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Found 103 results

  1. The Environmental Protection Agency is becoming stricter as to how they test for emissions in light of the Volkswagen Diesel scandal. On Friday, the agency's Office of Transportation and Air Quality announced they would be conducting more spot checks of light-duty cars and trucks to make sure that automakers haven’t been cheating on tests. Automakers were notified of the changes via a letter. The EPA wouldn't go into detail about the changes. “They don’t need to know. They need to know that we will be keeping their cars a little bit longer,” said Christopher Grundler, director of the EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality. In the letter, the EPA states may test a vehicle “using driving cycles and conditions that may reasonably be expected to be encountered in normal operation and use.” Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), The Detroit News
  2. The Environmental Protection Agency released their annual report on industrywide fuel economy this week and says that 2013 model year vehicles achieved an average of 24.1 miles per gallon — up 0.5 mpg from the previous year and almost 5 mpg since 2004. "We are thrilled to see that manufacturers continue to innovate and are bringing technologies to improve fuel economy online even faster than anticipated," said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. Mazda was the top automaker in the report with a fleet average of 28.1 MPG, while Nissan was the leader in the full-line automakers with 26.8 MPG. The Detroit automakers made up the bottom with Ford at 22.2 MPG, GM at 22.0 MPG, and Fiat Chrysler at 20.2 MPG. The EPA also notes in its report more fuel saving technologies are beginning to appear on vehicles. For example, the report notes that five percent of vehicles that aren't hybrids. This up from none back in 2009. Source: EPA William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached atwilliam.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  3. The Environmental Protection Agency released their annual report on industrywide fuel economy this week and says that 2013 model year vehicles achieved an average of 24.1 miles per gallon — up 0.5 mpg from the previous year and almost 5 mpg since 2004. "We are thrilled to see that manufacturers continue to innovate and are bringing technologies to improve fuel economy online even faster than anticipated," said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. Mazda was the top automaker in the report with a fleet average of 28.1 MPG, while Nissan was the leader in the full-line automakers with 26.8 MPG. The Detroit automakers made up the bottom with Ford at 22.2 MPG, GM at 22.0 MPG, and Fiat Chrysler at 20.2 MPG. The EPA also notes in its report more fuel saving technologies are beginning to appear on vehicles. For example, the report notes that five percent of vehicles that aren't hybrids. This up from none back in 2009. Source: EPA William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached atwilliam.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  4. Hyundai and Kia have been hit with the largest penalty in the history of the federal Clean Air Act. The two automakers agreed to a total of $350 million in penalties for overstating the fuel economy ratings for a number of vehicles from the 2011 to 2013 model year. The total was reached through cooperation between the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Justice, and the California Air Resources Board. Here's how the $350 million breaks down: $100 Million Fine to the Federal Government Surrender fuel economy credits valued at $200 Million Spend $50 Million to upgrade its fuel economy testing procedures “Greenhouse gas emission laws protect the public from the dangers of climate change, and today’s action reinforces EPA’s commitment to see those laws through,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “Businesses that play by the rules shouldn’t have to compete with those breaking the law. This settlement upholds the integrity of the nation’s fuel economy and greenhouse gas programs and supports all Americans who want to save fuel costs and reduce their environmental impact.” This comes from the mess Hyundai and Kia found themselves in 2012 when they had to revise the fuel economy ratings on a number of vehicles from the 2011 to 2013 model years after it was found the numbers were a bit too high than what consumers got. The EPA accuses the two automakers of implementing a testing protocol that inaccurately inflated fuel-economy ratings, and then picking the higher numbers to put on their estimates. Hyundai and Kia argue that the government-mandated testing has vagueness within certain parameters such as tire condition during testing that allow for inconsistencies to appear. Hyundai also cites a "data processing error related to the coastdown testing method" in the testing procedure. But for their part, Hyundai and Kia are forming "an independent certification test group" to supervise testing, training and reporting. The two will also be auditing the fuel economy figures on 2015-2016 model year vehicles for accuracy. Source: EPA, Hyundai Press Releases are on Page 2 November 3, 2014 United States Reaches Settlement with Hyundai and Kia in Historic Greenhouse Gas Enforcement Case Hyundai and Kia to pay record $100 million penalty for selling vehicles that emit more greenhouse gases than automakers certified to EPA Washington – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Justice today announced an historic settlement with the automakers Hyundai and Kia that will resolve alleged Clean Air Act violations based on their sale of close to 1.2 million vehicles that will emit approximately 4.75 million metric tons of greenhouse gases in excess of what the automakers certified to EPA. The automakers will pay a $100 million civil penalty, the largest in Clean Air Act history, to resolve violations concerning the testing and certification of vehicles sold in America and spend approximately $50 million on measures to prevent any future violations. Hyundai and Kia will also forfeit 4.75 million greenhouse gas emission credits that the companies previously claimed, which are estimated to be worth over $200 million. Automakers earn greenhouse gas emissions credits for building vehicles with lower emissions than required by law. These credits can be used to offset emissions from less fuel-efficient vehicle models or sold or traded to other automakers for the same purpose. The greenhouse gas emissions that the forfeited credits would have allowed are equal to the emissions from powering more than 433,000 homes for a year. “Greenhouse gas emission laws protect the public from the dangers of climate change, and today’s action reinforces EPA’s commitment to see those laws through,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “Businesses that play by the rules shouldn’t have to compete with those breaking the law. This settlement upholds the integrity of the nation’s fuel economy and greenhouse gas programs and supports all Americans who want to save fuel costs and reduce their environmental impact.” “This unprecedented resolution with Hyundai and Kia underscores the Justice Department’s firm commitment to safeguarding American consumers, ensuring fairness in every marketplace, protecting the environment, and relentlessly pursuing companies that make misrepresentations and violate the law,” said Attorney General Eric Holder. “This type of conduct quite simply will not be tolerated. And the Justice Department will never rest or waver in our determination to take action against any company that engages in such activities – whenever and wherever they are uncovered.” The complaint was filed today jointly by the United States and the California Air Resources Board in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. It alleges that the car companies sold close to 1.2 million cars and SUVs from model years 2012 and 2013 whose design specifications did not conform to the specifications the companies certified to EPA, which led to the misstatements of greenhouse gas emissions. These allegations concern the Hyundai Accent, Elantra, Veloster and Santa Fe vehicles and the Kia Rio and Soul vehicles. Additionally Hyundai and Kia gave consumers inaccurate information about the real-world fuel economy performance of many of these vehicles. Hyundai and Kia overstated the fuel economy by one to six miles per gallon, depending on the vehicle. Similarly, they understated the emissions of greenhouse gases by their fleets by approximately 4.75 million metric tons over the estimated lifetime of the vehicles. In order to reduce the likelihood of future vehicle greenhouse gas emission miscalculations, Hyundai and Kia have agreed to reorganize their emissions certification group, revise test protocols, improve management of test data and enhance employee training before they conduct emissions testing to certify their model year 2017 vehicles. In the meantime, Hyundai and Kia must audit their fleets for model years 2015 and 2016 to ensure that vehicles sold to the public conform to the description and data provided to EPA. EPA discovered these violations in 2012 during audit testing. Subsequent investigation revealed that Hyundai’s and Kia’s testing protocol included numerous elements that led to inaccurately higher fuel economy ratings. In processing test data, Hyundai and Kia allegedly chose favorable results rather than average results from a large number of tests. In November 2012, Hyundai and Kia responded to EPA’s findings by correcting the fuel economy ratings for many of their 2011, 2012 and 2013 model year vehicles and establishing a reimbursement program to compensate owners for increased fuel costs due to overstated fuel economy. This case involves five different entities: Hyundai Motor Company, Hyundai Motor America, Kia Motors Corporation, Kia Motors America, and Hyundai America Technical Center, Inc. The California Air Resources Board joined the United States as a co-plaintiff in this settlement, and will receive $6,343,400 of the $100 million civil penalty. The proposed consent decree is subject to a 30-day public comment period and court review and approval. A copy of the consent decree is available on the Department of Justice website at http://www.justice.gov/enrd/Consent_Decrees.html. HYUNDAI RESOLVES U.S. EPA INVESTIGATION OF 2012 FUEL ECONOMY RATINGS RESTATEMENT Automaker’s New Fuel Economy Testing Program Approved by EPA in October 2012 FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif., Nov. 3, 2014 – Hyundai today announced that it has entered into an agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and California Air Resources Board (CARB) to resolve the government’s investigation of its 2012 restatement of fuel economy ratings. The adjustment affected approximately one-quarter of Hyundai 2011-13 model year vehicles, reducing their combined city/highway fuel economy by 1-2 miles per gallon (mpg). As part of the agreement, Hyundai will pay a $56.8 million civil penalty, forgo the use of approximately 2.7 million greenhouse gas (GHG) emission credits – the credits representing the difference between original and restated emission data – and continue to implement a series of measures including the formation of an independent certification test group to oversee the automaker’s fuel economy testing, training, data management and reporting. Additionally, Hyundai will continue to audit model year 2015-16 vehicles to confirm the accuracy of their fuel economy ratings. “Hyundai has acted transparently, reimbursed affected customers and fully cooperated with the EPA throughout the course of its investigation,” said David Zuchowski, president and CEO of Hyundai Motor America. “We are pleased to put this behind us, and gratified that even with our adjusted fuel economy ratings, Hyundai continues to lead the automotive industry in fuel efficiency and environmental performance.” According to the EPA Fuel Economy Trends Report, Hyundai’s adjusted fuel economy ratings are 27.2 mpg for 2011, 28.3 mpg for 2012 and 29.0 mpg for 2013 model year vehicles.[1] Similarly, the Union of Concerned Scientists recently named Hyundai the “Greenest Automaker” for the 2013 model year based on emissions of nitrogen oxide, non-methane organic gas and CO2. Importantly, Hyundai believes its process for testing the fuel economy of its vehicles is consistent with government regulations and guidance, which afford broad latitude to vehicle manufacturers in determining test conditions. Outside of a data processing error related to the coastdown testing method by which Hyundai calculated resistance or “road load,” it was Hyundai’s regulatory interpretation within this broad latitude that was responsible for the ratings restatement. Hyundai has corrected the error, and the EPA in October 2012 approved the automaker’s new fuel economy testing program. Over the past 30 years, the EPA has acknowledged the variability of its coastdown testing,[2] and currently is working to develop new guidance for the industry in order to improve its precision, repeatability and accuracy. “Hyundai is committed to partnering with the government to innovate fuel economy testing procedures in order to achieve more accurate and reliable ‘real-world’ results for consumers,” said Zuchowski. There is no environmental impact resulting from Hyundai’s fuel economy ratings restatement, and the automaker will continue to hold a surplus of GHG credits – approximately 20 million – following implementation of today’s settlement. To compensate the national program to reduce GHG emissions and improve fuel economy, Hyundai will amend the GHG reports it submitted to the EPA before understanding that its interpretation of industry test procedures differed from the government’s reading of the same procedures. About Hyundai’s Fuel Economy Restatement and Customer Reimbursement Program On November 2, 2012, Hyundai announced the voluntary adjustment of fuel economy ratings for approximately one-quarter of its 2011-13 model year vehicles, reducing their combined city/highway fuel economy by 1-2 miles per gallon, and relabeled affected vehicles still in dealer showrooms. In order to compensate affected customers, Hyundai provided a lifetime reimbursement program to cover the additional fuel costs associated with the rating change plus a 15 percent premium in acknowledgment of the inconvenience. The majority of customers affected by the ratings restatement enrolled in the automaker’s reimbursement program and are being compensated based on their actual mileage and the fuel costs for the region in which they live. While customers responded favorably to the reimbursement program, Hyundai through a recent class action settlement offered the option of a single lump sum cash payment for those customers who would rather not return to a dealership to have their mileage verified. So, through either the one-time lump sum payment or original lifetime reimbursement program, customers have the option of being made fully whole for Hyundai’s ratings restatement.
  5. Hyundai and Kia have been hit with the largest penalty in the history of the federal Clean Air Act. The two automakers agreed to a total of $350 million in penalties for overstating the fuel economy ratings for a number of vehicles from the 2011 to 2013 model year. The total was reached through cooperation between the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Justice, and the California Air Resources Board. Here's how the $350 million breaks down: $100 Million Fine to the Federal Government Surrender fuel economy credits valued at $200 Million Spend $50 Million to upgrade its fuel economy testing procedures “Greenhouse gas emission laws protect the public from the dangers of climate change, and today’s action reinforces EPA’s commitment to see those laws through,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “Businesses that play by the rules shouldn’t have to compete with those breaking the law. This settlement upholds the integrity of the nation’s fuel economy and greenhouse gas programs and supports all Americans who want to save fuel costs and reduce their environmental impact.” This comes from the mess Hyundai and Kia found themselves in 2012 when they had to revise the fuel economy ratings on a number of vehicles from the 2011 to 2013 model years after it was found the numbers were a bit too high than what consumers got. The EPA accuses the two automakers of implementing a testing protocol that inaccurately inflated fuel-economy ratings, and then picking the higher numbers to put on their estimates. Hyundai and Kia argue that the government-mandated testing has vagueness within certain parameters such as tire condition during testing that allow for inconsistencies to appear. Hyundai also cites a "data processing error related to the coastdown testing method" in the testing procedure. But for their part, Hyundai and Kia are forming "an independent certification test group" to supervise testing, training and reporting. The two will also be auditing the fuel economy figures on 2015-2016 model year vehicles for accuracy. Source: EPA, Hyundai Press Releases are on Page 2 November 3, 2014 United States Reaches Settlement with Hyundai and Kia in Historic Greenhouse Gas Enforcement Case Hyundai and Kia to pay record $100 million penalty for selling vehicles that emit more greenhouse gases than automakers certified to EPA Washington – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Justice today announced an historic settlement with the automakers Hyundai and Kia that will resolve alleged Clean Air Act violations based on their sale of close to 1.2 million vehicles that will emit approximately 4.75 million metric tons of greenhouse gases in excess of what the automakers certified to EPA. The automakers will pay a $100 million civil penalty, the largest in Clean Air Act history, to resolve violations concerning the testing and certification of vehicles sold in America and spend approximately $50 million on measures to prevent any future violations. Hyundai and Kia will also forfeit 4.75 million greenhouse gas emission credits that the companies previously claimed, which are estimated to be worth over $200 million. Automakers earn greenhouse gas emissions credits for building vehicles with lower emissions than required by law. These credits can be used to offset emissions from less fuel-efficient vehicle models or sold or traded to other automakers for the same purpose. The greenhouse gas emissions that the forfeited credits would have allowed are equal to the emissions from powering more than 433,000 homes for a year. “Greenhouse gas emission laws protect the public from the dangers of climate change, and today’s action reinforces EPA’s commitment to see those laws through,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “Businesses that play by the rules shouldn’t have to compete with those breaking the law. This settlement upholds the integrity of the nation’s fuel economy and greenhouse gas programs and supports all Americans who want to save fuel costs and reduce their environmental impact.” “This unprecedented resolution with Hyundai and Kia underscores the Justice Department’s firm commitment to safeguarding American consumers, ensuring fairness in every marketplace, protecting the environment, and relentlessly pursuing companies that make misrepresentations and violate the law,” said Attorney General Eric Holder. “This type of conduct quite simply will not be tolerated. And the Justice Department will never rest or waver in our determination to take action against any company that engages in such activities – whenever and wherever they are uncovered.” The complaint was filed today jointly by the United States and the California Air Resources Board in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. It alleges that the car companies sold close to 1.2 million cars and SUVs from model years 2012 and 2013 whose design specifications did not conform to the specifications the companies certified to EPA, which led to the misstatements of greenhouse gas emissions. These allegations concern the Hyundai