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Fuel economy warning for Audi advert

The advertising watchdog has warned carmakers to ensure they stipulate that mpg figures are from official European tests, and may not reflect real driving results, to avoid misleading consumers.

It issued the ruling following a complaint about a VW Group UK advert for an Audi A3 1.6TDI which stated: "The A3 1.6 TDI is the most fuel-efficient Audi ever returning a quite remarkable 68.9mpg on a combined cycle".

The Advertising Standards Authority said it received a complaint from a consumer who had bought the car, but found they were unable to achieve similar fuel economy.

It ruled the advert was misleading.

The ASA said: "We considered that it was unlikely to be clear to the average consumer that the figure quoted was based on a standardised test and was not necessarily representative of what they would achieve when driving the car themselves.

"For that reason we considered that VW should have qualified the figure to make clear to readers that it was based on an EU test for comparative purposes and may not reflect real driving results."



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  • Phil - 27/03/2013 12:40

    What a load of old gunk! Car makers are going to shout about their green credentials and high MPG's. Either the official figures need to reflect 'average' driving conditions or why have them in the 1st place!!?

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    • Simon - 28/03/2013 13:45

      @Phil - As we can't define "average", at least the figures provide a standardised set of tests with which the consumer can compare cars. Manufacturers should however quote that the tests don't reflect normal driving, should only be used to compare vehicles and that the figures are unlikely to be reproduced until real driving circumstances. Like all statistics, they are manipulated to show the product in the best light - but at least all manufacturers do this equally!

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  • Pibroch - 27/03/2013 12:45

    Got off lightly: http://articles.latimes.com/2012/feb/02/business/la-fi-autos-honda-lawsuit-20120202

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  • paul hewitt - 27/03/2013 13:32

    Isn’t it legislation we as car dealers can only quote official figures No doubt now it will be our fault for misleading customers again

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  • M.David - 27/03/2013 15:52

    The difficulty will always be in defining "average" as everyone is different, the reality is we know the cars are driven at their most economic, with no harsh braking or acceleration and over a specified route/criteria. The variance could be huge from driver to driver, and car to car as everything else on the car such as aircon, lights, heated seats etc etc etc impacts on the economy and generally cruise control is worse. Evidently its a guide and all manufacturers use it as a marketing tool, you also have to bear in mind that the technology on the cars is not giving an "actual" mpg figure but a best guestimate. I've had high 60's to the gallon in a mk4 Golf TDI PD over 300 miles but I sat between 65 and 70 and nursed it all the way . . normally I acheive less! Look at the Edinburgh return trip Clarkson did a few years ago in an A8, it was on zero miles until empty with 135 miles to go and it made it. The figures should be a guide and it should state at a constant 30mph over x miles the car acheived on a level surface . . with no wind . . and everything switched off . . . where do you stop!

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  • chunker - 08/04/2013 12:02

    The ASA just paying lips service again,the standard clearly needs to be real world driving and the measurement has to be the average of a 1000 motorway miles,500 miles of urban driving and 200 miles of city driving then and only then will you have a true comparison.Car makers should not be allowed to quote figures otherwise obtained as they will always mislead the consumer but we all no that is the intention anyway!!

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