% of the vehicles now - maybe that should be doubled. Or maybe they should come up with a test that's not so complicated.

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If a person doesn't understand the purpose of the numbers on the Monroney sticker, it doesn't really matter what numbers you put on them.

 

 

THIS!!!!!

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If a person doesn't understand the purpose of the numbers on the Monroney sticker, it doesn't really matter what numbers you put on them.

 

I had to 'unlike' this twice, just so I could 'like' it 3 times!

Edited by fordmantpw

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But the procedure for doing that is locked down. The problem is ensuring that it's accurate and since that number is different for each vehicle it has to be physically tested to be verified and the EPA is not capable of testing every single vehicle.

We don't know that for sure and subscribing a different number to every vehicle may indeed be where the error is creeping in, perhaps those values should be standardized for certain vehicle types so that manufacturers cannot unknowingly or deliberately inflate values to improve figures.

 

Don't have the EPA do the tests, have independent auditors do more thorough checks and where discrepancies are discovered have an unzip clause thant means more and more testing is done until compliance is reached. Put the costs and onus back on auto companies to get figures accurate.

 

In short, don't change the standardized tests, just ensure that the variables/ correction factors applied are more accurate and that more comprehensive auditing is carried out

 

.

Edited by jpd80

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