Accent, Elantra, Veloster and Santa Fe vehicles and the Kia Rio and Soul vehicles. Additionally Hyundai and Kia gave consumers inaccurate information about the real-world fuel economy performance of many of these vehicles. Hyundai and Kia overstated the fuel economy by one to six miles per gallon, depending on the vehicle. Similarly, they understated the emissions of greenhouse gases by their fleets by approximately 4.75 million metric tons over the estimated lifetime of the vehicles. In order to reduce the likelihood of future vehicle greenhouse gas emission miscalculations, Hyundai and Kia have agreed to reorganize their emissions certification group, revise test protocols, improve management of test data and enhance employee training before they conduct emissions testing to certify their model year 2017 vehicles. In the meantime, Hyundai and Kia must audit their fleets for model years 2015 and 2016 to ensure that vehicles sold to the public conform to the description and data provided to EPA. EPA discovered these violations in 2012 during audit testing. Subsequent investigation revealed that Hyundai’s and Kia’s testing protocol included numerous elements that led to inaccurately higher fuel economy ratings. In processing test data, Hyundai and Kia allegedly chose favorable results rather than average results from a large number of tests. In November 2012, Hyundai and Kia responded to EPA’s findings by correcting the fuel economy ratings for many of their 2011, 2012 and 2013 model year vehicles and establishing a reimbursement program to compensate owners for increased fuel costs due to overstated fuel economy. This case involves five different entities: Hyundai Motor Company, Hyundai Motor America, Kia Motors Corporation, Kia Motors America, and Hyundai America Technical Center, Inc. The California Air Resources Board joined the United States as a co-plaintiff in this settlement, and will receive $6,343,400 of the $100 million civil penalty. The proposed consent decree is subject to a 30-day public comment period and court review and approval. A copy of the consent decree is available on the Department of Justice website at http://www.justice.gov/enrd/Consent_Decrees.html. HYUNDAI RESOLVES U.S. EPA INVESTIGATION OF 2012 FUEL ECONOMY RATINGS RESTATEMENT Automaker’s New Fuel Economy Testing Program Approved by EPA in October 2012 FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif., Nov. 3, 2014 – Hyundai today announced that it has entered into an agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and California Air Resources Board (CARB) to resolve the government’s investigation of its 2012 restatement of fuel economy ratings. The adjustment affected approximately one-quarter of Hyundai 2011-13 model year vehicles, reducing their combined city/highway fuel economy by 1-2 miles per gallon (mpg). As part of the agreement, Hyundai will pay a $56.8 million civil penalty, forgo the use of approximately 2.7 million greenhouse gas (GHG) emission credits – the credits representing the difference between original and restated emission data – and continue to implement a series of measures including the formation of an independent certification test group to oversee the automaker’s fuel economy testing, training, data management and reporting. Additionally, Hyundai will continue to audit model year 2015-16 vehicles to confirm the accuracy of their fuel economy ratings. “Hyundai has acted transparently, reimbursed affected customers and fully cooperated with the EPA throughout the course of its investigation,” said David Zuchowski, president and CEO of Hyundai Motor America. “We are pleased to put this behind us, and gratified that even with our adjusted fuel economy ratings, Hyundai continues to lead the automotive industry in fuel efficiency and environmental performance.” According to the EPA Fuel Economy Trends Report, Hyundai’s adjusted fuel economy ratings are 27.2 mpg for 2011, 28.3 mpg for 2012 and 29.0 mpg for 2013 model year vehicles.[1] Similarly, the Union of Concerned Scientists recently named Hyundai the “Greenest Automaker” for the 2013 model year based on emissions of nitrogen oxide, non-methane organic gas and CO2. Importantly, Hyundai believes its process for testing the fuel economy of its vehicles is consistent with government regulations and guidance, which afford broad latitude to vehicle manufacturers in determining test conditions. Outside of a data processing error related to the coastdown testing method by which Hyundai calculated resistance or “road load,” it was Hyundai’s regulatory interpretation within this broad latitude that was responsible for the ratings restatement. Hyundai has corrected the error, and the EPA in October 2012 approved the automaker’s new fuel economy testing program. Over the past 30 years, the EPA has acknowledged the variability of its coastdown testing,[2] and currently is working to develop new guidance for the industry in order to improve its precision, repeatability and accuracy. “Hyundai is committed to partnering with the government to innovate fuel economy testing procedures in order to achieve more accurate and reliable ‘real-world’ results for consumers,” said Zuchowski. There is no environmental impact resulting from Hyundai’s fuel economy ratings restatement, and the automaker will continue to hold a surplus of GHG credits – approximately 20 million – following implementation of today’s settlement. To compensate the national program to reduce GHG emissions and improve fuel economy, Hyundai will amend the GHG reports it submitted to the EPA before understanding that its interpretation of industry test procedures differed from the government’s reading of the same procedures. About Hyundai’s Fuel Economy Restatement and Customer Reimbursement Program On November 2, 2012, Hyundai announced the voluntary adjustment of fuel economy ratings for approximately one-quarter of its 2011-13 model year vehicles, reducing their combined city/highway fuel economy by 1-2 miles per gallon, and relabeled affected vehicles still in dealer showrooms. In order to compensate affected customers, Hyundai provided a lifetime reimbursement program to cover the additional fuel costs associated with the rating change plus a 15 percent premium in acknowledgment of the inconvenience. The majority of customers affected by the ratings restatement enrolled in the automaker’s reimbursement program and are being compensated based on their actual mileage and the fuel costs for the region in which they live. While customers responded favorably to the reimbursement program, Hyundai through a recent class action settlement offered the option of a single lump sum cash payment for those customers who would rather not return to a dealership to have their mileage verified. So, through either the one-time lump sum payment or original lifetime reimbursement program, customers have the option of being made fully whole for Hyundai’s ratings restatement. View full article
  6. The EPA has been on a bit of a tear with revising fuel economy numbers on a number of vehicles since the whole Hyundai/Kia fuel economy fiasco. Ford had to revised their numbers on a couple of their vehicles, and recently Mercedes-Benz had to do same with the new C-Class. Now MINI is the latest automaker to change their numbers. Announced this week, MINI will be changing the fuel economy numbers on four different models. This comes as the result of an audit done by the EPA, and joint re-testing done by BMW and the EPA. The models affected include the three-door Cooper and Cooper S models. The old and revised numbers are listed below, Cooper w/six-speed manual: Old - 30 City/42 Highway/32 Combined; New - 29 City/40 Highway/33 Combined Cooper w/six-speed automatic: Old - 29 City/40 Highway/33 Combined; New - 28 City/39 Highway/32 Combined Cooper S w/six-speed manual: Old - 25 City/38 Highway/29 Combined; New - 24 City/34 Highway/28 Combined Cooper S w/six-speed automatic: Old - 27 City/38 Highway/31 Combined; New - 26 City/35 Highway/30 Combined Source: EPA William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 EPA Requiring BMW to Correct Fuel Economy Labels for Four Mini Cooper Vehicles Washington - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is revising estimates for four 2014 BMW Mini Cooper vehicles to ensure consumers are given accurate fuel economy values. The EPA performed a fuel economy audit on the BMW Mini Cooper and obtained values that differed from those BMW submitted to EPA for certification. With EPA oversight, BMW conducted new emissions and fuel economy testing, and EPA conducted its own testing at its National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Laboratory in Ann Arbor, Michigan. As a result of this subsequent testing, EPA is requiring BMW to relabel four of its 2014 Mini Cooper models with lower fuel economy values. The specific changes to fuel economy stickers are listed in the table below. 2014 BMW Mini Cooper Fuel Economy Value Updates Old Label Values New Label Values Model Transmission Combined (mpg) City (mpg) Highway (mpg) Combined (mpg) City (mpg) Highway (mpg) Cooper 3-door MT 34 30 42 33 29 40 Cooper 3-door Semi-Auto 33 29 40 32 28 39 Cooper S 3-door MT 29 25 38 28 24 34 Cooper S 3-door Semi-Auto 31 27 38 30 26 35 "Fuel economy values matter to consumers and automakers," said Christopher Grundler, director of EPA's Office of Transportation and Air Quality. "To provide consumers with the most accurate, reliable and repeatable fuel economy values, we are continuing to strengthen our oversight to ensure fair competition among automakers." EPA's National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Laboratory conducts fuel economy testing on vehicles each year to ensure that their performance matches the mileage and emissions data automakers submit to EPA. These audits are part of the oversight program that helps ensure all carmakers are following the same procedures for calculating mileage estimates. The oversight program also helps the EPA verify that vehicles on the road meet national tailpipe emission standards to protect public health and the environment.
