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ABG: Consumer group cries foul on Hyundai's 40-mpg claim

Discussion in 'Other Cars' started by cwerdna, Dec 2, 2011.

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  1. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    Consumer group cries foul on Hyundai's 40-mpg claim


    As reference, do see http://priuschat.com/forums/other-c...uth-about-epa-city-highway-mpg-estimates.html about the EPA tests and the last page of http://www.consumersunion.org/Oct_CR_Fuel_Economy.pdf about CR's tests (and the old EPA tests).

    From what I've seen, CR's city test is pretty harsh usually most cars are well under the EPA city estimate. However, CR's highway result is usually higher than the EPA highway estimate. That's not the case for the Elantra w/the EPA highway rating being 40 mpg while CR got 39.

    For more numbers available w/o a CR online subscription, see Most fuel-efficient cars, Best & worst cars review, fuel-efficient vehicles and and Consumer Reports - Fuel economy vs. performance (only has overall numbers)..
  2. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Nadir of Wrongness

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    If this becomes common, GM will have a new reason to sweat, no one on earth has come near the Equinox EPA numbers.
  3. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    Related to this... the same group is at it again.

    Did Hyundai pull MPG claims from Super Bowl ad due to watchdog group pressure? [w/video]

    From the press release:


    The thing is, the above isn't really specific to the Elantra. Many, if not most cars on CR's tests score lower on the overall mileage than the EPA combined number. I do wish it were illegal for automakers to advertise only the highest number. It ought to be either:
    - combined mileage ONLY OR
    - all 3 numbers (city/highway/overall) in equal prominence
  4. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    Seeing how CR's test includes variables like temperature swing and traffic, along with a long number test repetitions, it's no long wonder get lower than EPA with virtually every car they test. This watch group would be pressuring Toyota if the Prius was being actively advertised. I wonder if they''l say something when the c ads hit the airwaves.
  5. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

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    Popular mechanic, included on another thread, tested the elantra and exceeded the EPA. It discusses why YMM(will)V. Toyota is showing only the higher 53 city on the webpage for the prius c.
  6. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    GM and Hyundai are both at a disadvantage in this game of meeting expectations of EPA fuel economy, because they sell to demographics that tend to drive like idiots, and are too clueless to recognize that the driver affects results.

    Toyota has been relatively spared having to deal with these Merkins because of forums like ours, where owners point out they exceed EPA easily, proving it is the driver and not the car.
  7. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    GM and Hyundai are both at a disadvantage in this game of meeting expectations of EPA fuel economy, because they sell to demographics that tend to drive like idiots and are too clueless to recognize that the driver affects results.

    Toyota has been relatively spared having to deal with these Merkins because of forums like ours, where owners point out they exceed EPA easily, proving it is the driver and not the car.

    I'm willing to give long odds that retesting of Hyundai by the EPA test facility (assuming it has not happened already) finds no discrepancy.
  8. Skoorbmax

    Skoorbmax Senior Member

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    The greatest shock to me here is that EPA isn't testing these cars. Really, is it that much effort to take a car and confirm that the manufacturer's claim of having conducted your test properly be audited by running it in your own facility? At the very least, to avoid having to change vast amounts of marketing material and stickers, an EPA official could be flown out by a manufacturer to confirm that the test was accurate and validate the results.

    Why don't they do this? If they did (maybe they do?), then any claim that EPA mileage isn't being hit is an attack on their methods, not the manufacturer, which is doing its best effort to meat test criteria.
  9. Skoorbmax

    Skoorbmax Senior Member

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  10. kornkob

    kornkob New Member

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    I'm sure it comes down to money. It costs money to get a car and test it in anything resembling a rigorous fashion.
  11. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    Lot's of truth to this.

    Part of the brilliance and success of Prius is IMO, not only Toyota desigining and producing a hybrid capable of high MPG numbers but ALSO including an entire driver feedback system that encourages economical useage.

    Prius drivers...more than most, much more than most, will drive in a manner to create the greatest economy, partly because of the owners...and partly because the machine itself encourages this behavior.

    That being said? As technology and options expand. And as the battle between automakers to produce efficient vehicles heats up? I'm not convinced that an entirely different way of holding automakers accountable, and reaching realistic estimated MPG #'s doesn't need to be investigated.

