NHTSA May Reinstate Increased Fines From Automakers For Failure To Comply With Emissions Rules

Under President Barack Obama, the highest penalties were set to begin with the 2019 model year, but the Trump administration … who first tried to suspend the walk – agreed after a court decision to set the effective date as the 2022 model year.

The NHTSA said it is giving the public 30 days to comment on whether it should reinstate the 2016 rule that would impose higher penalties beginning in the 2019 model year, but said it had not yet reached a final determination.

In 2015, Congress directed federal agencies to adjust civil penalties to account for inflation. In response, NHTSA issued rules to increase fines to $ 14 from $ 5.50 for every 0.1 mile per gallon that new cars and trucks consume in excess of required standards.

A trade group representing major U.S. and foreign automakers said Wednesday that it had urged NHTSA not to retroactively apply higher penalties to model-year-olds already produced or designed, “as doing so would not produce any environmental benefits or fuel economy “.

In August 2020, a US appeals court reversed the Trump administration’s 2019 decision to suspend the 2016 regulation.

In March, Tesla urged a US appeals court to reinstate higher penalties for fuel economy and said the Biden administration ignored the continued impact of the Trump rule on the credit trading market.

Tesla, whose zero-emission electric cars, sells credits to other automakers to reduce their burden of complying with regulations, arguing that Trump’s rule change makes those credits less valuable.

FCA paid a total of nearly $ 150 million for failing to meet the 2016 and 2017 requirements.

The NHTSA said its analysis showed that reinstating the previous increase could increase fines for the 2019 model year alone by $ 178.5 million, a figure that does not include the impact on credit trading.

Stellantis said earlier this month in a securities filing that costs related to possible higher fines from CAFE could be about 521 million euros ($ 609 million).

Earlier this month, NHTSA proposed increasing CAFE requirements by 8 percent annually from 2024 to 2026, reversing a Trump-era regulation that lowered the higher requirements beginning in the 2021 model year.

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