The latest to join a list of manufacturers who have been ordered to revise their federal mpg labels is BMW with its 2014 MINI Cooper models.
Yesterday the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a press release outlining a trimming back of 3-door models’ window sticker mpg label values.
This came after an audit on the Mini Coopers’ fuel economy discovering a discrepancy, the EPA said.
Next step was to send them for testing at the National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Laboratory in Ann Arbor, Mich.
For its part, BMW reaffirmed the cars are still efficient.
“While this necessitates change, the 2014 MINI Hardtop still delivers outstanding fuel efficiency,” BMW said. “We have sent new labels for 2014 models in stock to our dealers.”
Despite occasional grumbling we hear form Internet commenters that window stickers may be inaccurate in any case, the EPA says it remains vigilant to protect American car buyers.
“Fuel economy values matter to consumers and automakers,” Christopher Grundler, director of EPA’s office of transportation and air quality, said in a statement. “To provide consumers with the most accurate, reliable and repeatable fuel economy values, we are continuing to strengthen our oversight to ensure fair competition among automakers.”
Other automakers that have been ordered to correct stated mpg values include Ford, Hyundai, Kia, and Mercedes-Benz.
As drivers know, the actual mileage of vehicles can indeed vary considerably depending on how one drives. However, the drive cycle tests the EPA uses do turn out more conservative estimates than European or Japanese agencies which some would call wildly inaccurate.
For example the highest mpg car in the U.S., the 50 mpg Prius c, as homologated in its home country as the Aqua, is rated on the JC08 Japanese test cycles at 83 mpg, and the 10–15 test cycles peg it at 94 mpg.
The EPA’s numbers nonetheless can also seem a stretch to some who buy a vehicle only to have their own results not match up.
In our review this year of the MINI Cooper, we found mileage could match up assuming one did not keep the accelerator pinned overly much. More sporting use will lower the result.