During a public hearing in Chicago, automakers and auto dealers agreed a new car window label was necessary but said assigning a letter grade across vehicle categories is like comparing apples and oranges, reports The Los Angeles Times.
In August, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Transportation on released two proposed window stickers designed to make it easier for consumers to compare vehicles particularly as a new generation of electric and hybrid cars are set to hit the marketplace over the next year.
Letter grades “are at best of virtually no value and at worst counterproductive,” said Desmond Roberts, a Chevrolet dealer in the Chicago area and an official with the National Assn. of Minority Automobile Dealers, reports The Los Angeles Times. “Seeking to evaluate and rate vehicles without attempting to hold constant attributes such as seating or hauling capacity renders such ratings meaningless,” he added.
Giedrius Ambrozaitis of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers also said in the article that consumers could confuse the letter grades with overall vehicle quality or safety.
Environmental advocates told the newspaper that letter grades would be a simple evaluation system that all consumers understand. Under the proposed letter grading sticker, electric vehicles that get 117 mpg or more would rate the A-plus, while a car like Ferrari’s 612 Scaglietti that gets 12 mpg would earn a D.
The EPA hasn’t released a date when the ratings will be released, only that they would come “shortly,” reports The New York Times.