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  1. #1
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    Highlander Hybrid MPG<23

    ****Trust I am a real owner of a 2006 HH, which may not be the case of all you read. People are paid to add content to websites, blogs, etc...- not sure on this site, but trust what I am writing is honest and accurate.
    My vehicle is under a year old, over 20K miles, and has been in for MPG three times- currently well under 23 mpg average.
    Toyota has told me that this is NORMAL, written on my service slip.
    Toyota customer complaint department says nothing they will do.
    I wish I had started the lemon law protection that exists in my state- Md, before the 15K limit, but I did trust things the dealer told me like- gets better milage in the warm weather, cold weather gas has alcohol added which effects MPG- but my mistake, I trusted them.
    My commute is in DC traffic , so electric is on often, but on highway, sometimes the computer tells me I'm getting 8 MPG.
    I do plan on starting a blog to try to get a class action lawsuit started, the car was purchased to get better MPG, and honestly would have boght a honda pilot, and gotten better MPG.[/B]

  2. #2
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    Wall Street Journal Investigation

    Ford and Toyota Address Hybrid Owners Complaints - Daily Auto Insider
    The Daily Auto Insider
    Tuesday, October 11, 2005
    October 2005


    Ford and Toyota are making efforts to let drivers know why they might not get the fuel economy they expect from their hybrid vehicles, The Wall Street Journal reported. There have been complaints that the vehicles don't get the gas mileage advertised on window stickers.

    Hybrids, which combine a gasoline engine with an electric motor, are being touted for their fuel efficiency by the automakers.

    But there have been increasing complaints that many cars, and especially hybrids, don't deliver the miles per gallon estimated by the EPA, the story said.

    To help drivers improve their mileage, Ford is creating a "Hybrid Patrol," a group

  3. #3
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    How long have they known it was inaccurate?

    Car companies tackle hybrid mileage complaints


    By Gina Chon / The Wall Street Journal

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    With consumers complaining that hybrids vehicles don't get the gas mileage advertised on window stickers, Ford Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Co. are stepping up efforts to let drivers know why they might not get the desired fuel economy.

    Hybrids, which combine a gasoline engine with an electric motor, have become hot sellers because they are touted for their fuel efficiency at a time when gas prices are hovering around $3 a gallon. In September, Toyota's Prius, the top selling hybrid in the U.S., saw sales jump by 90 percent compared with the same period last year. The vehicle sticker pasted on Prius windows at dealerships says the Environmental Protection Agency estimates the car goes 60 miles on a gallon of gas.

    But there have been increasing complaints that many cars, and especially hybrids, don't deliver the miles per gallon estimated by the EPA. According to a study by Consumer Reports that tested the mileage of vehicles in real world conditions, hybrids had some of the biggest disparities, with fuel economy averaging 19 miles per gallon below the EPA city estimate. The problem is that the EPA estimates assume that drivers are operating under certain ideal conditions, such as not using air conditioning and accelerating slowly, that can be very unlike what people actually do on the road.

    The groundswell of complaints is spurring the EPA to act. The agency says that by the end of this year it will propose changes to the methods used in calculating fuel economy ratings for vehicles. The EPA said the new rules will more accurately reflect how people actually drive and will consider the impact of air conditioning, aggressive driving and traffic congestion on fuel economy.

    To help drivers improve their mileage, Ford is creating a "Hybrid Patrol," a group of Ford staffers who will travel to 11 cities to talk about fuel economy.

    This weekend Ford is holding a clinic at the Ford Research and Innovation Center in Dearborn, Mich. More than 280 owners of hybrid-powered Escapes and their guests, who are traveling from 24 different states, will learn driving tips to improve fuel efficiency and get a chance to ask Ford engineers about hybrid technology. The attendees, who are paying their own travel expenses, will also be able to test drive the new Mercury Mariner hybrid, Ford's second hybrid vehicle, which is arriving at dealerships next week.

