You remember when we let you in on the news that for 2008 the EPA was revising their testing procedures to more accurately reflect the type of gas mileage that consumers are likely to get on their own, right? This change leads the numbers that a car is pegged with by the EPA to go down, which is probably a good thing, as the new numbers are most likely more accurate. And, now for the interesting part. I'm sure that you are also familiar with the so called "gas guzzler" status that many cars are assigned when their numbers fall too low. This has been in effect since 1991, and the way in which the numbers are calculated is not being changed. What does that mean? It means that some vehicles will qualify as "gas guzzlers" which did not previously qualify, according to this article. That article also gives a few examples, which I will relay here. The 6 Speed Nissan 350Z, previously not a "gas guzzler", is now, to the tune of a $1,300 charge. The Corvette Z06, already a "gas guzzler" fares even worse, as it's fine jumps from $1,300 under the old estimates to $2,100 under the new revised estimates. Note that the charges are assigned to the manufacturer of the car, which, in many cases passes that charge down to the consumer. Check the window sticker of your new 2008 vehicle to be sure what, if anything, you are being charged.

Interested in reading more? Here is a rundown of the EPA testing procedures. One might have assumed that the "gas guzzler" tax had been revised when the mileage estimates were revised, but one might have also been wrong. Why should they be, you might ask... well, the mileage of any given vehicle is not actually changing, only the way the EPA calculates it. So, the vehicle in question has not actually changed at all. So, there are two ways to look at this. One, the "gas guzzler" tax should go up, because we want to accurately reflect what is happening in the real world. Or, two, it is unfair to the manufacturers of the car who are being forced to hit a "moving target" after all of the engineering for the vehicle has already been done. Proof that manufacturers care can be found if you remember the infamous "skip shift" of the 90's 6 speed GM performance cars such as the Camaro and Firebird.

Feel free to read over the material on the EPA's site, and see if you are able to discern something different than what is being questioned here. Also, feel free to check the list of vehicles that have been assigned the "gas guzzler" tax, and note that there are no trucks, SUVs or vans, which do not qualify for the taxes of passenger cars.

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[Source: Dubspeed Driven]


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