Automakers and false number seem to be a trend as of late. First, Volkswagen faked diesel emissions, then Mitsubishi inflated fuel economy numbers in Japan, and now, GM has admitted to an error in its reporting of fuel economy. I am growing quite skeptical of these automakers’ management as these scandals and misstatements are becoming more common with each passing year. Luckily, GM’s reasoning for its screw up is at least somewhat believable, albeit completely boneheaded.
According to the automaker, the Chevy Traverse, GMC Acadia, and the Buick Enclave got shipped to dealers with the wrong fuel economy printed on their window stickers. GM claims that after initially testing these models’ fuel economy, it had to install some new emission-control hardware, but it failed to retest for fuel economy after installing these pollution-reducing items. The end result was discrepancies of 1 to 2 mpg. For example, the all-wheel-drive versions of these crossovers had window stickers that read 17 mpg city, 24 mpg highway, and 19 mpg combined when they actually were rated 15 mpg city, 22 mpg highway, and 17 mpg combined.
GM managed to catch its error when it was testing 2017 versions of these vehicles and noticed significantly lower fuel economy despite no major mechanical changes between them and the 2016 models. Once engineers realized the issue, GM issues a stop-sale and swapped out the window stickers. Unfortunately, about 168,000 units were already sold, and that led to the automaker being served with a proposed class-action lawsuit.
Instead of taking the matter into court, Automotive News has learned that GM will compensate these buyers an undetermined sum.
I am certain the actual compensation amount will come out soon, and I’ll bring you the latest once it does, so stay tuned.