AAA and Australian Government partner to ensure more accurate emissions and fuel consumption information for consumers


FIA Member the Australian Automobile Association (AAA) has been joined by the Prime Minister of Australia to launch a programme designed to provide more accurate information to car buyers and help them save on fuel costs while improving the environment.

The AAA’s Real-World Testing Program will test 200 cars in real-world driving conditions over four years and quantify how each vehicle’s fuel economy and emissions performance varies from the laboratory test results reported at point of sale. 

The Government has allocated $14 million to fund the programme over four years and testing at the programme’s Geelong facility began in August. First results will be reported in November via and promoted by the AAA’s member clubs, which have 8.9 million members across Australia. 

The Volkswagen emissions scandal first showed that real-world testing is needed, as stringent emissions regulations around the world were incentivising carmakers to optimise their vehicles’ fuel consumption and emissions performance for the laboratory tests used for regulatory compliance. 

International studies have repeatedly highlighted issues associated with the gap between laboratory and real-world performance of new cars, and a 2017 AAA study of 30 popular cars found that on average they consumed 23 per cent more fuel in real-world conditions than in laboratory tests.  In addition, the real-world results achieved by 11 of the 12 diesel vehicles tested exceeded regulatory laboratory noxious emissions limits. 

AAA Managing Director Michael Bradley said: “Australian car buyers have for too long been misled regarding their vehicle’s fuel consumption and environmental performance.  

“This Program will deliver Australians truth-in-advertising and drive down demand for cars that over-promise and under-deliver. 

“Better information will enable families and fleet buyers to buy vehicles that will meet their budget and environmental requirements. 

“The AAA is very grateful for the Government’s support, which will save consumers money, while benefiting the environment.”