Black SedanEvery driver understands that fuel economy is a huge selling point for any vehicle, for both new and used cars. Luxury and a competitive sticker price do not go very far for buyers when they know that they will be paying plenty to keep the car on the road with a full tank of gas.

In most cases, automotive manufactures spend a great deal of time producing vehicles that achieve outstanding gas mileage. They also perform independent tests that give them an accurate representation of what drivers can expect when it comes to their gas tank. Typically, these numbers are extremely accurate. Still, mistakes are made, and drivers are not always correctly informed. Luckily, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is here to look out for the interest of drivers when manufactures misrepresent the abilities of their vehicles.

False Statements

Mercedes-Benz recently made some false statements regarding the estimated miles-per-gallon that drivers could expect to gain when driving the 2013-2014 C300. This 4-Matic, Mercedes-Benz recently came under fire from the EPA regarding the MPG sticker claim. Mercedes did not miss the mark by much, however. The EPA has made it clear that the manufacturer overstated the mileage capabilities of the PZEV and FVV by roughly one mile for every gallon of fuel. Although the difference in value is small, Mercedes will be forced to relabel all of the vehicles that have been released to market since these models were first introduced to drivers.

The EPA performed its own testing on the vehicles in order to get an accurate assessment of how efficient the vehicle will be when traveling on both the highway and in the city. Known as “Spot Checks,” these secondary testing procedures for the automotive market are put in place in order to ensure that all automotive manufacturers are using the same methods to determine fuel estimates. The tests raised some eyebrows for Mercedes-Benz who then proceeded to perform further tests while government authorities monitored the proceedings. It was soon discovered that the original findings made errors concerning aerodynamic drag and the “roll-load.” These two resistance factors related to wind and tire performance led to inaccurate findings on the part of Mercedes.

Not a Serious Infraction

The miscalculations do not represent a serious infraction in the eyes of the EPA. The vehicles were still compliant with the emission standards outlined by the agency. Still, the accuracy of mileage claims is something that is taken very seriously by the agency. This small infraction is not something that is out of the ordinary for the EPA. Kia and Hyundai faced similar situations with the EPA back in 2012. Ford is another global manufacturer that had to lower mileage claims in order to comply with EPA standards as well. Their earliest hybrid and electric vehicles faced problems with independent testing. The numbers that the EPA uses for comparison when conducting independent testing are those that the manufacturer submits at the time of certification. This data is compared to the EPA findings that are determined at the National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions laboratory in Ann Arbor, Michigan.