Obama Administration’s Revamped Fuel Economy Labels Highlight Gas Costs

May 25, 2011 10:04am

ABC News' Devin Dwyer reports:  The Obama administration today will unveil revamped fuel economy labels for new cars that it hopes will better help consumers gauge how much they'll have to spend on gas.  The new label design, as seen here and below, still prominently features a car's miles-per-gallon rating and annual estimated fuel cost. But it also highlights how much more a consumer would spend over five years compared to the average vehicle, and how much the car will pollute the environment.  The labels include a car's greenhouse gas rating and smog rating, both on scales of one to 10.  The design also features a new barcode that can be scanned by smartphones and give consumers access to additional government information on the vehicle online.  The label overhaul, the first in more than 30 years, was required by Congress in a 2007 energy law.  The new design was conceived jointly by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency and will take effect beginning with model year 2013. The Obama administration says the labels will reveal to consumers "the benefits of the historic, bipartisan passenger car and truck fuel economy rule adopted under this administration by the EPA and DOT in 2010." Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has called the labels a "win" for consumers and the auto industry.  Auto manufacturers had lobbied intensely against an earlier design of the labels that would have attached a letter grade from "A" to "D" for a car's fuel efficiency.  The design spurred concerns that it would hurt sales of SUVs and other larger vehicles.  

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