    There are likely to be few surprises or silver bullets among the fuel-efficiency tips, however. They include common sense bits of advice that few drivers are likely to abide by: Don't brake as much. And drive a maximum speed of 60 miles per hour on the highway. Auto experts say if you do follow these rules, you will get the EPA estimate.

    Ford decided to hold the clinic because its studies showed that two out of every five hybrid owners lacked knowledge about their cars' technology. The Ford Escape hybrid, which gets a maximum of 36 mpg in the city according to EPA estimates, saw sales jump to 1,808 in September, compared with 1,363 sold in August.

    Auto companies are putting more resources into hybrids. Last month Ford Chairman William Clay Ford Jr. said his company would increase production of hybrid vehicles so that more than half of its Ford, Mercury and Lincoln vehicles would be powered by a gas-electric engine.

    At Toyota, luxury brand Lexus has begun distributing through dealerships a pamphlet on the RX 400h, Lexus's luxury hybrid SUV, listing reasons why the vehicle may not get the 31 mpg the EPA estimated for the vehicle in city driving.

    The EPA tests, the brochure points out, assume drivers accelerate slowly, leave the air conditioning off, and average a speed of 20 miles per hour in the city. The pamphlet tells drivers that quick acceleration, heavy braking and driving at speeds above 60 miles per hour can make the mileage lower than the EPA estimates.

    The RX 400h, which was introduced in April, had sales of 2,113 in September, compared with 2,607 in August.

    Some hybrid owners are frustrated by the disparity between the EPA estimates and their cars' actual gas mileage. When Amy Quirk bought her Toyota Prius, the pricing sticker said it got 60 mpg. So when the San Francisco-based environmental lawyer saw she was consistently getting only 30 mpg, she complained to her dealer's service department. First she was told the problem was the cold weather. Then she was told that the Prius didn't get the mileage that was advertised on the vehicle sticker price. Ms. Quirk now gets about 40 mpg on her Prius, which she bought a year ago, by coasting down hills when she drives.

    "You have to be very mindful of how you drive to get good mileage," she says.

    Jim Press, head of Toyota's U.S. operations, said in an interview last month that the Japanese auto maker is trying not to overpromise on fuel efficiency, particularly for hybrids. That includes telling dealers to be clear to consumers that the EPA estimates can vary, depending on driver behavior. Mr. Press noted that if a driver is constantly hitting the brakes and the gas hard, then the vehicle won't get the EPA miles-per-gallo

  4. #4
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    I'm also a real owner. I bought the THH Limited in July and from day one have been getting around 23 mpg. I haven't bothered to take it back to the dealer becasue from what I am reading on the web, the EPA estimates are just blatent lies. I do about 50/50 city and highway each day and if the EPA estimates were correct I would be getting about 30 mpg. Based on my math, this EPA lie is costing each of us about $5,000 in extra gas purchases over the life of the car.
    Don't get me wrong, I'm happy to drive a hybrid and I like having an SUV that gets good gas milage. I just feel I was cheated out of $5000 when I decided how much extra to pay for a hybrid.

  5. #5
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    mpg < 20

    During the summer, I am getting pretty good mileage. However, when it is cold, mpg is about 20. This is design issue. I have the battery full all the time. No matter how hard I try, I will not get a good mpg. We should all complain to Toyota about this.


    Quote Originally Posted by ginabean View Post
    ****Trust I am a real owner of a 2006 HH, which may not be the case of all you read. People are paid to add content to websites, blogs, etc...- not sure on this site, but trust what I am writing is honest and accurate.
    My vehicle is under a year old, over 20K miles, and has been in for MPG three times- currently well under 23 mpg average.
    Toyota has told me that this is NORMAL, written on my service slip.
    Toyota customer complaint department says nothing they will do.
    I wish I had started the lemon law protection that exists in my state- Md, before the 15K limit, but I did trust things the dealer told me like- gets better milage in the warm weather, cold weather gas has alcohol added which effects MPG- but my mistake, I trusted them.
    My commute is in DC traffic , so electric is on often, but on highway, sometimes the computer tells me I'm getting 8 MPG.
    I do plan on starting a blog to try to get a class action lawsuit started, the car was purchased to get better MPG, and honestly would have boght a honda pilot, and gotten better MPG.[/B]

  6. #6
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    here is a page from the epa mileage website.
    http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/why_differ.shtml
    remember .. the manufactures make no milage claims for vehicles.

