August 29th, 2008 at 9:00am
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To make sure the car companies get the message to boost fuel economy, the government is putting more teeth in its regulations.
Any automaker that does not meet the fuel economy regulations has to pay a fine. In fact, they have to pay $5.50 for every tenth of a mile per gallon that they miss the standard by, and they have to multiply that times their total production.
But some companies, like BMW, Porsche and Mercedes just happily pay the fines and go on with their business. So now NHTSA wants to nearly double that penalty to $10 for every tenth of a mile per gallon.
Then there’s the EPA’s upcoming CO2 regulations that are part of the Clean Air Act. Now with that there are no fines. If a car company doesn’t meet that standard they’re liable to criminal penalties. And this is why you will soon be hearing the big European car companies complaining why they can’t meet the new U.S. regulations.