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Real World Testing car on Australian road

The Australian Automobile Association (AAA) has unveiled the initial results of the nation’s first independent Real-World Testing Program, shedding light on the actual fuel consumption and emissions of vehicles under Australian driving conditions.

The $14 million program, funded by the Commonwealth, aims to empower consumers and fleet buyers with accurate information to make informed decisions, steering away from manufacturers test results that may not reflect real-world performance.

Roots in the Volkswagen Emissions Scandal: 
The Real-World Testing Program traces its origins back to the 2015 Volkswagen emissions scandal, which exposed a gap between laboratory results done by vehicle manufacturers and real-world vehicle performance. In the wake of this revelation, the AAA supported by all Australian motoring clubs including AANT, proposed a tailored Australian program to ensure regulatory compliance and encourage carmakers to optimize vehicles for actual driving conditions.

Fuel Consumption Discrepancies: 
The results reveal that cars tested in real-world conditions consumed up to 13% more fuel on the Australian road than reported in laboratory tests by manufacturers. Among the nine small and medium SUVs tested around Geelong, Victoria, four vehicles exhibited fuel consumption within 2% of lab test results (including 3 models outperforming their lab test results), while the remaining five showed discrepancies ranging from 8% to 13% higher.

Environmental Impact: 
The Real-World Testing Program also brought attention to environmental concerns, as three vehicles exceeded relevant Australian regulatory limits for pollutants. Carbon monoxide and oxides of nitrogen (NOx) levels surpassed lab limits in three SUVs, and two vehicles even exceeded European particle number lab test emissions limits, despite Australia yet to implement particle number regulation in petrol vehicles.

Simon Matthias, CEO of AANT, expressed his support for the program “The Real-World Testing Program provides our members and all Territorians with the accurate information they deserve to inform their decisions when buying a car. And could potentially save them hundreds of dollars annually”. He added “This program marks a significant step toward transparency. Until now, consumers had no way to assess how manufacturers’ laboratory results translate to actual performance of vehicles on Australian road conditions”.

The Real-World Testing Program will examine 200 cars, utes and vans over the next four years. To access the initial results and for more detailed information, visit

1. The Real World Testing of vehicles (Program) has been developed in conjunction with the Australian Commonwealth Government.  

2. Vehicles have been tested against the same testing protocol for consistency and transparency.  

3. The Program seeks to test the emissions a vehicle produces in a real world environment.  

4. The comparative figures refer to the laboratory testing a vehicle undergoes prior to release on the Australian market.  

5. Vehicle manufactures have been consulted prior to the publication of any vehicle testing results.  

6. Information provided on any Australian Automobile Association (AAA) ACN 008 526 369 (AAA) website, media release, publication, social media platform and/or application (Medium/s) is for information purposes only.  

7. The information provided via the Mediums are correct as at the time of publication only. The AAA does not warrant the currency or accuracy of the information thereafter.  

8. AAA will not be responsible for any claims, damages, costs or losses following any reliance placed on any information provided via the Mediums.  

9. It is your responsibility to ensure that any information provided via the Mediums are relevant and appropriate to you.  

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