  7. The EPA has been on a bit of a tear with revising fuel economy numbers on a number of vehicles since the whole Hyundai/Kia fuel economy fiasco. Ford had to revised their numbers on a couple of their vehicles, and recently Mercedes-Benz had to do same with the new C-Class. Now MINI is the latest automaker to change their numbers. Announced this week, MINI will be changing the fuel economy numbers on four different models. This comes as the result of an audit done by the EPA, and joint re-testing done by BMW and the EPA. The models affected include the three-door Cooper and Cooper S models. The old and revised numbers are listed below, Cooper w/six-speed manual: Old - 30 City/42 Highway/32 Combined; New - 29 City/40 Highway/33 Combined Cooper w/six-speed automatic: Old - 29 City/40 Highway/33 Combined; New - 28 City/39 Highway/32 Combined Cooper S w/six-speed manual: Old - 25 City/38 Highway/29 Combined; New - 24 City/34 Highway/28 Combined Cooper S w/six-speed automatic: Old - 27 City/38 Highway/31 Combined; New - 26 City/35 Highway/30 Combined Source: EPA William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 EPA Requiring BMW to Correct Fuel Economy Labels for Four Mini Cooper Vehicles Washington - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is revising estimates for four 2014 BMW Mini Cooper vehicles to ensure consumers are given accurate fuel economy values. The EPA performed a fuel economy audit on the BMW Mini Cooper and obtained values that differed from those BMW submitted to EPA for certification. With EPA oversight, BMW conducted new emissions and fuel economy testing, and EPA conducted its own testing at its National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Laboratory in Ann Arbor, Michigan. As a result of this subsequent testing, EPA is requiring BMW to relabel four of its 2014 Mini Cooper models with lower fuel economy values. The specific changes to fuel economy stickers are listed in the table below. 2014 BMW Mini Cooper Fuel Economy Value Updates Old Label Values New Label Values Model Transmission Combined (mpg) City (mpg) Highway (mpg) Combined (mpg) City (mpg) Highway (mpg) Cooper 3-door MT 34 30 42 33 29 40 Cooper 3-door Semi-Auto 33 29 40 32 28 39 Cooper S 3-door MT 29 25 38 28 24 34 Cooper S 3-door Semi-Auto 31 27 38 30 26 35 "Fuel economy values matter to consumers and automakers," said Christopher Grundler, director of EPA's Office of Transportation and Air Quality. "To provide consumers with the most accurate, reliable and repeatable fuel economy values, we are continuing to strengthen our oversight to ensure fair competition among automakers." EPA's National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Laboratory conducts fuel economy testing on vehicles each year to ensure that their performance matches the mileage and emissions data automakers submit to EPA. These audits are part of the oversight program that helps ensure all carmakers are following the same procedures for calculating mileage estimates. The oversight program also helps the EPA verify that vehicles on the road meet national tailpipe emission standards to protect public health and the environment. View full article
  8. After a number of automakers having to revise their fuel economy estimates, the Environmental Protection Agency is proposing that automakers run their vehicles in the real world to see if their estimates hold any water. "Some auto makers already do this, but we are establishing a regulatory requirement for all auto makers," said Chris Grundler, director of the EPA's Office of Transportation and Air Quality. The EPA's proposal would have automakers run their vehicles on a test track to measure air-resistance and rolling friction. At the moment, most automakers use computer models to generate this data. But if the wrong data is put in, it could cause mileage numbers to inflate, such was the case with Ford in their most recent revision. The EPA does note that a few OEMs do real world testing, but it hopes that it can make the testing a requirement for all. Source: Wall Street Journal (Subscription Required) William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached atwilliam.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  9. After a number of automakers having to revise their fuel economy estimates, the Environmental Protection Agency is proposing that automakers run their vehicles in the real world to see if their estimates hold any water. "Some auto makers already do this, but we are establishing a regulatory requirement for all auto makers," said Chris Grundler, director of the EPA's Office of Transportation and Air Quality. The EPA's proposal would have automakers run their vehicles on a test track to measure air-resistance and rolling friction. At the moment, most automakers use computer models to generate this data. But if the wrong data is put in, it could cause mileage numbers to inflate, such was the case with Ford in their most recent revision. The EPA does note that a few OEMs do real world testing, but it hopes that it can make the testing a requirement for all. Source: Wall Street Journal (Subscription Required) William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached atwilliam.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  10. Not even a full year has passed since Ford lowered the fuel economy estimates on a number of vehicles, but they are doing it again. This afternoon, the company announced that it will be lowering the fuel economy ratings on a number of its 2013 and 2014 model year vehicles due to an error in the company's internal testing. The error comes from what is known as the Total Road Load Horsepower (TRLHP). The automaker explains TRLHP is used as a measure of resistance in dyno testing for fuel economy ratings. TRLHP is different for each vehicle. Ford says that the TLRHP used on the affected vehicles was incorrect. There was also problems in how the wind tunnel testing was factored into the estimates. "Ford is absolutely committed to delivering top fuel economy and accurate information. We apologize to our customers and will provide goodwill payments to affected owners. We also are taking steps to improve our processes and prevent issues like this from happening again," said Ford president and CEO, Alan Mulally. The vehicles involved are: 2013 - 14 C-Max Hybrid (Down 3 MPG on combined) 2013 - 14 C-Max Energi (Down 5 MPG on combined) 2013 - 14 Fusion Hybrid (Down 5 MPG on combined) 2013 - 14 Fusion Energi (Down 5 MPG on combined) 2013 - 14 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid (Down 7 MPG on combined) 2014 Fiesta (1.0L EcoBoost Three-Cylinder, 1.6L Four-Cylnder equipped with the Automatic, 1.6L SFE equipped with the Automatic) (Down 1 to 2 MPG on combined) Ford will be issuing goodwill payments to consumers who leased or purchased the affected vehicles. Amounts will range from $125 to $1,050, depending on the model and whether it was bought or leased. Source: Ford William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 JUN 12, 2014 | DEARBORN, MICHIGAN FORD MOTOR COMPANY LOWERS FUEL ECONOMY RATINGS FOR SIX VEHICLES Ford identified an error with fuel economy ratings for certain vehicles through its internal testing and notified the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Ford worked with EPA as the agency retested the vehicles, which resulted in lower fuel economy ratings for Ford’s 2013- and 2014-model year hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles, as well as most 2014-model year Fiestas The company apologizes to its customers, and will make goodwill payments to owners of the approximately 200,000 affected U.S. vehicles for the difference between the previous and revised ratings Ford reviewed its entire line up to determine the vehicles that required further testing and revised the fuel economy ratings for the affected vehicles. No other fuel economy ratings adjustments are planned Ford Motor Company announced today it is lowering the fuel economy ratings for its 2013- and 2014-model year hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles, as well as most 2014-model year Fiestas. Ford identified an error with fuel economy ratings on certain vehicles through its internal testing and notified EPA. The company worked with EPA as the agency retested the vehicles to determine the correct fuel economy ratings. “Ford is absolutely committed to delivering top fuel economy and accurate information,” said Alan Mulally, Ford president and CEO. “We apologize to our customers and will provide goodwill payments to affected owners. We also are taking steps to improve our processes and prevent issues like this from happening again.” Ford reviewed its entire line up to determine the vehicles that required further testing and revised the fuel economy ratings for the affected vehicles. No other label adjustments are planned. “This is our error. When we see an issue, we address it,” said Raj Nair, Ford group vice president, Global Product Development. “That is why we notified EPA and lowered the