This year, 23 cars have been chosen to get their fuel efficiency verified. The figure has been increased by nine vehicles, or 64 percent, from 14 last year.
As the targets have been largely expanded, and the verification method has stricter than last year, auto makers seem uneasy about their models passing the test.
According to automakers and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT) on July 19, 16 vehicles will have compliance tests in 2015, while 10 vehicles will be part of the new car assessment program (NCAP), which rates safety.
The MOLIT verified fuel efficiency only in compliance tests last year, but it decided to check the gas mileage of cars that will have NCAP this year, expanding the objects surveyed.
Among 23 vehicles to be verified for fuel efficiency this year, there are 12 domestic cars and 11 imported. For compliance tests, there are 10 domestic and six imported cars to be reviewed. For NCAP, there are five domestic and five imported car models.
Previously, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) and the MOLIT had carried out fuel efficiency tests separately. However, the MOLIT is currently taking full charge of the test, as there was controversy over the “inflated” fuel economy of Hyundai Motor’s Santa Fe and Ssangyong Motor's Korando Sports last year.
From this year, both fuel efficiency levels in urban areas and expressways should stay within 5 percent of the figures presented by manufacturers, according to a joint announcement on vehicle fuel economy from the MOLIT, the MOTIE, and the Ministry of Environment (ME). Until last year, the MOLIT only investigated composite fuel efficiency, to combine fuel efficiencies in urban areas and expressways.
One car will be inspected in the test. If the fuel efficiency of the car is doubtful in the first inspection, three additional cars will be inspected, and their average value will be its fuel efficiency level. The first test will be carried out by Korea Transportation Safety Authority under the MOLIT, and the second test will be carried out by five organizations including the MOTIE and the ME.
Yoon Jin-hwan at the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport said, “As the standard has changed from composite into individual fuel efficiency, it has become stricter. We will inspect an additional three cars for fuel efficiency upon manufacturers’ request, raising the credibility.”
Meanwhile, running resistance exerts considerable impact on fuel efficiency. The joint announcement on vehicle fuel economy, in which the government directly verifies running resistance, will take effect from Nov. this year. Accordingly, running resistance tests will be carried out from the fuel economy inspection next year.