Every two years of so UCS releases auto manufacturer rankings after examining the combined emissions of all automobile manufacturers in the United States. Those without manufacturing facilities in the United States are not counted. Hence there are, for example, no Fiat group cars or any of those made in China vehicles. And for the fifth time in a row Honda has come up first among the eight leading (and largest) automobile manufacturers in that country.
Coming a close joint second are Toyota and Hyundai. Volkswagen comes next and Chrysler comes up last. According to the Independent, a British newspaper, Chrysler coming up last is a real case of irony as Fiat, the new owners of Chrysler is in fact the cleanest automobile manufacturer in Europe. I suppose thing may change when Fiat does a total revamp of Chrysler, or if they are allowed to do so that is. American lobbying and politics as well as employee issues would need to be trashed out first.
Anyway, all three purely American manufacturers; Chrysler, General Motors and Ford have made the bottom of UCS' list consistently. For example, General Motors actually manufacture hybrids thathad worse emissions than the combined average of all of the vehicles it examined - both hybrid and non-hybrid. According to UCS, GM had squandered its hybrid technology by using it to boost power instead of fuel efficiency and pollution control. Hmm... I wonder if power (or performance) is a bad thing.
UCS also saw a marked improvement by the manufacturers in their per-mile smog-forming emissions. So even the cars made by the three mentioned above have better emissions control. The achievement was prompted largely by state and federal smog-forming emissions laws, which required the automakers to clean up their product. It shows that only with government intervention or regulation will a manufacturer change. The list is as follows:
6. General Motors
So if you feel like saving the world, buy a Honda, any Honda (a good environmentally specific choice would be the new CRZ as it looks good while saving the environment). Or a Toyota or a Hyundai. Or forget about this list, buy a Ferrari and be a very happy motorhead.