By on May 14, 2016

2016 Buick Enclave

General Motors is in damage control mode following the discovery of incorrect fuel economy ratings on the window stickers of its 2016 full-size crossovers.

A “stop sale” order was issued to GM dealers on Wednesday after EPA labels on GMC Acadia, Chevrolet Traverse and Buick Enclave vehicles were shown to overstate mileage by one to two miles per gallon, Automotive News reports.

Nearly 60,000 vehicles are sidelined until replacement Monroney stickers arrive at dealerships between today and Tuesday.

There’s no evidence that points to intentional deception, but it’s a bad time for any automaker to face a misleading fuel economy controversy, given the scandal currently consuming Mitsubishi in its home country.

GM spokesman Tom Wilkinson told Automotive News that the mistake can be pinned on a faulty “data transmission,” adding that GM informed the Environmental Protection Agency as soon as the issue was discovered. The EPA has since requested all information pertaining to the issue.

A memo from GM to dealers stated an “inadvertent error” led to the wrong figures appearing on the labels.

The EPA rating for all-wheel-drive versions of the vehicles should be 15 mpg in the city, 22 highway, and 17 combined, but the incorrect labels added 2 mpg to each figure. Front-drive models added 1 mpg to the actual combined rating.

The issue is more than just bad optics for GM — it means tens of thousands of vehicles were bought under false assumptions, and those customers won’t see the gas mileage their window sticker promised.

To keep the peace, the automaker might have to reimburse customers for the difference in mileage, though for now, GM is notifying buyers and creating a plan to deal with any backlash. With the EPA still looking into how the figures made their way onto stickers, there’s no word yet on penalties.

Wilkinson said that unspecified changes made to the models for the 2016 model year required the printing of new EPA ratings.

[Image: General Motors]

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41 Comments on “GM Issues a ‘Stop Sale’ After Incorrect Fuel Economy Labels Found on Full-Size Crossovers...”


  • avatar
    PRNDLOL

    A fifty dollar Sears gift card to the ‘affected buyers’ should do the trick.

  • avatar
    TrailerTrash

    This is really poor.
    The real MPG is poor.
    I did a gov check this morning. The 2015 Traverse is 17/24/19.
    The 2016 is 15/22/18.
    All FWD.
    Soooo…what did the Traverse do with the 2016 to reduce its MPG?
    If nothing…then even the earlier ones had the wrong MPGs.
    That will not be good.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      The Lambdas have always been gas oinkers.

      The 17 MPG rating of the AWD Traverse ties the 6.2L Yukon Denali AWD and is one worse than a 5.3L Suburban 4WD.

      The new, smaller & lighter Acadia V6 AWD gets 20 combined.

      • 0 avatar
        Mandalorian

        Honestly, in the real world just about any large CUV is going to get that millage.

      • 0 avatar
        TrailerTrash

        ajla

        just confused as to why the EPA has lowered the 16s MPG.
        If the 2015 window sticker as well as the gov EPA site shows higher than the newer, but wrong, 16s sticker, then what is going on? All they are discussing is the 16 sticker when the earlier numbers are higher.
        Is this possibly an issue going way back?

        I know of no new EPA MPG rating system put into place for 16 and no GM engine/trans changes that lower the 2016 MPG, so again I am just confused.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      For the Lambda’s size this is good. Our rental Enclave Leather FWD was able to see 26 mpg all freeway for 45 minutes, two way average. Not much can better that with 2-row and room for luggage.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        Wow Norm, I’m very surprised to read that you got exceptional mileage out of a GM product. That’s such a rare thing for you to bring up.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        You need to Trifecta Tune that sh!t b/c that’s awful.

        Why not pick up an additional 119 horsepower, 144 lbs feet of torque and 9.4 mpg for the low, low, low Trifecta Tune price of $104?

    • 0 avatar
      Lack Thereof

      Could be something as simple as a new program in the transmission computer (to improve performance with that weaker-than-the-competitors V6), or a change to the tire pressure spec (to improve ride).

  • avatar

    At least they’re not running from it. Imagine if they’d handled the ignition switch fiasco the same way.

    • 0 avatar
      sutherland555

      I guess they learned from that mistake? In all seriousness, there have been so many scandals that have been mishandled by other car companies since then that even trying to get in front of a problem makes them look better in comparison.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      I think it is a prudent move. Nipping it in the bud, so to speak. Before it spun out of control. And it would have.

      Only goes to show that with Ms Barra in command, GM has become pro-active instead of re-active, a la ignition switch situation.

      • 0 avatar
        Robert.Walter

        I’m not convinced that this is anything but damage control given the reports that the wrong mpg figures (subsequently revised) were already on the EPA website earlier this year.

        GM also appears to be under scrutiny in Germany for Opel diesels w/ s/w defeat devices for hi altitude, speed or temperature conditions.

  • avatar
    redapple

    Let me know when we can talk about the lying trip computers.

