New fuel economy label for cars and trucks unveiled, feature QR code

Dramatic overhaul of fuel economy labels

WASHINGTON - The stickers you see on the window of a new car are getting a facelift to better reflect the fuel economy. The U.S. Department of Transportation and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency unveiled the new labels that will be added starting with model year 2013 vehicles.

The new labels are the most dramatic overhaul to fuel economy labels since the program began more than 30 years ago. The label will give consumers better fuel efficiency information including estimated fuel costs for the year, although those fluctuate greatly depending on the price of gas. The label will also clearly display your estimated savings and information the vehicle's environmental impact.

The labels will even feature a QR code. It's a code that you can scan with your smartphone to get quick, rich data about a product or business. QR codes are also being used to save consumers money and offer them discounts and deals.

The QR code on the fuel economy label will be used to give consumers online information about how various models compare on fuel economy. You will be able to enter information on your commute and driving behavior to get a better fuel economy estimate on gas costs.

There is a big push to increase energy efficiency in cars and trucks built between 2012 and 2016. The efforts are estimated to save 1.8 billion barrels of oil over the life of the program and the average consumer is expected to save $3,000 in fuel costs.

"Today's car buyers want the best possible information about which cars on the lot offer the greatest fuel economy and the best environmental performance. The new labels provide comprehensive information to American car buyers, helping them make a choice that will save money at the gas pump and prevent pollution in the air we breathe," EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson said.

Consumers may begin to see the new labels on 2012 model year cars, if the manufacturer voluntarily decides to implement the changes sooner. It won't be a requirement until 2013 model year cars.

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