Car ads don’t tell whole truth about emissions

May 6th, 2008 - 4:52 pm ICT by admin  

Sydney, May 6 (IANS) Ads prompting you to buy a swanky new car might not be telling the whole truth; at least not about the bit on greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution, despite global concerns. These findings are based on an analysis of 514 vehicle ads appearing in two popular magazines like North & South and Metro over a five-year period from 2001 to 2005, by the University of Otago, Wellington.

The results showed that only three percent of the ads provided information on fuel efficiency and only four percent on greenhouse gas (carbon dioxide) and air pollution emissions.

Also over these five years, the reported engine size increased significantly while fuel efficiency did not. Over a third of new vehicles comprised SUVs or four-wheel drives, reports Sciencealert.

Nick Wilson, co-author of the study, said “these findings suggest that the vehicle industry is paying lip service to the important issues of climate change and air pollution, despite these being critical issues for New Zealand and the world to address”.

By analysing available data from manufacturers and government websites in 2006, the study showed that yearly averages for greenhouse or air pollution ratings did not improve significantly over the five-year period.

“As for the manufacturers’ websites, two thirds provided fuel efficiency figures, but only 41 percent provided emissions information,” said co-author George Thomson.

“This means it would have been difficult for purchasers to determine if they were buying a more environmentally friendly vehicle over this period, even if they made the effort to go to the website from the ad,” added Thomson.

The research has been published in the international journal Environmental Health.

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