An Taisce is calling on the EU to resist the delaying tactics of these car manufacturers and adopt the new global testing standard which will come available in 2014 and give consumers fuel test results that they can trust.

Reform is long overdue of the EU fuel consumption testing regime, which is open to large-scale manipulation by car manufacturers. A new global testing standard will be available from 2014. An Taisce is backing calls by Transport & Environment, a Europe-wide federation working to reduce energy use and emissions, for its adoption in the EU without delay.

The introduction of a new standard can restore credibility. Once it is implemented correctly, consumers can have confidence in fuel consumption test results. With European lawmakers currently examining the timeline for reform, An Taisce is urging them to endorse the new global testing standard sooner rather than later.

When using the EU test, BMW is responsible for the most inaccurate and misleading fuel consumption data. They are followed closely by Audi and Mercedes in a rogue’s gallery dominated by gas guzzlers, according to a new report highlighted by An Taisce, The National Trust for Ireland.

The new report, released by the International Council on Clean Transportation, shows that the average BMW uses 30% more fuel than the Bavarian carmaker claims. Audi is next worst, with its vehicles using 28% more fuel than the manufacturer asserts, while Mercedes / Daimler is not much better, using 26% more fuel than 'official test results'.

The ICCT report points to widespread manipulation of the current car testing system in the EU. It shows carmakers guilty of an intricate spectrum of sharp practice that produces theoretical fuel consumption figures that are far from reality.

Examples of dodgy practices that make a mockery of the 'official' EU efficiency test include:

  • taping over the crevices between the car's doors (to reduce air drag).

  • over-inflating the tyres (to minimise rolling resistance).

  • disconnecting the battery (because recharging it uses fuel).

  • using Formula 1 grade lubricant (to optimise the engine).

  • removing or disconnecting items such as the radio aerial, the passenger side mirror, air conditioning, etc.

  • Some manufacturers are not as bad as others. VW, Fiat and Ford lie mid-table in the ICCT report with their actual fuel consumption 23% or 24% higher than their claims.

Toyota's manipulation is far less with a gap of 15% between claimed efficiency and real-world performance. Renault and Peugeot Citroen are also at the better end of the spectrum, with cars made by both companies using 16% more fuel than is claimed.

"BMW, Audi and Mercedes can try and label this 'test cycle optimisation' all they want" said James Nix, An Taisce’s Policy Director. "But compared to the claims made to customers at the time of purchase, being forced to spend up to a third more on fuel means the consumer is being misled and cheated".


For further information, please call:

James Nix, Policy Director, An Taisce Tel: + 353 86 8394129

Email: [email protected]

An Taisce The National Trust for Ireland

Notes to Editors:

The ICCT report analyses data from nearly half a million private and company vehicles across Europe in 2011.

T&E Mind the Gap and TNO studies: