- How to defend yourself if your new car swallows too much
- After all: the average consumption has decreased
- The dealer is always sued
- Portals like spritmonitor.de provide an overview
How to defend yourself if your new car swallows too much
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??
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.
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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