By David Thomas on October 2, 2013
As part of the federal government shutdown, the EPA will not be updating its FuelEconomy.gov website with new vehicle fuel-economy ratings, according to a note on the website. This follows the news we covered on Tuesday about the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration putting a hold on vehicle recalls.
However, automakers run their own tests to determine mileage ratings while following EPA guidelines. The EPA only tests between 10 and 15 percent of car models on the road.
An official EPA mileage rating needs to be present on window stickers for a new car to be sold in the U.S. We were unable to reach any automakers or anyone the EPA to comment on whether that number can be published without some type of government approval that's separate from the EPA's testing.
If there is an approval needed, new vehicles could be put on hold if the government shutdown is long enough. We have received word that some new models not on sale yet already have their EPA numbers ready to go, so it is unlikely this will impact new-car sales unless the shutdown is months long.
Managing Editor David Thomas has a thing for wagons and owns a 2010 Subaru Outback and a 2005 Volkswagen Passat wagon. Email David