If consumers take the effort to make car buying decisions on the basis of fuel consumption, then this should be welcomed. However, an article in the Irish Times reports that the test procedures are open to abuse, allowing manufacturers to rig the tests in their favour. This makes a mockery of consumer choice and those trying to do something positive for the environment.
The abuses apparently allowed by the test agencies include removing mirrors, taping over door seals and removing alternators. These actions will improve fuel consumption figures but are hardly practical actions that the public can take to improve their fuel consumption.
The two manufactures singled out by Altroconsumo, an Italian consumer advocacy group, are Volkswagen and Fiat .
A review of the VW group environmental policy shows that the aim is 95 g CO2/km by 2020. The question that needs to be answered is whether this aim is to be met by testing under realistic driving conditions or to be met by laboratory conditions far removed from the realm world.