Our post on Convo last month about differences between claimed and actual car mileage prompted you to tell us your own stories. It’s a problem many of you have clearly faced, but how far would you go for a solution?
For Doug Clement, from Donegal, the answer was all the way to court.
Doug was so annoyed when his car failed to achieve the fuel economy that he’d been promised that he took legal action against the dealer – and won.
Our recent research found that 98% of the 200 cars we put through the same test couldn’t match or beat their miles per gallon (mpg) claim.
New Hyundai failed to meet MPG claim
Doug came across the problem when he bought a new Hyundai i10 in late 2010, after a salesman in the showroom assured him that he would be able to get the 57.6mpg, which it had been claimed for it on what is called a ‘combined cycle’ – this includes driving in towns and cites, and the countryside.
But Doug found there was no way he could squeeze that much out of the tank and so he told the dealer he was rejecting the car. The dealer refused him a refund, which was when Doug decided he’d have to go to court.
It took two years, but the court did eventually find in Doug’s favour – and interestingly the reason given was that he had specifically asked about fuel efficiency when he bought the car.
Because he couldn’t match the official mpg figures quoted by the salesman, the car was deemed not fit for purpose under the Sale of Goods Act and the dealer was ordered to pay a full refund.
The case is not considered to have set a precedent, but the decision does suggest that courts will take similar cases seriously – so make sure you ask in the showroom about fuel economy. Even better, try to get the dealer to commit to it in writing.
Fuel efficiency – drivers tell Which? Car Survey it’s a major issue
Being unable to match fuel efficiency is one of the big issues that drivers tell us about each year in the Which? Car Survey.
For example, the sixth-worst car for missing fuel economy claims in our most recent research was the Toyota Yaris Hybrid. Of the 63 owners who gave feedback on their car last year, 12 complained of poor fuel economy.
Have you ever asked a dealer about fuel efficiency? Would you ask them to write this figure down?