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Blog: Consumer Reports calls on automakers to drop support for rollback of federal gas mileage standards

Consumer Reports continues to urge automakers to stop support for an initiative that will cause U.S. consumers to lose hundreds of billions of dollars. 


Earlier this year, CR delivered a petition signed by over 75,000 consumers to the heads of several major auto manufacturers that are lobbying and suing to weaken federal fuel economy and vehicle emissions standards. 


CR combined its petition with a coalition of consumer, climate, science, and faith advocacy groups to deliver a new combined total of over 285,000 signatures to the CEOs of General Motors, Fiat Chrysler, Toyota and other automakers supporting this rollback of fuel economy and emissions rules. Rolling back America’s Clean Car standards will increase the cost of owning a new vehicle by $2,100 by 2025, and cost American consumers $300 billion in total.


“As the country looks to recover from the economic downturn, automakers should support strong fuel economy standards that are proven to spur job creation and save consumers money,” says David Friedman, Vice President of Advocacy at Consumer Reports. “But instead of fighting to help their customers save money, GM, Chrysler and Toyota lobbied for higher costs for consumers.”


The rollback, which was commissioned by the current leadership of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), is being challenged in court. The auto industry is split on how to handle the costly rollback, with Ford, Honda, Volkswagen, BMW and Volvo choosing to support stronger fuel economy standards. This petition calls on the major automakers supporting the rollback, including GM, FCA, Toyota, Nissan, Mazda, Subaru, Hyundai, and Kia.


“The technology to meet the original standards and deliver cleaner air with environmental and consumer benefits — it already exists,” adds Friedman. “Now consumers can see clearly which automakers are serious about reducing pollution and saving consumers money, and which ones merely claim to do so in their advertising.”

Research shows consumers strongly value fuel-saving technology. And CR’s 2019 survey of prospective car buyers found that 9 in 10 drivers want vehicles on the market to continue getting more fuel efficient, but only 34% think automakers care about lowering fuel costs for their customers.

Adam Winer