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Consumer Reports: Deal between California’s Air Resource Board and four major automakers is “disappointing”

WASHINGTON, D.C. — California’s Air Resource Board (CARB) announced a deal today that would set special tailpipe emissions standards for four global automakers. Ford Motor Company, Volkswagen Auto Group, Honda Motor Company, and the BMW Auto Group, agreed with California to a new set of standards that is voluntary and much less stringent than the current federal standards, but stronger than the full rollback proposed by the EPA.

“It’s disappointing that California would accept an offer from automakers to weaken a program that is reducing emissions and saving consumers money, especially since the EPA’s rollback proposal is likely to be thrown out in court,” says David Friedman, Vice President of Advocacy for Consumer Reports.

The current federal emissions standards are both reasonable and achievable, and they already apply to all 50 states. 

An analysis by Consumer Reports finds that the weaker standards and extra credits included in this deal between four automakers and California would cost drivers billions of dollars in fuel savings. 

“To put it in perspective, were the Trump administration to apply the same standards as outlined in this ‘deal,’ consumers would still lose about $100 billion from vehicles between model year 2021 and 2035, compared to about $450 billion from the full rollback.  While the losses are lower than under a full rollback, they are still quite significant and are not well aligned with California’s history of leadership on fuel standards,” says Shannon Baker-Branstetter, manager of cars and energy policy for Consumer Reports.

For more on this developing situation, please read the following Consumer Reports news article, ‘4 Automakers Compromise With California on Fuel Emissions.

Previously, Consumer Reports has testified in support of the current federal fuel efficiency and emissions standards, because of the great financial and safety benefits, and against a rollback, as proposed by the current leadership of EPA and NHTSA.

Media Contact: Adam Winer, Communications Associate, Adam.Winer@Consumer.org, 202-462-6262 x7444


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