The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said late on Tuesday (March 27) it was proposing to cancel a planned hike in higher “gas-guzzler” penalties for automakers whose vehicles fail to meet minimum fuel-economy standards, including many pickup trucks used to tow RVs.
Automotive News reported that NHTSA in July suspended a 2016 Obama administration regulation that more than doubled penalties. Automakers protested the hike, saying it could increase industry compliance costs by $1 billion annually.
Congress ordered federal agencies in 2015 to adjust civil penalties to account for inflation. In response, NHTSA under the administration of former President Barack Obama, a Democrat, proposed raising fines for every gallon of fuel that new cars and trucks consume in excess of required standards under the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) program, but delayed the effective date to September 2018.
NHTSA said in a proposed regulation released on Tuesday that it “tentatively concludes” that hiking the penalty would have a “negative economic impact.”
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