fuel economy ratings for these vehicles.” Fuel Economy Testing Fuel economy testing involves many factors. Ford’s error was specific to a factor called "Total Road Load Horsepower", or TRLHP. TRLHP is a vehicle-specific resistance level used in vehicle dynamometer testing that determines fuel economy ratings. TRLHP is established through engineering models that are validated through vehicle testing, including physical track tests referred to as coastdown testing. Use of these engineering models is a common industry practice, consistent with EPA regulations. These models normally are more reliable and consistent than physical vehicle tests, which can exhibit variability. As an ongoing practice, Ford conducts tests on production vehicles to validate its engineering models. Based on coastdown testing of the Fusion Hybrid, the company found the TRLHP did not match the values used for the dynamometer testing. Upon further testing, Ford also discovered an error specific to how we correlate wind tunnel results into the TRLHP model. Ford’s error was the result of a recent process change, which the company has since corrected. Ford has now validated through physical vehicle testing the TRLHP for the vehicles affected by this error and also has instituted enhanced validation tests for future vehicles to prevent reoccurrence of this error. New Fuel Economy Ratings and Customer Information Ford has communicated to its dealers that new fuel economy labels will be available in approximately six days and that dealers may continue selling the vehicles until the new labels are received. Ford estimates that approximately 200,000 of these vehicles have been sold or leased to customers in the United States. Affected Ford and Lincoln owners and lessees in the United States will receive a goodwill payment for the estimated average fuel cost of the difference between the two fuel economy labels, as shown in the table below. Affected U.S. fleet owners and affected owners outside of the United States will be contacted by their local Ford representatives. Customers with questions can contact the Ford Customer Relationship Center at 1-866-436-7332 or visit: www.ford.com/mpglabel and www.lincoln.com/mpglabel.
  11. Not even a full year has passed since Ford lowered the fuel economy estimates on a number of vehicles, but they are doing it again. This afternoon, the company announced that it will be lowering the fuel economy ratings on a number of its 2013 and 2014 model year vehicles due to an error in the company's internal testing. The error comes from what is known as the Total Road Load Horsepower (TRLHP). The automaker explains TRLHP is used as a measure of resistance in dyno testing for fuel economy ratings. TRLHP is different for each vehicle. Ford says that the TLRHP used on the affected vehicles was incorrect. There was also problems in how the wind tunnel testing was factored into the estimates. "Ford is absolutely committed to delivering top fuel economy and accurate information. We apologize to our customers and will provide goodwill payments to affected owners. We also are taking steps to improve our processes and prevent issues like this from happening again," said Ford president and CEO, Alan Mulally. The vehicles involved are: 2013 - 14 C-Max Hybrid (Down 3 MPG on combined) 2013 - 14 C-Max Energi (Down 5 MPG on combined) 2013 - 14 Fusion Hybrid (Down 5 MPG on combined) 2013 - 14 Fusion Energi (Down 5 MPG on combined) 2013 - 14 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid (Down 7 MPG on combined) 2014 Fiesta (1.0L EcoBoost Three-Cylinder, 1.6L Four-Cylnder equipped with the Automatic, 1.6L SFE equipped with the Automatic) (Down 1 to 2 MPG on combined) Ford will be issuing goodwill payments to consumers who leased or purchased the affected vehicles. Amounts will range from $125 to $1,050, depending on the model and whether it was bought or leased. Source: Ford William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 JUN 12, 2014 | DEARBORN, MICHIGAN FORD MOTOR COMPANY LOWERS FUEL ECONOMY RATINGS FOR SIX VEHICLES Ford identified an error with fuel economy ratings for certain vehicles through its internal testing and notified the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Ford worked with EPA as the agency retested the vehicles, which resulted in lower fuel economy ratings for Ford’s 2013- and 2014-model year hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles, as well as most 2014-model year Fiestas The company apologizes to its customers, and will make goodwill payments to owners of the approximately 200,000 affected U.S. vehicles for the difference between the previous and revised ratings Ford reviewed its entire line up to determine the vehicles that required further testing and revised the fuel economy ratings for the affected vehicles. No other fuel economy ratings adjustments are planned Ford Motor Company announced today it is lowering the fuel economy ratings for its 2013- and 2014-model year hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles, as well as most 2014-model year Fiestas. Ford identified an error with fuel economy ratings on certain vehicles through its internal testing and notified EPA. The company worked with EPA as the agency retested the vehicles to determine the correct fuel economy ratings. “Ford is absolutely committed to delivering top fuel economy and accurate information,” said Alan Mulally, Ford president and CEO. “We apologize to our customers and will provide goodwill payments to affected owners. We also are taking steps to improve our processes and prevent issues like this from happening again.” Ford reviewed its entire line up to determine the vehicles that required further testing and revised the fuel economy ratings for the affected vehicles. No other label adjustments are planned. “This is our error. When we see an issue, we address it,” said Raj Nair, Ford group vice president, Global Product Development. “That is why we notified EPA and lowered the fuel economy ratings for these vehicles.” Fuel Economy Testing Fuel economy testing involves many factors. Ford’s error was specific to a factor called "Total Road Load Horsepower", or TRLHP. TRLHP is a vehicle-specific resistance level used in vehicle dynamometer testing that determines fuel economy ratings. TRLHP is established through engineering models that are validated through vehicle testing, including physical track tests referred to as coastdown testing. Use of these engineering models is a common industry practice, consistent with EPA regulations. These models normally are more reliable and consistent than physical vehicle tests, which can exhibit variability. As an ongoing practice, Ford conducts tests on production vehicles to validate its engineering models. Based on coastdown testing of the Fusion Hybrid, the company found the TRLHP did not match the values used for the dynamometer testing. Upon further testing, Ford also discovered an error specific to how we correlate wind tunnel results into the TRLHP model. Ford’s error was the result of a recent process change, which the company has since corrected. Ford has now validated through physical vehicle testing the TRLHP for the vehicles affected by this error and also has instituted enhanced validation tests for future vehicles to prevent reoccurrence of this error. New Fuel Economy Ratings and Customer Information Ford has communicated to its dealers that new fuel economy labels will be available in approximately six days and that dealers may continue selling the vehicles until the new labels are received. Ford estimates that approximately 200,000 of these vehicles have been sold or leased to customers in the United States. Affected Ford and Lincoln owners and lessees in the United States will receive a goodwill payment for the estimated average fuel cost of the difference between the two fuel economy labels, as shown in the table below. Affected U.S. fleet owners and affected owners outside of the United States will be contacted by their local Ford representatives. Customers with questions can contact the Ford Customer Relationship Center at 1-866-436-7332 or visit: www.ford.com/mpglabel and www.lincoln.com/mpglabel. View full article
  12. Reuters reports that the Fiat CEO at a conference on Wednesday was being bluntly honest when he said do not buy the 500e. To quote the CEO; "We loose $14,000 on each 500e we sell." He went on to state that they would sell the minimum required to keep selling their auto's in the US and in states like California. He also went on to say that by 2025 3/4 of the auto's they sell will be Hybrids to meet the Governments mandated MPG fuel requirements. The full story was published here: http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/05/21/chrsyelr-ceo-evs-idUSL1N0O71MS20140521?feedType=RSS This story makes me ask the following question. If people keep saying that Electric Auto's are outselling the early days of Hybrids, then why are there not more electric auto's? We see a growing list of auto's with the option of CNG or Hybrid.