    My 2012 Equinox always reads ~1.5-2 mpg high on the trip computer.
    (vs. miles driven / gallons put in the tank long hand calculation).

    • 0 avatar
      qfrog

      I found my Golf 1.8T reading about ~7% high from the factory. A VCDS cable allows a user to skew the consumption correction by as much as 15%. Not sure if there is an equivalent tool for GM or if it gains you access to change such details of the electronics in the car.

    • 0 avatar
      ixim

      Both my 2013 and 2016 I4 FWD Equinox’s read high especially when not driving straight highway. It’s easy to “game” the “Average Mileage” DIC reading with a lot of coasting, etc. My two Toyota RAV4’s were the same way. Miles/gallons measured at fillup is the only truly accurate measure. And, even then, you need to fill upin the same way at the same pump for best results. Also, wait at least 1/2 a tank. Still, the DIC can help make a dull freeway run a little more interesting.

  • avatar
    Firestorm 500

    As always, Your Mileage May Vary.

    Instant out. Nothing to see here. The EPA mileages are never real world, anyway. It doesn’t “promise” anything.

    • 0 avatar
      TrailerTrash

      However, all things must be equal.
      If anyone is searching cars to test drive and basing a lot of the evaluation and search on the “listed” MPGs, then it should be set at an honest standard.
      With all testing being equal.
      Everybody understands that once they themselves get in it will all change, possibly upwards, based upon their habits.
      But there has to be an honest base number.

    • 0 avatar
      Robert.Walter

      If its purpose is not perverted by cheating, it offers the consumer comparability and an informed purchase decision.

  • avatar
    brandloyalty

    If the stated mileage was 15/22/17, and the incorrect labels added 2 or 1, (as the article states), wouldn’t that be an improvement? Whatever, CAFE needs to be more strict if pigs like these are being sold. And folks need to stop buying them.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    Why are these considered fullsize? They’re way too small, maybe a largish midsize, but fullsize they most certainly are not.

    Also, once again an actual SUV in the same showroom is the significantly better vehicle.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      “Why are these considered fullsize?”

      I’ve often wondered this myself, and they’re NOT fullsize. A Suburban-class vehicle is considered fullsize and these are smaller than the mid-size Tahoe-class.

      This must all be related to the NEW classification of vehicle sizes as OEMs and the US-gov’t try to fool us consumers into believing that smaller is the new fullsize by making ever-smaller vehicles they want us to drive.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        The lambdas are most definitely full size CUVs, and Tahoes have always been full-size SUVs. The lambdas have more interior/cargo room than said Tahoe as well.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        Its like dominoes pizza, $7 used to get you a large which was 18″, then it they changed the size, a large was now 16″ and costed $8; and here recently they changed the size again, a large is now 14″ and cost $10. Unfortunately for them, I’m not stupid, $10 will buy me a 16″ from a real Italian restuarant and it’s 10x better.

        But basically they keep making them smaller and charging more for less.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          ” basically they keep making them smaller and charging more for less.”

          Yeah, I agree with that. It must be what a person grew up with. When I was a kid, the Suburban was considered fullsize, and the Tahoe did not exist.

          I’m surprised that our 2015 Sequoia is considered full size. What would a Suburban be classified as today, if not fullsize?

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            You got me beat, and the space in all of them is horrible across the board you can’t get fullsize space in anything fullsize. The manufacturers need to benchmark the 1980s suburban and get an idea how to fit a human being into a car. My 1987 S10 blazer (a compact) is more spacious for the human body than any crossover I’ve seen.
            The windshield is NOT in my face, my knees aren’t squished together by an intrusive center console, my head is plenty far from the B pillar (seriously how does someone buy something with a B-pillar so close to their head??), I have bodily space in every direction. The rear seat has leg room for days even with the front seats all the way back, the rear seats are very spacious. There’s less hump in an actual RWD SUV floorboard than there is in any FWD crossover I’ve been in, how does that work? And this is all in a compact BOF SUV.

            The general public is being duped into buying a far inferior product for the same cost that a quality product that outperforms, can be made for.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            “1980s suburban” My father-in-law drove a 1973 Suburban until 2013 when he replaced it with another. The 2013 was a dog compared to the 1973 version.

            My best friend still drives a 1993 S-10 ExtCab with the 4.3L and Tahoe Pkg. Says he’s got so much time and money wrapped up in it to keep it running, he can’t afford to get rid of it.

            My wife had a brief flirtation with a 2012 Grand Cherokee, as well as a 2008 Highlander, but I think she’s a much happier Kitty in that 2015 Sequoia.

