Australian cars using more fuel than promised, AAA study reveals

A $500,000 study aimed at ensuring car manufacturers comply with emissions regulations has revealed Australia’s top-selling new vehicles are using up to 60 per cent more fuel than advertised.

Commissioned by the Australian Automobile Association (AAA), results from the country’s first major review of on-road vehicles emissions has shown popular cars are using an average of 25 per cent more fuel than they claim.

The 10-month study tested 17 of the most-desirable car manufacturers on the Australian market and marked their results against their government-mandated Fuel Consumption Labels.

Results have cast doubts over the accuracy of the laboratory testing in place to support the government’s vehicle emissions standards, it has been reported.

While individual manufacturers and cars haven’t been identified, the report claims that only one of the cars tested did better “in the real world” compared to lab testing.    

The other 16 were up to 60 per cent worse and occurred across a range of fuel types, technology levels and emissions standards.

AAA CEO, Michael Bradley, has warned of flaws in the government’s estimations and is calling for updates to its modelling and to undertake further public consultation.

“Our test results are a warning to Australians to take the government’s promises of fuel and cost savings with a grain of salt, and expect those savings to be significantly less than what’s promised,” Bradley said.