Peugeot is the latest carmaker to be slammed by the advertising watchdog for misleading customers about fuel economy.
A national press ad for the Peugeot 308 HDi implied the average consumer would be able to achieve 126mpg in the car.
The ad included text that stated: "TAYLOR COUPLE A.k.a. FUEL FUGITIVES Their record: 126 MPG. FUEL STRETCHING WORLD RECORD, DRIVING AROUND NEVER STOPPING FOR FUEL.”
Text below a picture of a car, which had the text "126 MPG" on the side and bonnet, stated "THE GETAWAY VEHICLE. The new Peugeot 308 HDi with improved fuel efficiency and lower CO2 emissions".
Small print stated: "The Official Fuel Consumption Figures in mpg (l/100km) ... for the 308 Range are: Urban 24.8-49.5 (11.4-5.7), Extra Urban 47.1-74.3 (6.0-3.8), Combined 35.8-62.8 (7.9-4.5) ... *World record an average 126 MPG over 3,700 miles is a Guinness World Record and is not subject to any other official body’s test conditions".
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said “the light hearted lay-out of the ad meant the overall impression was such that it did not make clear the 126mpg figure related to a genuine world record and therefore readers were likely to understand from the ad that the figure, or a very similar figure, could be achieved under normal driving conditions”.
It added: “We noted that the official average fuel consumption figures for the range, stated in the small print, were generally less than half of the fuel consumption achieved by the couple; we considered that those figures contradicted rather than clarified the headline claim, and text on the image of the car, "126 MPG.”
ASA told Peugeot to avoid implying in future that fuel consumption figures that were not achieved under normal driving conditions could be achieved by the average consumer.