PAIN AT THE PUMP: GOVERNMENT GAS SECRETS
By Michelle Meredith, Yahoo News
The government has been keeping a secret about automobiles under wraps for the past 30 years.
Reporter Michelle Meredith teamed up with Consumer Reports to explain why your car probably does not get the mileage advertised.
The Consumer Reports’ auto test track in Connecticut looks like it could be a new theme park in Orlando.
And when it comes to testing cars, Consumer Reports leaves no stone unturned, no lug nut loose. And here’s the question Consumer Reports set out to answer — does your car get the gas mileage promised on the showroom sticker.
It’s the mileage you probably used to decide if the car fit your monthly budget.
First, Meredith took a look at how carmakers come up with these numbers because you could be in for a big surprise. The guidelines for the tests were set by the federal government decades ago, in the late 1970s. Gerald Ford was president and disco was king.
And under these guidelines by the
Environmental Protection Agency, carmakers are allowed to test miles per gallon by running the vehicle not on the road, but on what’s essentially a treadmill for cars.
During an EPA spot check, the car ran with no air conditioning, no inclines or hills, no wind resistance and at speeds no greater than 60 mph.
There’s hardly anything real world about it, but it gives carmakers what they want — the highest possible miles per gallon to put on that sticker.
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