With a widening gap between official EPA ratings and real world fuel economy, the FTC looks to clear the airwaves

Canadians may not be the only ones seeing changes when it comes to fuel economy ratings and claims in the near future.

The Federal Trade Commission in the United States is also investigating whether changes should be made to their 40-year-old advertising guidelines with regards to fuel economy claims.

According to the Detroit News, the FTC released a notice last week requesting input for potential updates to advertising guidelines. Specifically, the FTC is looking for comments focusing on “information that helps marketers avoid deceptive or unfair claims.” Also, the regulatory body is looking to develop clearer guidelines for alternative-fuel and electric vehicles.

The original rules, still in place, were laid out in “Guide Concerning Fuel Economy Advertising for New Automobiles” were set in 1975.

Green Car Reports, citing numbers from the International Council on Clean Transportation, states the gap between official EPA fuel economy figures and real world fuel economy has been widening since 2001. Then, the gap was around 20 percent, where as in 2012 the gap was closer to a 35 percent difference between ratings and real world fuel economy.

Gaps have become so large, in fact, Ford was forced to revise ratings for the 2013 C-MAX Hybrid due to customers not being able to attain the advertised fuel economy figures.




About Mark Stevenson

Mark Stevenson is a former IT professional turned freelance automotive writer and news editor for Autos.ca. He's a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada and former member of the Texas Automotive Writers Association (TAWA). Mark spends an inordinate amount of time on motorcycles and resides in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia with his two dogs - Nismo and Maloo. You can find him on Twitter and Facebook.