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Consumer Reports: NHTSA should adopt stronger fuel economy standards that will maximize consumer savings at the pump

The nonprofit CR files formal comments to recommend ways for federal transportation officials to improve their current proposal for CAFE standards


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Consumer Reports filed formal comments with the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in response to the agency’s proposal to amend the corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards for passenger cars and light trucks manufactured in model years 2027–2032. 


CR is calling on NHTSA to adopt CAFE standards that are stronger than the agency’s proposed alternative, in order to maximize savings for consumers at the pump.


CR recommends that NHTSA officials finalize a rule that results in a CAFE target of 65 to 68 miles per gallon  in 2032. This target would build on the success of earlier standards. CR said that, if the government takes into account the cost-effectiveness of hybrid vehicles, this target is achievable by manufacturers, and it is aligned with consumer needs and expectations.


The nonprofit consumer organization supports NHTSA’s long standing effort of setting strong fuel economy standards. Since 1975, NHTSA built upon these standards, reducing the cost of transportation for American families, improving safety, reducing emissions, and protecting public health at no additional cost to consumers. 


“A nationally representative CR survey of 2,161 US adults from fall 2022 has shown that most Americans want manufacturers to continue to improve fuel economy, and a majority would buy a more expensive vehicle if they could save more money on fuel than the increase in their monthly vehicle payments. CR is also submitting nearly 39,000 petition signatures from consumers who support NHTSA passing strong fuel economy standards.


Chris Harto, senior transportation policy analyst at CR said, “The market is moving rapidly towards an all electric future, but we need solutions for all consumers during this transition period. Hybrids for example provide a powerful way to help consumers make the transition to cleaner vehicles, while delivering thousands in fuel savings. By finalizing strong CAFE standards, NHTSA can help ensure that automakers actually deploy existing, cost effective, fuel saving technology that will save Americans money at the pump.”


Contact: David Butler, david.butler@consumer.org