  13. G. David Felt Alternative Fuels & Propulsion writer www.CheersandGears.com EPA Apps and Tools for Alternative Energy The EPA is working hard to allow people to find Alternative Energy stations via their first smartphone app. Support from the Energy Department, the Alternative Fueling Station Locator app provides information on more than 15,000 stations across the country. This was developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The app allows users to select multiple parameters such as if the station is open to the public, what form of payments they take, hours of operation, address, phone numbers, etc. This app allows for the search of the following fuels: stations that offer electricity, biodiesel (B20), natural gas (compressed CNG and liquefied LNG), ethanol (E85), hydrogen, and propane. The Alternative Fueling Station Locator app is available for the iPhone and iPad at no cost from the Apple App Store. More information can be attained here : http://energy.gov/eere/articles/energy-department-launches-alternative-fueling-station-locator-app?utm_source=+WW+Clean+Cities+News+Digest+--+November+26%2C+2013&utm_campaign=Weekly+News+Digest&utm_medium=email One thing that every business owner wants is to be able to see what the ROI (Return on Investment) point would be for Alternative Fuels. Clean Cities and the Argonne National Laboratory has taken data and created a spread sheet that allows people to plug in specific information so that they can get the following information: 1) Simple Payback Calculator 2) Total Cost of Ownership Calculator, 3) Fleet Energy and Emissions Footprint Calculator Using multiple sources of data, a well to wheels approach allows one to figure out their carbon footprint based on what types of auto's they drive, type of fuel used and type of work done to estimate ones carbon footprint. The AFLEET tool's spreadsheet and user manual can be found here: http://greet.es.anl.gov/afleet_tool Full story by Green Fleet can be found here: http://www.greenfleetmagazine.com/news/51780/feds-develop-alt-fuel-analytical-tool?utm_campaign=topnews-20131122&utm_source=Email&utm_medium=Enewsletter&utm_source=+WW+Clean+Cities+News+Digest+--+November+26%2C+2013&utm_campaign=Weekly+News+Digest&utm_medium=email
  14. G. David Felt Staff Writer Alternative Energy - www.cheersandgears.com On Friday November 15th, the Obama administration and the EPA acknowledged that the Bio-Fuel law championed by both parties in 2007 is not meeting expectations and that the US has hit it's limit for now. Against strong lobbing by the Ethanol to resist cuts, the EPA has proposed cutting the amount of fuel in 2014 that must be blended by 14%. Will this drop corn prices? Increase or decrease refined petrol cost at the pump? Reduce maintenance on auto's? Cost jobs in certain sectors? Sounds off on how you feel about the Ethanol blends! Give your positive and negative feedback on how you feel about this. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/11/15/the-u-s-is-hitting-its-ethanol-limit-so-the-epa-will-weaken-its-biofuels-rules/ http://www.moneynews.com/Economy/EPA-Oil-Industry-Biofuel/2013/11/15/id/536937 http://breakingenergy.com/2012/09/30/biodiesel-producer-urges-epa-to-resist-calls-for-ethanol-mandate/
  15. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com October 4, 2013 The Environmental Protection Agency announced plans to release their results of fuel economy audits done on twenty vehicles. Christopher Grundler, head of the EPA's Office of Transportation and Air Quality tells Automotive News the audits looked at a specific portion of the test cycle known as the coast-down test. The coast-down test has a vehicle run up to 80 MPH and then is allowed to glide to a stop. This test measures the aero of the vehicle, the rolling resistance of the tires, and amount of friction in the drivetrain. That data is then put into a dynamometer that an automaker uses to run its vehicle through the EPA test. This is what tripped-up Hyundai and Kia in their fuel economy ratings for a certain number of vehicles last year. With the EPA's small staff, it typically only audits a small number of automaker's mpg results for new vehicles. Plus, the coast-down test was never really a focus of their investigations. That changed in 2010 as EPA wanted to deter automakers from inflating their fuel economy ratings. Grudnler declined to reveal specifics of the EPA’s report, but did say "will be very interesting to some people." Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  16. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com October 4, 2013 The Environmental Protection Agency announced plans to release their results of fuel economy audits done on twenty vehicles. Christopher Grundler, head of the EPA's Office of Transportation and Air Quality tells Automotive News the audits looked at a specific portion of the test cycle known as the coast-down test. The coast-down test has a vehicle run up to 80 MPH and then is allowed to glide to a stop. This test measures the aero of the vehicle, the rolling resistance of the tires, and amount of friction in the drivetrain. That data is then put into a dynamometer that an automaker uses to run its vehicle through the EPA test. This is what tripped-up Hyundai and Kia in their fuel economy ratings for a certain number of vehicles last year. With the EPA's small staff, it typically only audits a small number of automaker's mpg results for new vehicles. Plus, the coast-down test was never really a focus of their investigations. That changed in 2010 as EPA wanted to deter automakers from inflating their fuel economy ratings. Grudnler declined to reveal specifics of the EPA’s report, but did say "will be very interesting to some people." Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  17. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com August 26, 2013 When Ford announced that it was lowering the fuel economy numbers of the C-Max Hybrid a couple of weeks ago, they said the EPA's fuel economy testing was unrealistic for hybrid vehicles. The EPA has come back this week and gave a clear message: "The problem here is really not how the testing is done." Christopher Grundler, the EPA's top auto industry regulator told Automotive News that the EPA's own engineers weren't sure if their tests were accurate due to the whole C-Max Hybrid fiasco and decided to retest a few hybrid vehicles in the summer. The results? The Toyota Prius and Hyundai Sonata Hybrid had no problems in the tests that caused the C-Max Hybrid to stumble. "It was all quite reassuring," said Grundler. Grundler says the EPA will likely change the rule that allows an automaker to test one vehicle for fuel economy and then share the ratings across a number of vehicles if they meet certain criteria. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  18. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com August 26, 2013 When Ford announced that it was lowering the fuel economy numbers of the C-Max Hybrid a couple of weeks ago, they said the EPA's fuel economy testing was unrealistic for hybrid vehicles. The EPA has come back this week and gave a clear message: "The problem here is really not how the testing is done." Christopher Grundler, the EPA's top auto industry regulator told Automotive News that the EPA's own engineers weren't sure if their tests were accurate due to the whole C-Max Hybrid fiasco and decided to retest a few hybrid vehicles in the summer. The results? The Toyota Prius and Hyundai Sonata Hybrid had no problems in the tests that caused the C-Max Hybrid to stumble. "It was all quite reassuring," said Grundler. Grundler says the EPA will likely change the rule that allows an automaker to test one vehicle for fuel economy and then share the ratings across a number of vehicles if they meet certain criteria. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  19. