What to do if a new car does not meet the consumption figures


How to defend yourself if your new car swallows too much

What to do if a new car does not meet the consumption figures-figures

In reality, the tank is almost always empty earlier than the manufacturer promised

Source: picture alliance

Practically all manufacturers advertise with low consumption values ​​- and practically all of them use tricks. You can complain if the new car is too thirsty. However, the hurdles are high.

W.Little weight, a small engine and only the bare essentials in terms of comfort: In times of diesel affairs and driving bans in city centers, small cars like the Smart Fortwo are among the cars for a clear conscience.

But even a seemingly frugal city runabout can turn out to be a real scumbag on closer inspection: Deutsche Umwelthilfe recently tested it (DUH) a Smart Fortwo 0.9 turbo from Daimler car rental company car2go on its pollutant emissions. The striking result: The soot particle emissions of the petrol engine, which is not even a liter in size and complies with the Euro 6 standard, were 440,000 particles per cm³ – a record value.

Daimler AG praises this his smart brand has always been particularly innovative. “For more fun in the city” is the advertising slogan. But the fuel consumption is anything but fun. The manufacturer specifies the average consumption of a Smart Fortwo 0.9 turbo at 4.2 liters. But the ADAC came to completely different values ​​in his much more realistic EcoTest: According to this, the small car consumes 6.6 liters – 50 percent more than the manufacturer stated.

But not only Daimler, but practically all manufacturers are tricking their fuel consumption figures. Their measurements on the emission test benches in the so-called New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) are carried out under optimal laboratory conditions and are virtually inaccessible in normal road traffic. The ADAC EcoTest, on the other hand, provides for a more practical driving style and also includes driving on the motorway.

After all: the average consumption has decreased

According to ADAC, it is positive to note that the fuel consumption of the test fleet in the EcoTest has fallen by over 28 percent since 2007. But: The exceedance of the manufacturer’s consumption data increased to over 35 percent in the same period. "Manufacturers are increasingly exhausting the technical possibilities for consumption measurements in order to achieve the lowest possible EU consumption values," criticizes the club.

But how can consumers defend themselves against cheating? What legal options are there to take legal action against obviously incorrectly stated fuel consumption values??

What to do if a new car does not meet the consumption figures-Audi increases performance lowers consumption Audi

If you want to determine the actual consumption of your car, you have to keep a record when refueling

Source: picture alliance / JOKER

"Basically, as a new car buyer, you can already complain about greatly deviating consumption values," explains an ADAC spokeswoman. But if the buyer wants to assert claims against the seller, this requires a consumption measurement under laboratory conditions on an accredited emissions test bench – such measurements cost several thousand euros, which the car owner must first interpret. Class actions are not provided for under German procedural law, the legislature aims at the individual assertion of claims.

In addition, high gasoline or diesel consumption does not automatically mean that you can put the car back in the yard for the dealer. If the additional consumption, measured on the test bench, is less than ten percent compared to the manufacturer’s information, you can generally only reduce the purchase price. The Federal Court of Justice has this ten percent threshold defined in a judgment.

The dealer is always sued

And: It is not the manufacturer who is the addressee of the lawsuit, but always the dealer. The car buyer has concluded the contract with him, so he must also conduct the civil law dispute with him – new car buyers, on the other hand, usually have no contract with the manufacturer. “You would therefore have to act culpably – like at Volkswagen with the cheat software and a violation of the protection law or intentional damage that is immoral, ”said the ADAC spokeswoman. And this is not evident if the car “just” uses too much.

The automobile club has long been calling for stricter consumption tests. The NEDC is only suitable for comparing vehicles with each other, but does not provide any realistic consumption values, is the reason. More practical measurement procedures and test cycles have even been defined as global standards, and now they should be introduced as quickly as possible, according to the ADAC.

What to do if a new car does not meet the consumption figures-does

The dealer is the contractual partner when buying a car. Therefore you have to take legal action against him

Source: picture alliance / Daniel Naupol

To this end, the ADAC is calling for advertisements in new cars to be prescribed by law as technical support, which signal the driver how he can drive as efficiently and fuel-efficiently as possible. Such displays are already integrated in the on-board computer of many models and show current and average consumption. Some models even indicate the additional consumption of electrical comfort equipment such as air conditioning or seat heating.

But apparently you can only rely on the consumption indicators to a limited extent. In a test a few years ago, the ADAC found models in which the displayed values ​​were relatively close to the actual consumption, but also those that displayed incorrectly by more than ten percent. Interestingly, as a rule, the average consumption indicated was too low.

