Some owners of gas-electric hybrid vehicles complain that they aren't getting the sky-high mileage promised on the window sticker.
To blame are a mix of factors, from unrealistic expectations to poor driving to bad weather.
In November, Andrew Bartell, a San Anselmo, Calif., information technology project manager, bought a 2004 Honda Civic hybrid with an Environmental Protection Agency fuel economy rating of 47 mpg in city driving, 48 on the highway. But Bartell says he actually is getting between 34 and 36 mpg.
He says Honda told him the EPA rating is based on a test of "ideal" driving conditions. "The stated mileage is a complete lie. ... I do not know of a single road in the U.S. that would qualify as ideal," Bartell says.
Honda spokesman Andy Boyd says Bartell isn't the only Civic hybrid buyer complaining. In fact, Boyd says he gets between 39 mpg and 41 mpg in his Civic hybrid.