Yesterday, Grist reported that the average fuel efficiency of U.S. vehicles is at a 22-year low. Today, we’re happy to report that at least people are upset about it. A survey of complaints about new vehicles, released yesterday by J. D. Powers and Associates, found that fuel consumption was the second-most-common complaint among all respondents. In the 17 years the survey has been conducted, fuel efficiency had never before ranked in the top five complaints. Interestingly, this year, it ranked as the number-one concern among two unlikely sets of people: owners of Toyota’s highly efficient gas-electric hybrid Prius and owners of General Motors’ highly inefficient Hummer H2. The survey, which asked 52,000 people whether any of 135 potential problems appeared within the first 90 days after they purchased or leased a vehicle, might force the auto industry to rethink its long-held theory that drivers do not feel strongly about fuel efficiency.
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