Report: Foreign Automakers Got Raw Deal in New Fuel-Economy Rules

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Next Wednesday, expect the federal government to unveil final corporate average fuel economy rules for 2017 through 2025. The latest CAFE requirements took more than a year to finalize and will require combined EPA city/highway mileage in the high 30s by 2025 versus the low 20s today.

But new criticisms have formed over how the rulings came about.

The Republican-controlled House Oversight and Government Reform Committee released a report alleging the Obama administration "openly played automakers off of each other to gain a tactical advantage over the industry," the Detroit News reports. The latest CAFE proposal forces Americans to drive "expensive, unpopular and unsafe" cars mandated by the administration, the report added.

Democrats fired back: "Allegations that the White House is seeking to weaken the auto industry are simply ridiculous," U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) told the Detroit News. The White House maintains the deal will cost the auto industry $157.3 billion but save drivers $1.7 trillion.

Corporate average fuel economy rules grant separate mileage ratings to cars versus trucks. Automakers also can earn credits for certain technologies and exemptions for certain vehicles. The report said foreign-owned automakers expressed frustration but ultimately acquiesced to the deal. According to the Detroit News:

  • Detroit's full-size trucks received an exemption that freed them from fuel-economy increases during part of the 2017-2025 ramp up, and Toyota wanted the Tundra to receive the same exemptions. But the rules excluded Toyota's pickup truck from the exemption.
  • German automakers wanted more credits for diesel cars but received none. Daimler, parent to Mercedes and Smart, ultimately opposed the new CAFE rules, as did Volkswagen.
  • Hybrid pickups — but not other cars — received CAFE bonuses, which is something Honda and Toyota questioned. Two hybrid pickups exist, and both are GMs.

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By Kelsey Mays | August 10, 2012 | Comments (8)

Comments 

Spike

Our President pitting one group against another. Say it ain't so!

Highdesertcat

The CAFE standards were heavily skewed in favor of the domestic automakers.

Read up on the PT Cruiser being classified as a truck to lower the fleet mpg CAFE averages for Chrysler, for instance.

This was pointed out by Rep Darrel Issa of CA and of course heavily contested by Democrats relying on votes from the bailed out US auto industry.

There's more about this on the truth about cars dot dom.

But this should not come as a surprise to anyone. The name of the Obama game is to boost domestic car sales, not boost the sales of the foreigners and transplants.

The more Obama can make the foreigners look bad will have a direct influence in increased sales of the domestic brands, even if they are made in Canada, Mexico and South Korea.

J

Again, helping Gov't Motors...

Toyotasux

Screw Toyota. How many bailouts and zero interest loans have they gotten from their government over the years, as well as other Japanese companies? Why does the Japanese close their markets to foreign goods and manipulate their currency to give their corporations an advantage. In my estimation, Toyota needs to shut up and be happy they were allowed to come in this country and take so much market share.

mike

Fair trade agreement, gives Toyota over $10,000 for every new car/pickup sold here goes to Japan our tax dollars. America pays Toyota to sell and make there cars. I call it the unfair trade agreement.

Highdesertcat

In case some of you have forgotten....

It was the US government who *begged* Toyota and Honda to open assembly plants in the US to provide jobs to unemployable and unskilled Americans.

If the foreigners continued to import their cars and trucks, the US government would levy a hefty chicken tax on each vehicle. Read up!

Not much of a choice, really. Kinda like being between a rock and a hard place.

But NAFTA changed all that. Now the foreigners can make them in Mexico and import them tax/duty free into the US.

THAT would be the smarter option, and ALL automakers are starting to make more of them there. Yes, even Ford and GM.

Chrysler is already a foreign-owned automaker.

Rich

Cool! Now they have to make a hybrid Tundra.

Tony

Obama is blood sucker. We'll all die in poverty with him.

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