            AFAIK, the Tahoe comes only with the 5.3L V8 that uses cylinder management to switch from 8-cyl to 4-cyl mode, for fuel economy.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            HDC, the ‘fullsize’ trucks all derive from a given make’s half-ton pickup truck. IE Sequoia from Tundra, Expedition from F150, Tahoe from Silverado, Armada from Titan (will be Patrol based starting in 2017). Expedition EL and Suburban are simply the extended wheelbase variants of an already fullsize platform. You wouldn’t call a shortbed/shortcab F150 something other than a half-ton just because there exists a crewcab+longer bed variant of that same F150 would you? The fullsize SUV naming convention has been in place for over two decades at this point, I don’t see how it is an unusual or a foreign concept at all.

      • 0 avatar
        Lack Thereof

        The Suburban is 2 feet longer bumper-to-bumper than the Lambdas, but let’s be honest, at least half that length is in the hood.

        The Suburban has a slightly higher roofline, while the Lambdas have a lower floor. The width difference is only 2 inches.

        In terms of internal volume, they’re definitely both neighbors in the same size class.

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          The suburban and Tahoe don’t marginalize cabin space by collapsing the top of the cabin closer to the occupants for some ungainly looking proportions.
          That space matter.

    • 0 avatar
      Maymar

      Having ridden in the third row of a Tahoe recently, and several Traverses in the past year, the Lambda is surprisingly more humane and roomy (and has more luggage space as well), although neither are suitable for adults for any length of time.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        Third rows just aren’t meant for adults, but if you think the 3rd row on the Tahoe is bad, I offer the 3rd row of a 4Runner right back, if you were to cut my head off, my neck would still touch the ceiling if my spine were to be kept straight.

        The Tahoe is an actual SUV, there are drawbacks, the lambda basically being a minivan should definately be more roomy.

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          What he’s saying Hummer, is that the Lambda third row can legitimately accommodate an adult in reasonable comfort for longer drives, a similarly sized Tahoe cannot (and yes a 4Runner third row is just horrible). Tahoe-length IRS BOF Fords do a decent job (non-stretched Expedition, even the 06-11 Explorer) of having a usable third row. The IRS/BOF Sequoia which is a bit longer than a Tahoe has an absolutely palatial third row. Even a BOF/solid rear axle fan such as myself admits to the packaging constraints of the tried and true layout.

  • avatar
    Brett Woods

    It’s interesting to see which other corporations hold 10% or 15% interests in the big brands. You may also have observed over the years, big brands buying out alternative fuel competitors, supposedly as exciting ways to get ‘in’ on new tech, and then slowly folding them. How about “experienced in energy” double agent executives gaining top positions at alternative energy powerhouses that subsequently suffer massive performance failures?

    It can be no coincidence these GM vehicles use the same amount of fuel as they did 40 years ago. It must be designed that way as part of a strategic business model that takes a lot of effort to make happen. Neither do I expect that a systematic fraud which conveys a competitive advantage in the market place is the fortuitous result of bumbling fools at the printing house.

    But then I say Lewis Hamilton could not have had – cracked brake pad, loose fuel line, 2 start mode glitches, 2 computer failures; while his team mate had none. The odds of that happening randomly are 0.1%. Call Mulder and Scully.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      Right, because cars of 40 years ago had the same safety and luxury features that they do today (power everything, ABS, airbags, aircon on almost every vehicle, larger brakes, larger wheels/tires, infotainment systems, etc).

      Not to mention that cars that got the same MPG as, say, a Cruze or Sonic, etc had far less power and were super strippers with nothing in the way of comfort/convinence/safety features. They also drove like horrible little roachmobiles and had ghastly crash protection. If you took someone from 1976 who drove an economy car and put them in a modestly-equipped 2016 Cruze, theyd think you handed them they keys to an exceptional small Cadillac. Hell, the Cruze probably has similar HP as an emissions-strangled ’76 V-8 Caddy.

      So, how many 1976 Chevys got over 40 MPG like the Cruze (some models IIRC), Sonic or Spark? How about mid-30s like a Malibu? And what kind of power did they make compared to 2016s? What 1976 full size truck broke 25 mpg?

      Take off your tin foil hat and let the chemtrails do their job.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Is this a violation or error???

    The article alludes to error, but I wonder.

    Was their a shortage of labels? If a shortage existed then it’s odd how the EPA stickers displayed better FE.

    Fine them for being deceitful and so stupid, like VW.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      Oh yes, it makes total sense that they would intentionally misrepresent MPG figures, pretend to discover it, and issue a stop-sale on one of their most popular and profitable lines of vehicles, as well as possibly having to compensate the owners of ones already sold.

      Yes, fine them for shooting themselves in the foot, it was obviously a scam designed to glue cars to the lot instead of selling them, and to get rid of some of that annoying money in the coffers.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Yep, plead ignorance.

      • 0 avatar
        Robert.Walter

        Nice revisionist take on things. Crooks never expect to get caught (assuming the fine is greater than the benefit of the crime), but once outed they appear to do clean up like non crooks do.

        I’m not saying gm is guilty, just that there needs to be s deep dive to prove that they are not playing again.

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