Tesla Wins: NHTSA Hikes Fines for Automakers Failing to Meet Fuel Efficiency Requirements

by Eva Fox March 28, 2022

Tesla Wins: NHTSA Hikes Fines for Automakers Failing to Meet Fuel Efficiency Requirements

Photo: Carlo Allegri/Reuters

Tesla has won an important cause for which it has fought for years. The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said it would more than double fines for automakers that fail to meet fuel efficiency standards for 2019 and later models.

For models manufactured from 2019 to 2021, the fine will rise to $14 from $5.50 for every 10 mpg in excess of the standard, according to the ruling. For 2022 models, the price rises to $15. The amount of the fine is multiplied by the number of cars sold. The agency's final rule will soon be published in the federal register.

Tesla has been fighting for years to implement tougher penalties for automakers that do not meet fuel efficiency standards. The use of cars with internal combustion engines leads to severe environmental pollution, and the deterioration of the climatic situation on our planet. Increasing penalties could force manufacturers to adopt fuel-saving technologies faster, and more actively develop electric vehicles. The new rule will be open for public comment and will take effect 60 days after it is posted to the Federal Register.

“NHTSA’s action is necessary to meet it’s legal obligations, and it will also help consumers save money at the pump,” Alex Tom, an attorney at the National Resources Defense Council, said in an emailed statement to Bloomberg. “Now, with these inflation-adjusted fines, automakers are more likely to meet fuel economy standards with fuel-saving technology.”

The Transportation Department, which oversees NHTSA, said when it first proposed the new standards last year that they would increase fuel-efficiency 8% annually for model years 2024 to 2026, and increase the estimated fleet-wide average by 12 miles per gallon by model year 2026. The agency faces a March 31 deadline to finalize new rules for the 2024 model year.

© 2022, Eva Fox | Tesmanian. All rights reserved.

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