WASHINGTON Dec 21 The U.S. National Highway
Traffic Safety Administration said Wednesday it will delay a
planned jump in fines for automakers who fail to meet fuel
efficiency requirements until late 2018.
Two major auto trade associations representing carmakers
including General Motors Co, Toyota Motor Corp
and Volkswagen AG had urged U.S. regulators to
reconsider plans to more than double fines for failing to meet
fuel efficiency requirements, saying the move could have boosted
industry compliance costs by $1 billion annually.
In 2015, Congress ordered federal agencies to adjust civil
penalties to account for inflation and, in response, NHTSA
proposed to raise fines to $14 from $5.50 for each 0.1 mile per
gallon each vehicle is below required standards. Automakers had
said the higher fines could have impacted vehicles built since
NHTSA also said Wednesday in a separate announcement that it
will consider a proposal from automaker trade groups to further
"harmonize" its rules with requirements from the Environmental
Protection Agency. Automakers are seeking further flexibilities
as they face steep increases in requirements through 2025.
The announcement comes as the auto industry is urging the
incoming administration of President-elect Donald Trump to
conduct a sweeping review of the Obama administration's fuel
In 2011, President Barack Obama announced an agreement with
major automakers to raise fuel efficiency standards to 54.5 mpg,
which the administration said would save motorists $1.7 trillion
in fuel costs over the life of the vehicles but cost the auto
industry about $200 billion over 13 years.
(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)