Not just emissions: manufacturers' dirty tricks fake everything about cars

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It all started with Corinthian leather.


Obvious answer is to scrap the DMCA and start over. What will really happen is VW will be half-hung, tarred and feathered, then drawn and quartered. And that will be it. This is a great time for the EU to add some teeth to their emissions testing requirements. Oddly, this is one of the few places where US regulations are a bit more sensible.

As for inflated efficiency claims, my stupid Prius got 53.2 mpg on a recent road trip with less than optimal tires. Sticker said 52 when I bought it. I rarely get 48 around town, though. People drive like crap, which makes me cranky, which makes me drive maniacally. So, usually 42-44 mpg around town.


I suppose step one is to just look at the fuel economy ratings from the US, and ignore the EU ones (when a very similar car is sold in both markets).

Then there’s the different sized gallons to account for…


Imperial gallons are not the gallons we use in the states.
1 Imperial gallon = 1.2 US gallons. So there’s that.
This is also why people think Napoleon was short- French pouce vs English inch and all that.


A recent study found that 81.8% of US drivers achieved better fuel efficiency than the stickers promised.

Unfortunately, as far as diesel is concerned:

The temperatures and pressures under which a diesel engine runs the most fuel efficient and the most peppy are also the conditions that will convert the maximum amount of oxygen and nitrogen into NOx

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That’s an interesting link. I was sure I’d go and it’d be some industry bullshit thing, but it’s a study done by AAA (the car club). I think they’re pretty impartial.


Owners of vehicles equipped with manual transmissions
reported, on average, 17 percent higher fuel economy than EPA
ratings. Identical vehicles equipped with automatic transmissions
were reported to achieve fuel economy only seven percent
higher than EPA ratings

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I don’t know… This is a self-report study. Most people either don’t know what millage they’re getting, or are full of shit. In the later case, they strongly want to believe they are winning at driving on every conceivable measure. “I got to LA in four hours man.”


There is no libertarian solution.


My car said 27 but we typically get 28 or 29 on the highway. Interestingly, the computer thinks it’s getting something like 26 or so, but based on the number of gallons we put in and the miles we drive, it’s higher.

Wait, though, maybe my tripodometer is off… Hadn’t considered that until just now…


If the odometers were faulty, it would probably attract unwanted attention.

No, I’m thinking my specific tripodometer, not the odometer itself. Now I need to check it before I’ll sleep well.

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next time you use the trip odometer, write down what the real odometer says.

I would think they’re on the same set of mechanics, so they should match even if they’re both wrong.

And indeed, they are wrong by up to 5 percent, just like a speedometer. Usually they run fast, so as to run down the warranty.


Sadly, the triple-A is a corrupt and politically motivated organization that believes “greens” are America’s worst enemy. Not content with their past racist misdeeds (they used to be a whites-only club, until that became illegal) they now function as a lobbying organization for the Oil and Auto industries, using member dues to fight anti-pollution and road safety legislation. Anything they publish that concerns pollution, fuel efficiency, or highway safety is highly suspect.

It’s really a terrible thing, because they do a really great job of supporting American motorists who are actually on the road - their road service and maps and similar service organizations are fantastic. It’s the stuff they do in Washington that’s horrific.


Yeah I’m a member and I had no idea about all that shit. Thanks.


Interesting. Our family Prius gets its best mileage - 50-52 mpg - in stop-and-go LA city traffic, even (or perhaps especially) on the winding, twisting canyon roads that climb over the hills between the Valley and the Coastal Plain. It does noticeably less well on the freeway.

It seems that at moderate stop-and-go speeds, a lot of the energy invested is recovered by the regenerative braking, while at constant freeway speeds most of the invested energy bleeds off as aerodynamic losses.

There’s one particular run I do frequently that involves wide-open freeways usually doing 80 or so, and about 700 ft elevation gain in five miles. It comes in at 31-32 mpg.

Of course, I get much better mileage on the downhill return trip. (-:


All that needs to happen is a change in the law so that it’s understood the environmental testing numbers provided to the government represent an optimistic best case lower bound on pollution that is unlikely to be bettered in actual use. It’s the same distinction between “97.5% reduction in pollution” and “up to 97.5% reduction in pollution”