"Consumers don't fully understand the benefit of low rolling resistant tires. They believe they are forfeiting important aspects of tire performance by opting for low rolling resistant tires, yet don't know how much improvement in fuel efficiency they should expect in return."
Exactly. The consumers are right, by the way. They are either paying more for a LRR tire, or they are accepting a tradeoff in braking performance, ride, noise, life and robustness in return for an unknown improvement in mpg which they might achieve by blowing some nicer tires up a bit.
I was gently nulling over your jibe about clever people defining tests. There is one cracker of an example. The standard EEC test for braking from 60 mph (100 kph) involved starting to brake as you pass a witches hat, and then measuring the distance covered to rest.
The test designed by smart people(German magazine AMS) starts braking at 110 kph. You then read off the distance covered from 100 kph to rest. This eliminates anticipation and buildup to max braking, and measures the effective tire and brake performance more accurately. The spread in results is much smaller. In the real world I agree that buildup does matter, when I'm back at work I'll have a look and see how significant that is (gut feel is not very)
Another example is the driveby test - the American test is far more realistic than the EEC one- you just drive along in D and floor the thing, no defined gear ratios, no silliness.