Union of Concerned Scientists: Chrysler Gas Gimmick Keeps Customers Addicted To Oil

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 6, 2008
3:05 PM

 CONTACT: Union of Concerned Scientists
Aaron Huertas, 202-331-5458
 
 
Chrysler Gas Gimmick Keeps Customers Addicted To Oil, Science Group Says
Statement by David Friedman, Union of Concerned Scientists
 
WASHINGTON, DC – May 6 – Chrysler announced today that it will cover gasoline costs above $2.99 a gallon for customers who buy or lease a new vehicle from the company. The offer is limited to the first three years customers use their cars and covers up to 12,000 miles per year.
According the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), Chrysler is trying to fool consumers into overlooking its vehicles’ poor fuel economy and environmental performance. The savings the Chrysler program offers, the organization says, don’t measure up to the savings one would get from purchasing a fuel-efficient vehicle.

Below is a statement by David Friedman, research director for UCS’s Clean Vehicles Program:

“Chrysler is trying to pull a fast one on potential car buyers. It’s using this cynical deal to distract consumers from the fact that its cars get poor gas mileage. Rather than sticking customers with gas guzzlers, Chrysler should focus on delivering more miles per gallon. That would not only save their customers money at the pump, it would help cut America’s oil addiction and reduce global warming pollution at the same time.

“At the current price of $3.61 a gallon, the buyer of an average Chrysler vehicle would save $400 a year under Chrysler’s deal. But a mere 3-mpg boost would yield the same savings over the 15,000 miles per year typically driven in the first three years of ownership. Over the lifetime of a vehicle, such a fuel economy increase would save drivers more than $3,000. It wouldn’t stop saving drivers money after just three years.

“Instead of gambling with Chrysler on the price of gas over the next three years, car buyers should go with the certainty of a fuel-efficient vehicle.”

Chrysler finished at the bottom of UCS’s most recent ranking of auto company environmental performance. It also performed poorly in the Environmental Protection Agency’s fuel economy trends report.

For UCS’s automaker rankings, go to: www.ucsusa.org/clean_vehicles/vehicles_health/automaker-rankings-2007.html.

For the most recent EPA fuel economy trends report, go to: www.epa.gov/oms/fetrends.htm.

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The Union of Concerned Scientists is the leading science-based nonprofit organization working for a healthy environment and a safer world. Founded in 1969, UCS is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and has offices in Berkeley, California, and Washington, D.C. For more information, go to www.ucsusa.org

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