Final CAFE Ruling Delayed By Obama Administration

Yesterday the Obama administration was expected to announce final fuel economy rules ramping up to a “54.5” mpg fleet-wide average from 2017-2025 for North American auto producers.

As it was, the self-imposed August 15 deadline came and went for Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) mandates formulated by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that would amount to low-40 mpg on actual window stickers.

“The rule is still undergoing interagency review and we expect that process to be completed soon,” said Lynda Tran, a NHTSA spokeswoman to Automotive News.

Aside from this deflection, administration officials did not give a more specific indicator as to what the delay was for, or how long would be a reasonable time to wait.

The mandates have the support of most automakers doing business in the U.S., the United Auto Workers Union, and environmentalists, with notable exceptions being German automakers VW and Daimler, and Japanese automakers, according to statements attributed to Toyota.

It has also been the target of repeated focused criticism by the National Automobile Dealers Association, and most recently by a congressional inquiry led by California Republican Darrell Issa who serves as chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

The Obama administration has said the rules, while adding to the average cost of vehicles by as much as $3,000 per unit when factoring existing CAFE mandates, will be more than offset by operational cost savings.

CAFE is intended also to spur the industry toward advanced solutions to cut greenhouse gases and dependence on fossil fuels leading toward what is hoped to be increased energy security.

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  • Van

    As with all things Obama, the timing is probably politically motivated. The exclusion of Toyota’s Tundra might earn “crony capitalism” points.

    Next, the rule-making could be viewed as an indirect tax, to the tune of $3000, thus violating the claim that Obama is not raising taxes on the middle class.

  • DJ

    If Obama said this is the color blue and the rest of the country know it blue. Why is this debate on saying the opposite of the Obama .