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Former owner Daimler tops “divergence from reality” economy charts

by David Zatz on

According to the Europe-based International Council on Clean Transportation, former Chrysler owner Daimler-Benz overstates fuel economy for its Mercedes line. The company is not alone, but it is on the top of the ICCT’s list.

The European nonprofit was possibly the first to discover Volkswagen/Audi’s cheating on diesel emissions, with a 2013 report. More recently, they found that the industry’s gap between official European fuel economy results and “real world” testing went from 8% in 2001 to 40% this year.  [See their report]


There may be illegal “test detectors,” but testing allows for other ways to fake results, including the use of non-production parts, according to the paper, which drew confirming data from numerous sources — both customer-generated and automated.

All three Mercedes car series (A, C, and E) had about the same divergence from “real world” figures, and topped their segments as well.

The divergence from real world economy and emissions was actually slightly higher for Daimler than for Audi. Fiat has bounced around as its model mix has changed, but currently has lower than average divergence at around 27%.

David Zatz founded Allpar in 1998 (based on a site he had begun in 1993-94), after years of writing reviews for retail trades. He has been quoted by the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Detroit News, and USA Today. Before making Allpar a full-time career, he was a consultant in organizational psychology. You can reach him by using our contact form (much preferred) or by calling (313) 766-2304

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