From: Ken Thomas, Associated Press
Published December 12, 2006 12:00 AM

EPA Changing Fuel Economy Estimates

WASHINGTON -- Car buyers will be facing a new form of sticker shock when they browse dealer lots starting next year.

The Environmental Protection Agency on Monday issued new testing procedures that will cause fuel economy estimates on the stickers of new vehicles to drop an average of 12 percent for city driving on most 2008 model year vehicles, and 8 percent for highway driving.

Highly fuel-efficient vehicles are expected to see the largest slide, with ratings for city driving dropping by as much as 30 percent and highway driving estimates falling 25 percent from current levels.

Mileage estimates for gas-electric hybrids likely will be 20 percent to 30 percent lower for city driving and about 10 percent to 20 percent lower on the highway, the agency said.

The changes respond to consumer complaints that fuel economy estimates are frequently less than advertised. EPA's new system will take into account data from vehicle tests designed to more accurately assess high-speed driving, rapid acceleration, the use of air conditioning and driving in cold temperatures.

"EPA's new fuel economy sticker ensures American motorists won't be stuck with higher than anticipated charges at the pump," said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson in a statement.

Source: Associated Press

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