Portals like spritmonitor.de provide an overview

"In fact, it is very difficult for consumers today to take action against increased consumption in cars," explains Dorothee Saar, Head of Traffic and Air Pollution Control at Deutsche Umwelthilfe. The organization therefore calls for independent contact points to which consumers can turn if they suspect fraud. In addition, independent controls of emissions in real operation are necessary – plus penalties for the manufacturer if exhaust gas limit values ​​or promised consumption levels are not adhered to. DUH measurements and corresponding publications by the Federal Environment Agency have shown that new Euro 6 diesel cars also have drastically increased pollutant emissions in some cases.

Until politicians have succeeded in adopting more stringent measures, consumer advocates are advising motorists to take the initiative. There are portals like spritmonitor.de, on which car owners enter the actual consumption of their cars. They provide valuable information for new car buyers – especially with more widespread models, you get a really good feeling for what the car you are considering swallows in reality.

The independent research organization International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) has compiled the data from various such portals. She comes to the conclusion that even if there are deviations between the models of individual manufacturers, tendencies can be discerned that show differences between the manufacturers in terms of fuel consumption.

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6 thoughts on “What to do if a new car does not meet the consumption figures”

  1. Oh folks … Consumption is mainly dependent on the accelerator. The NEDC enables different models to be compared and indicates how little a car CAN consume. And a car owner who lives in the lowlands will usually be more economical on the road than one who is at home in the mountains. Likewise, rural and motorway commuters generally consume less than urban drivers.
    So far, I’ve never had any problems achieving the NEDC consumption, and in some cases I’ve even undercut it. And those who often go full throttle on the motorway or even toggle through the city in 3rd gear at 50-60 km / h simply use a lot of fuel. But then he shouldn’t complain if he’s too stupid to understand simple physics.

  2. I took an AMG C63 for a test drive due to an upcoming new acquisition.
    According to the manufacturer, the car needs 8.6 l per 100 km. I was wondering about a displacement of 4 liters and a V8 unit with biturbo and 510 hp for good reason even before the test drive. When I brought the car back to the dealer after 200 km and filled it up beforehand, I could see the actual audacity of the manufacturer’s information. The box sucked away 48 liters of Superplus over a distance of approx. 200 kilometers. – I mean, of course the car needs more than a small car, after all it is a super sports car, I have no objection in principle to that, but the fact that a vehicle needs almost three times what is specified by the manufacturer is something, well shall we say "cheeky".

  3. "Cheeky" at most you have to kick the cart and then complain that it consumes more than the manufacturer claims. The NEDC only runs up to a speed of 120 km / h for good reason: Because most countries around the world have a speed limit of 120 km / h. In other words, the NEDC indicates how little a car can consume IF the driver is up for it.

  4. After reading relevant articles and various TV reports, I always reckon with at least 2 liters more consumption than stated. That actually "Stupid" But it is when vehicles are advertised as particularly innovative and economical and then consume a good 1.5 liters more than their predecessor, which is almost 15 years older. (so for me, Ford Mondeo Bj. 1995 and Bj. 2009 with the same engine and similar equipment).

  5. I drove a Volvo V70 Diesel model 2002 for 13 years because I drove a good 35,000 a year. The car was the best I could drive so far and the consumption as stated was about 6.5 Lt per 100 km. Now I have a new car and that consumes 30% more than stated. How can such a hoax be allowed ?

  6. I drove my Volvo V 70 D5 with manual transmission, built in 2003, up to the 200,000 km threshold and always had an average consumption of 5.2 to 5.4 liters per 100 km.
    Once, out of pure curiosity, I tried how economically you can drive a car if you want to. On a trip from Offenburg in the Black Forest, via Stuttgart, Nuremberg, Leipzig to Hamburg, I always stayed below 120 km / h on the autobahn and at times also hung behind a fast coach and followed it with a safe minimum distance. It was an exercise in thoughtful and anticipatory driving and required a lot of patience. Result when refueling in Hamburg: 4.2 liters per 100 km. Another time from Bregenz on Lake Constance via Munich (Mittlerer Ring) to Leipzig: only 3.8 liters per 100 km.

    On the other hand, even when driving very fast, when you wanted to go home late at night, across Germany, I never used more than 8.5 liters on average.

    The successor, a 2008 V70 D5 again with a manual gearbox, unfortunately needed one liter more on average thanks to the diesel particle filter and the associated free race


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