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com August 15, 2013 When Ford launched the C-Max Hybrid, they claimed that it would get 47 MPG in the city, on the highway, and combined. In the real world, that wasn't coming up at all. Owners complained that they were not seeing anywhere close to those numbers and the EPA opened an investigation to see if those numbers were achievable. Today Ford announced that they are voluntarily lowering fuel economy estimates on the C-Max Hybrid to 45 City/40 Highway/43 Combined. Ford also announced they would be compensating current owners the average estimated fuel cost difference between the two labels; $325 to lessees and $550 to buyers. How did the C-Max Hybrid end up with those numbers in the first place? Well it deals with EPA General Label rules. Essentially automakers generate a fuel economy label for a group of vehicles that share common characteristics; similar weight class and powertrain as examples. From there, tests are done on the vehicle who is projected to have the highest sales in the family. In the case of the C-Max Hybrid, it was grouped in with the Fusion Hybrid due to both have the same powertrain and being of similar weight. The Fusion Hybrid was tested and the numbers it got during its fuel economy test were applied to the C-Max Hybrid. Source: Ford William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 FORD UPGRADES 2014 C-MAX HYBRID FOR BETTER FUEL ECONOMY, CHANGES 2013 LABEL TO IMPROVE CUSTOMER SATISFACTION 2014 Ford C-MAX Hybrid on sale later this year is upgraded with new transmission gearing and enhanced aerodynamics to further improve fuel efficiency performance Ford voluntarily changing its approach to C-MAX Hybrid fuel economy labeling going forward to better match performance and improve customer satisfaction Label changes will result in a lower 2013 C-MAX Hybrid miles-per-gallon label – though still class-leading and a better combined label than the Toyota Prius v; current C-MAX Hybrid owners will receive a goodwill payment for the difference Customer demand for C-MAX Hybrid remains very strong, with two-thirds of buyers from imports; C-MAX Hybrid helps drive Ford to best quarterly hybrid U.S. sales ever Underscoring its commitment to fuel economy leadership, Ford Motor Company today said it is upgrading the 2014 Ford C-MAX Hybrid, which will go on sale in December. The company also is changing the way it tests and labels the 2013 C-MAX Hybrid for fuel economy to better match performance and improve customer satisfaction. The upgrades build on powertrain software updates Ford announced last month for the 2013 C-MAX Hybrid. The 2014 C-MAX also will benefit from several hardware changes, including: Gearing changes that result in a more efficient transmission drive ratio New hood seal, front and rear tire deflectors, A-pillar moldings and the addition of rear lift gate deflectors to improve vehicle aerodynamics New engine oil with reduced friction The enhancements to the 2014 C-MAX Hybrid are expected to improve customers' on-road fuel economy, especially at highway speeds. "Ford is absolutely committed to being a leader in the hybrid market and to top fuel efficiency across our lineup," said Raj Nair, group vice president, global product development. "We are taking actions with our popular C-MAX Hybrid so that customers are even more satisfied with the vehicle's on-road fuel efficiency performance." The variability of on-road fuel economy is greater for hybrids than for conventional vehicles. Relatively small differences in driver behavior and driving conditions can have a significant effect on the degree to which a hybrid's gasoline engine is used for propulsion, which affects fuel efficiency. Changes to C-MAX Hybrid fuel economy labeling process In addition to improving the vehicle itself, Ford is changing the way it generates the miles-per-gallon label for C-MAX Hybrid going forward. Previously – and consistent with EPA's General Label rules – testing of the Fusion Hybrid was used to generate fuel economy labels for a family of vehicles, including both Fusion Hybrid and C-MAX Hybrid. The result was the same fuel economy label values for both vehicles. While the company could continue to use EPA's General Label for C-MAX Hybrid, Ford voluntarily has decided to test and label C-MAX Hybrid separately going forward. The result will be a lower miles-per-gallon label for the 2013 C-MAX Hybrid. Testing to generate a label for the 2014 C-MAX Hybrid is not yet complete. The revised 2013 Ford C-MAX Hybrid label will carry a class-leading EPA combined fuel economy value of 43 mpg – topping the combined label value of 42 mpg for the Toyota Prius v. Because this voluntary step results in miles-per-gallon values different from the original C-MAX Hybrid label, Ford also is making a goodwill payment to current C-MAX Hybrid owners for the estimated average fuel cost of the difference between the two labels. Customers who purchased their vehicle will receive a check from Ford for $550. Customers who leased their vehicle will receive a check for $325. Existing customers will be notified by mail, and Ford is working with dealers to re-label vehicles on dealer lots. Customers with questions can contact the Ford Customer Relationship Center at http://corporate.ford.com/owner-services/customer-support/contact-ford, or +1-800-392-3673. Strong C-MAX customer reaction Customer response to Ford C-MAX is strong. In fact, C-MAX Hybrid and C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid are driving record U.S. electrified vehicle sales. Ford sold 53,014 electrified vehicles through July – 392 percent higher than a year ago. Two-thirds of buyers are coming from imports. In addition, the latest J.D. Power APEAL study shows C-MAX Hybrid is scoring high with customers. Engine responsiveness, smoothness, passing power/acceleration, interior quietness and visibility all rank significantly higher than the segment average. Customers also report C-MAX is "more luxurious" and "more innovative," as well as more environmentally friendly. Ford's electrified vehicle market share through the first seven months of this year is 15.4 percent -- a 12-point increase compared with the same period last year.
  20. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com August 15, 2013 When Ford launched the C-Max Hybrid, they claimed that it would get 47 MPG in the city, on the highway, and combined. In the real world, that wasn't coming up at all. Owners complained that they were not seeing anywhere close to those numbers and the EPA opened an investigation to see if those numbers were achievable. Today Ford announced that they are voluntarily lowering fuel economy estimates on the C-Max Hybrid to 45 City/40 Highway/43 Combined. Ford also announced they would be compensating current owners the average estimated fuel cost difference between the two labels; $325 to lessees and $550 to buyers. How did the C-Max Hybrid end up with those numbers in the first place? Well it deals with EPA General Label rules. Essentially automakers generate a fuel economy label for a group of vehicles that share common characteristics; similar weight class and powertrain as examples. From there, tests are done on the vehicle who is projected to have the highest sales in the family. In the case of the C-Max Hybrid, it was grouped in with the Fusion Hybrid due to both have the same powertrain and being of similar weight. The Fusion Hybrid was tested and the numbers it got during its fuel economy test were applied to the C-Max Hybrid. Source: Ford William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 FORD UPGRADES 2014 C-MAX HYBRID FOR BETTER FUEL ECONOMY, CHANGES 2013 LABEL TO IMPROVE CUSTOMER SATISFACTION 2014 Ford C-MAX Hybrid on sale later this year is upgraded with new transmission gearing and enhanced aerodynamics to further improve fuel efficiency performance Ford voluntarily changing its approach to C-MAX Hybrid fuel economy labeling going forward to better match performance and improve customer satisfaction Label changes will result in a lower 2013 C-MAX Hybrid miles-per-gallon label – though still class-leading and a better combined label than the Toyota Prius v; current C-MAX Hybrid owners will receive a goodwill payment for the difference Customer demand for C-MAX Hybrid remains very strong, with two-thirds of buyers from imports; C-MAX Hybrid helps drive Ford to best quarterly hybrid U.S. sales ever Underscoring its commitment to fuel economy leadership, Ford Motor Company today said it is upgrading the 2014 Ford C-MAX Hybrid, which will go on sale in December. The company also is changing the way it tests and labels the 2013 C-MAX Hybrid for fuel economy to better match performance and improve customer satisfaction. The upgrades build on powertrain software updates Ford announced last month for the 2013 C-MAX Hybrid. The 2014 C-MAX also will benefit from several hardware changes, including: Gearing changes that result in a more efficient transmission drive ratio New hood seal, front and rear tire deflectors, A-pillar moldings and the addition of rear lift gate deflectors to improve vehicle aerodynamics New engine oil with reduced friction The enhancements to the 2014 C-MAX Hybrid are expected to improve customers' on-road fuel economy, especially at highway speeds. "Ford is absolutely committed to being a leader in the hybrid market and to top fuel efficiency across our lineup," said Raj Nair, group vice president, global product development. "We are taking actions with our popular C-MAX Hybrid so that customers are even more satisfied with the vehicle's on-road fuel efficiency performance." The variability of on-road fuel economy is greater for hybrids than for conventional vehicles. Relatively small differences in driver behavior and driving conditions can have a significant effect on the degree to which a hybrid's gasoline engine is used for propulsion, which affects fuel efficiency. Changes to C-MAX Hybrid fuel economy labeling process In addition to improving the vehicle itself, Ford is changing the way it generates the miles-per-gallon label for C-MAX Hybrid going forward. Previously – and consistent with EPA's General Label rules – testing