WHAT OTHERS SAY: EPA botches oversight of car mileage claims
Published: Friday, February 22, 2013 at 3:00 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 6:04 p.m.
This editorial is from the
Indeed, the mileage claims made by automakers play a key role in a multibillion-dollar industry that deserves close government scrutiny. But what happens when the regulators fall down on the job?
As detailed in
Finally, it’s extremely disappointing that environmental groups had to pressure the EPA for many months to even do its job and check into complaints about lower-than-expected mileage for certain vehicles.
The entire episode amounts to a shocking dereliction of duty by the EPA. It also, unfortunately, gives critics in Congress ammunition to attack the agency, which has important roles to play when it comes to cleaning up the nation’s air and water.
For decades, the America public has come to believe that the EPA essentially endorses whatever mileage statements are made by General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, Toyota, Honda and other carmakers.
But the controversy involving Hyundai and Kia tarnishes those two companies and the EPA. Plus, other major auto manufacturers such as GM are left to wonder whether the public will now distrust their estimates, too.
So were the recent errors honest mistakes? No one knows because the carmakers have not disclosed exactly what might have gone wrong.
Another problem: The EPA reportedly does not hire an outside expert to randomly check vehicles on the accuracy of their stated mileage claims using the same test that apparently brought to light the latest problems. Why did the agency stop such monitoring? Will it restart the program? Cue up the once-again mum EPA officials who, as
So much for being a public watchdog. In this case, the EPA seems more like an apologist for bad behavior by parts of the auto industry.