Car makers 'manipulate' economy figures

* Loopholes used to improve results * Figures achieved are 23% lower than test results * True MPG provides real-world figures...

Car makers 'manipulate' economy figures

Manufacturers are using creative methods to manipulate official fuel consumption tests, according to claims by a transport pressure group.

Transport & Environment (T&E) an organisation campaigning for sustainable transport has published a report highlighting the differences between the figures achieved in official tests and those returned in real-world driving conditions.

T&E says figures achieved by motorists are on average 23% lower than those attained in official mpg tests.

The current rules for official fuel economy tests include a number of 'loopholes' that allow manufacturers to manipulate the results.

T&E highlights that manufacturers can tape over grilles and cracks between the doors to improve aerodynamics, fit tyres that have been over-inflated and remove as much weight from the car as possible to help lower emissions and improve fuel consumption.

T&E wants a new test that produces results that can be achieved in real-world driving conditions.

What Car?'s True MPG team tests real fuel economy in real-world conditions. To find out what fuel economy to expect from your car, head to the True MPG calculator.

By Matthew Burrow