of the Fusion Hybrid was used to generate fuel economy labels for a family of vehicles, including both Fusion Hybrid and C-MAX Hybrid. The result was the same fuel economy label values for both vehicles. While the company could continue to use EPA's General Label for C-MAX Hybrid, Ford voluntarily has decided to test and label C-MAX Hybrid separately going forward. The result will be a lower miles-per-gallon label for the 2013 C-MAX Hybrid. Testing to generate a label for the 2014 C-MAX Hybrid is not yet complete. The revised 2013 Ford C-MAX Hybrid label will carry a class-leading EPA combined fuel economy value of 43 mpg – topping the combined label value of 42 mpg for the Toyota Prius v. Because this voluntary step results in miles-per-gallon values different from the original C-MAX Hybrid label, Ford also is making a goodwill payment to current C-MAX Hybrid owners for the estimated average fuel cost of the difference between the two labels. Customers who purchased their vehicle will receive a check from Ford for $550. Customers who leased their vehicle will receive a check for $325. Existing customers will be notified by mail, and Ford is working with dealers to re-label vehicles on dealer lots. Customers with questions can contact the Ford Customer Relationship Center at http://corporate.ford.com/owner-services/customer-support/contact-ford, or +1-800-392-3673. Strong C-MAX customer reaction Customer response to Ford C-MAX is strong. In fact, C-MAX Hybrid and C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid are driving record U.S. electrified vehicle sales. Ford sold 53,014 electrified vehicles through July – 392 percent higher than a year ago. Two-thirds of buyers are coming from imports. In addition, the latest J.D. Power APEAL study shows C-MAX Hybrid is scoring high with customers. Engine responsiveness, smoothness, passing power/acceleration, interior quietness and visibility all rank significantly higher than the segment average. Customers also report C-MAX is "more luxurious" and "more innovative," as well as more environmentally friendly. Ford's electrified vehicle market share through the first seven months of this year is 15.4 percent -- a 12-point increase compared with the same period last year. View full article
  21. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com February 14, 2013 After the whole Hyundai-Kia mileage fiasco, the EPA says it will be conducting more fuel economy audits. Jeff Alson, a senior EPA engineer said at a conference about the government’s 2025 fuel economy standard that the agency performs “routine audits” of manufacturer's mileage claims, but does admits more can be done. “We’ll probably do more of that in the future than we did in the past,” Alson said. Alson also told the conference that the EPA also needs to do a better job of communicating real-world mileage with customers. “Everybody wants a label that tells you exactly what you’re going to get, but obviously that’s not possible. A good general rule of thumb is that real-world fuel economy is about 20 percent lower than the lab numbers.” Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  22. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com February 14, 2013 After the whole Hyundai-Kia mileage fiasco, the EPA says it will be conducting more fuel economy audits. Jeff Alson, a senior EPA engineer said at a conference about the government’s 2025 fuel economy standard that the agency performs “routine audits” of manufacturer's mileage claims, but does admits more can be done. “We’ll probably do more of that in the future than we did in the past,” Alson said. Alson also told the conference that the EPA also needs to do a better job of communicating real-world mileage with customers. “Everybody wants a label that tells you exactly what you’re going to get, but obviously that’s not possible. A good general rule of thumb is that real-world fuel economy is about 20 percent lower than the lab numbers.” Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  23. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com December 17, 2012 Last month, Hyundai and Kia announced they had overstated their claims for fuel economy on a number of 2011 to 2013 model year vehicles. Now, the starting point of this whole incident could be from a phone call by a vice-president of an American automaker. Automotive News reports that Margo Oge, retired head of the EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality got a phone call from a "credible" senior VP of a domestic automaker that accused the two Korean brands of ""cheating" to get inflated mpg numbers." Oge didn't divulge the VP or the automaker. Automotive News then contacted Chrysler, Ford, and GM asking if they were the automaker who made the phone call. The responses follow, "It's not us," said Chrysler spokesman Eric Mayne. "We cannot comment on any specific discussions, but Ford routinely speaks with policymakers about a wide variety of issues affecting our industry. We have been -- and remain -- an advocate of driving real fuel economy gains because it is in the best interest of our customers," said a Ford spokesman in an e-mail. "We don't conduct our business in that manner," said GM spokeswoman Sharon Basel in an e-mail. Basel would go onto say the company would not bring in the Government to resolve a dispute. Out of the three, Ford's response doesn't quite pass the Automotive News' smell test. The report does point out that PR people don't always know the goings on of senior management. Will we find out who made the phone call? Maybe, but its highly doubtful. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  24. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com December 17, 2012 Last month, Hyundai and Kia announced they had overstated their claims for fuel economy on a number of 2011 to 2013 model year vehicles. Now, the starting point of this whole incident could be from a phone call by a vice-president of an American automaker. Automotive News reports that Margo Oge, retired head of the EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality got a phone call from a "credible" senior VP of a domestic automaker that accused the two Korean brands of ""cheating" to get inflated mpg numbers." Oge didn't divulge the VP or the automaker. Automotive News then contacted Chrysler, Ford, and GM asking if they were the automaker who made the phone call. The responses follow, "It's not us," said Chrysler spokesman Eric Mayne. "We cannot comment on any specific discussions, but Ford routinely speaks with policymakers about a wide variety of issues affecting our industry. We have been -- and remain -- an advocate of driving real fuel economy gains because it is in the best interest of our customers," said a Ford spokesman in an e-mail. "We don't conduct our business in that manner," said GM spokeswoman Sharon Basel in an e-mail. Basel would go onto say the company would not bring in the Government to resolve a dispute. Out of the three, Ford's response doesn't quite pass the Automotive News' smell test. The report does point out that PR people don't always know the goings on of senior management. Will we find out who made the phone call? Maybe, but its highly doubtful. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  25. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com December 10, 2012 The Environmental Protection Agency announced on Saturday that it would look into the Ford Fusion Hybrid and C-Max Hybrid not getting the claimed 47 MPG combined. On Thursday, Consumer Reports said their test C-Max and Fusion Hybrids are not coming anywhere close to the 47 MPG combined. The C-Max Hybrid got 37 MPG combined and the Fusion got 39 MPG combined. "These two vehicles have the largest discrepancy between our overall-mpg results and the estimates published by the EPA that we've seen among any current models," Consumer Reports said in a statement. If the EPA finds a discrepancy in Ford's mileage claims, they will likely impose civil penalties. The EPA does say hybrids have far more variability in miles per gallon when compared to their gas counterparts. "There's absolutely no doubt: A hybrid is going to be far more variable than a conventional vehicle. If you said that I could operate in EV-mode until 60 miles an hour for a period of time, you go a long portion on (the EPA) test cycle without the engine going on. That's going to improve your fuel economy," said Linc Wehrly, director of light-duty vehicle center compliance division at the EPA's Ann Arbor laboratory. Ford says customers have been impressed with the C-Max and Fusion Hybrids. "Early C-Max Hybrid and Fusion Hybrid customers praise the vehicles and report a range of fuel economy figures, including some reports above 47 mpg. This reinforces the fact that driving styles, driving conditions and other factors can cause mileage to vary," said Ford spokesman Wes Sherwood. Source: The Detroit News William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

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