    Right now? A lot of trust is put in the automakers themselves. It's like trusting the Fox, to keep the Census on the Hen House.
  12. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    The EPA does pick a random selection of cars to test every year to help keep the manufacturers honest. They'll also test new models.

    But it takes money. The EPA actually didn't have a dynamometer capable testing 4WD and AWD vehicles until a few years ago. They had to include a fudge factor or increase the resistance of the instrutment(forgot which) to simulate to drag of such systems. Vehicles with full time systems had to have one set of wheels physically detached from the drive train for the test.

    If you want the EPA to have a more active role in testing, you are going to have to increase their budget.
  13. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) Aspiring Hypocommuter.

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    I think that the system is working about as well as can be expected for the resources dedicated to it. You may rest well assured that if if a car is marketed as a 40-MPG vehicle, then it's pretty much capable of hitting at least close to......oh.....40-MPG.
    If you're trying to fudge the numbers a little bit, then you're going to get bit on the backside, if nowhere else, than in the court of public opinion.
    Because of the law of diminishing returns, you'd have to have an agency the size of the US Army, and with the budget to match to test all of the OEMs to assure that the stickers are accurate to within 0.1-MPG...and THEN the value would be only as good as the consumer is able to achieve.
    How would the Prius stack up against somebody like the "rhymes with Sunday" company if the tests were conducted during the winter months on an outdoor track in Michigan?

    It's a relative number...and as others have pointed out.....YMMV.

    One thing I've always respected about the Elantra is that their highest MPG trim level is their base model (same with Priuses.) You don't have to shuck out $5,000 extra dollars for their "EFE" model with different sheet metal, tires, rims, etc....

    Again.....YMMV. ;)
    1 person likes this.
  14. Timw

    Timw Junior Member

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    I just read a report about this that Popular Mechanics did there own real world test and they exceeded there expectations, go to there website and read the whole article, but here the results end of the article:
    Results


    Counter to our original hypothesis, both cars demonstrated significantly­ better fuel economy than advertised. Cruising along at 55 mph on the highway, our cars easily cleared 40 mpg and, astonishingly, approached 50. At higher speeds, with greater aerodynamic drag, the cars were still very efficient. They didn't quite get 40 mpg, but they were close. City results were equally­ impressive, with each into the mid-30s. Bear in mind that we made no effort to be overly frugal—no drafting, no excessive coasting—and we made a point to keep up with traffic. Sure, we were a little light with the pedal, but slowpokes we were not.

    What, then, should we make of our own previous fuel-economy tests and the cries of Consumer Watchdog? To put it simply, your results will vary, and that is why the window-sticker figures are called estimates. For our test, we simply concentrated a little more on thrifty driving than usual, and it was 40 F outside, so we didn't use the air conditioning. There will never be a lab test that can cover all environmental variables or account for how differently we all drive. But these two cars demonstrate that with very little behavior modification, 40 mpg is quite a realistic figure. Not only is it easy to achieve, it's easy to surpass, even under less than ideal conditions. If you choose a car with a high-economy claim and drive within reason, you should be able to match those window-sticker figures. Considering that these cars are also decent performers on the road, the benefit of this high-efficiency engineering really goes to consumers, who are apparently getting more than they've bargained for

  15. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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  16. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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  17. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web 03 and 10 Prius

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    This suit is a side-effect of the low performance, Hyundai Bluemotion system:
    Column 1 Column 2 Column 3
    0 [th]Low[th]Avg[th]High[th]model[tr][td]20[/td][td]30.2[/td][td]40[/td][td]2011 Elantra 27 owners[/td][tr][td]20[/td][td]29.1[/td][td]38[/td][td]2012 Elantra 39 owners[/td][tr][td]29[/td][td]33[/td][td]40[/td][td]EPA rating[/td]
    Source: Fuel Economy

    When I saw their single motor system at the Detroit Auto-show in 2009, I thought it might be a serious challenge to the Camry/Prius. However, it has turned out to be a dud.

    Bob Wilson
  18. JimN

    JimN Let the games begin!

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    Has anyone even asked these owners if they drove the car as per the EPA test cycle? My guess is "no" and I'll guess they haven't.
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