    Your vehicle's fuel economy will almost certainly vary from EPA's fuel economy rating.

    Fuel economy is not a fixed number, it varies based on

    Where you drive
    How your drive
    Many other factors
    The EPA ratings estimate the MPG a "typical" driver should get under "typical" city and highway conditions. However, most drivers and driving environments aren't typical, and the factors that affect fuel economy can vary significantly:

    Driver Behavior & Driving Conditions
    Vehicle Condition & Maintenance
    Variations in Fuels
    Inherent Variations in Vehicles
    Engine Break-In
    So, the EPA rating is a useful tool for comparing vehicles when car buying, but it may not accurately predict the average MPG you will get.

    To find out what you can do to improve the fuel economy of your car, see Driving More Efficiently and Keeping Your Car in Shape.

  7. #7
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    The EPA is a "standardized" test that can be repeated accurately over and over again year after year and car after car and get the same result. These standards may not reflect the way that you drive. But, what IS important is that you can compare the EPA figure on one car with another and get a relative difference. So, if you compare one model with an EPA rating of 20 MPG to another vehicle rated at 40 MPG, you can assume that the latter is twice the efficiency of the former. What you get is up to how "heavy" your foot is and how much interior heat or cooling is on.

    Also, yes, you have purchased a hybrid and a hybrid can usually double your efficiency. However, the Highlander has the same engine displacement as the non-hybrid PLUS the extra power from the electric motor. So, you are loosing any advantage from a smaller engine while the motor assists. The Prius, on the other hand, uses a smaller 77HP engine working together with the 66HP motor to give outstanding gas mileage.

    And, when I last looked, the Highlander is an SUV.

    I have been driving a Prius (both Gen 1 and 2) for over 100,000 Km over 4 years and I can meet or better the EPA standards. So, yes it can be done and the EPA results are accurate for their purpose.

    Save your hard earned money; learn to drive environmentally friendly instead; and, next time, buy a Prius if you want to save gas.

    ~ Erik
    KlnAir4U

  8. #8
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    another problem highlander hybrid

    I have a meeting to turn mine back to the dealer. You may not be aware the cars a made to shut down when towing, or on a slippery surface. They will not move, I purched mine for the awd for ice and snow and towing 3500lbs. The care will not safetly do this. I placed a note somewere in this section,telling part of my story. I am not good with a computer or typing one finger. I hope I put it in right. family fun2 gary the above is my opi nion

  9. #9
    Unfortunately, from my perspective, there were 2 casualties that occured when soccer moms and city slickers started buying SUVs purely for the image.
    1. We started wasting a lot of energy driving inefficient vehicles in places they weren't designed for and are not well suited for.
    2. We lost the availability of useful SUVs since the automanufacturers started softening them for the softer market that couldn't get enough of them.

    They Highlander is NOT and SUV, it is just a car chassis dressed up like an SUV.
    I would love to see a real hybrid SUV but I'm sure the market for real SUVs is way too small to warrent developing a hybrid version if they can't even justify building a pure ICE one. It probably won't be until the military supports the development of a hybrid SUV that we'll actually get them - this is how we got SUVs in the first place.
    In the meantime, look at an off-road capable pickup truck since, from what I can tell, they are the only things that will handle off-road or towing although, of course, the gas mileage is terrible.

  10. #10
    One more thing. Ironically, a hybrid should be great for towing since it could use the electric motor to provide the extreme amount of torque needed for the toughest tow jobs (such as pulling a water-filled boat up a ramp) yet take advantage of a smaller ICE for more efficiency.

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