GM Issues a 'Stop Sale' After Incorrect Fuel Economy Labels Found on Full-Size Crossovers

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
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gm issues a stop sale after incorrect fuel economy labels found on full size

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]

Steph Willems
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  • Brett Woods Brett Woods on May 14, 2016

    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.

    • JohnTaurus JohnTaurus on May 15, 2016

      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.

  • Big Al from Oz Big Al from Oz on May 15, 2016

    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.

    • See 2 previous
    • Robert.Walter Robert.Walter on May 16, 2016

      @JohnTaurus 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.

  • Carsofchaos The bike lanes aren't even close to carrying "more than the car lanes replaced". You clearly don't drive in Midtown Manhattan on a daily like I do.
  • Carsofchaos The problem with congestion, dear friends, is not the cars per se. I drive into the city daily and the problem is this:Your average street in the area used to be 4 lanes. Now it is a bus lane, a bike lane (now you're down to two lanes), then you have delivery trucks double parking, along with the Uber and Lyft drivers also double parking. So your 4 lane avenue is now a 1.5 lane avenue. Do you now see the problem? Congestion pricing will fix none of these things....what it WILL do is fund persion plans.
  • FreedMike Many F150s I encounter are autonomously driven...and by that I mean they're driving themselves because the dips**ts at the wheel are paying attention to everything else but the road.
  • Tassos A "small car", TIM????????????This is the GLE. Have you even ever SEEN the huge thing at a dealer's??? NOT even the GLC,and Merc has TWO classes even SMALLER than the C (The A and the B, you guessed it? You must be a GENIUS!).THe E is a "MIDSIZED" crossover, NOT A SMALL ONE BY ANY STRETCH OF THE IMAGINATION, oh CLUELESS one.I AM SICK AND TIRED OF THE NONSENSE you post here every god damned day.And I BET you will never even CORRECT your NONSENSE, much less APOLOGIZE for your cluelessness and unprofessionalism.
  • Stuki Moi "How do you take a small crossover and make it better?Slap the AMG badge on it and give it the AMG treatment."No, you don't.In fact, that is specifically what you do NOT do.Huge, frail wheels, and postage stamp sidewalls, do nothing but make overly tall cuvs tramline and judder. And render them even less useful across the few surfaces where they could conceivably have an advantage over more properly dimensioned cars. And: Small cuvs have pitiful enough fuel range as it is, even with more sensible engines.Instead, to make a small CUV better, you 1)make it a lower slung wagon. And only then give it the AMG treatment. AMG'ing, makes sense for the E class. And these days with larger cars, even the C class. For the S class, it never made sense, aside from the sheer aural visceralness of the last NA V8. The E-class is the center of AMG. Even the C-class, rarely touches the M3.Or 2) You give it the Raptor/Baja treatment. Massive, hypersophisticated suspension travel allowing landing meaningful jumps. As well as driving up and down wide enough stairs if desired. That's a kind of driving for which a taller stance, and IFS/IRS, makes sense.Attempting to turn a CUV into some sort of a laptime wonder, makes about as much sense as putting an America's Cup rig atop a ten deck cruiseship.