Corporate Average Fuel Economy Penalties

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Why it Matters

Increased penalties would provide automakers with greater incentive to make their cars and trucks more fuel-efficient, saving consumers money on fuel and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Current Status

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) took comments through October 10, 2017 on a proposal to cancel planned penalty increases for violating a fuel efficiency standard.


On July 5, 2016 NHTSA finalized an interim final rule, enhancing penalties for noncompliance with fuel efficiency standards.

On August 1, 2016 the Auto Alliance and Global Automaker petitioned NHTSA for reconsideration.

NHTSA published a final rule on December 28, 2016, granting part of the industry petition.

Trump Era

On July 12, 2017 NHTSA announced a plan to reconsider enhanced penalties, and sought public comment through October 10, 2017.

On September 7, 2017 NRDC sued NHSTA over the penalty delay. On September 11, 2017 New York, California, Vermont, Pennsylvania, and Maryland sued NHSTA as well. Both were filed in the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals.  

On October 24, 2017 NRDC and the five states listed above asked the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals to immediate reinstate the higher penalties.

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