Report: Federal Fuel Regulations Have Automakers on the Defensive

AF News Desk
03-31-2011, 09:41 PM
According to a recent article from the Detroit News, ( automakers are pushing back regarding legislation that would require them to produce more fuel efficient vehicles:

Washington— Buoyed by rebounding sales and more sympathetic political climate, the emboldened auto industry is digging in against official Washington on some key safety and environmental issues.

Automakers say they have no blanket opposition to the rules on safety and good fuel mileage; they just want adequate time to meet them, and at a cost that's reasonable for them and their customers. Each safety or fuel economy rule can cost billions of dollars.

The most critical showdown is expected this summer, when federal regulators propose national fuel efficiency regulations for 2017-25. Automakers are seeking a workable federal plan that would pre-empt California and other states from setting their own patchwork of fuel requirements.

Already, on the environmental front, major foreign and domestic automakers have filed suit against the Environmental Protection Agency's approval of a higher blend of ethanol for newer vehicles — a formula they believe could harm engines.

And on safety issues, they are seeking significant changes in pending rules, including plans to require additional safeguards to keep motorists from being ejected in crashes, and backup cameras.

Gloria Bergquist, spokeswoman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers — a trade association whose members include General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co., Chrysler Group LLC and Toyota Motor Corp. — acknowledges that automakers already have "pushed back" against some efforts in Washington.

"Automakers have always supported legislation and regulations that are driven by data and sound science, and there have been some examples where there was more wishful thinking and targets being selected that weren't based on the data," Bergquist said.

"So we have become more outspoken on the need for data to drive policy decisions."

Catch the rest of this article from The Detroit News here ( [/quote]

What do you guys think about the requirements being set for automakers to produce vehicles that have better gas mileage? What about the timetable they currently have?

03-31-2011, 09:59 PM
Ethanol is not the answer, we have starving people here in u.s., and around the world, if all corn crops in the u.s. went for production of ethanol it would only cover 7% of total u.s. consumption. It burns faster, and uses corn crops that can be used for food, less food = less future generations, less car buyers etc etc, so why take food from my childs mouth, for the environment? for who?

04-01-2011, 07:58 PM
Corn isn't even a digestible food, though! Think about it. ;)

I agree ethanol is NOT the solution, but what is? Maybe instead of limiting specific cars to specific fuel economies, why not limit families to a specific carbon footprint? While I am a single individual with 2 cars and a motorcycle, one car gets 24 city, the other gets 32 city and the bike gets about 50 city...

04-01-2011, 09:58 PM
Honestly, I think ethanol is a joke at best. The sad fact of the matter is, it comes from something we need dearly and rely upon every day as it is.

Realistically, this will be something that never fully takes shape. You're talking millions of automobiles meant to meet these regulations and the only timetable that is set, is one that will likely change multiple times over the next several years.

I'd honestly like to see industry executives meet and discuss the time frame they would need to come to a consensus on when this COULD be done by. Maybe while they're at it, they'll discuss other means of energy.

Really, the only good sources of renewable energy are solar and wind, but the technology to implement those in the form of automobiles is far from any kind of real-world application so far as we know. I personally wouldn't mind seeing solar energy explored more deeply.

04-02-2011, 10:08 AM
But solar energy is feasible in some locations and not in others. What are people going to do in Seattle, WA and even Pittsburgh, PA? Both are on-par with about the same number of cloudy/overcast days, which will net far less energy. I can't speak to WA, but I know that solar energy has not really been embraced in the Pittsburgh area for that reason...

04-02-2011, 12:57 PM
I'd like to see these fuel regulations thrown out completely. People choose the direction that they want companies to take with their money. Seeing a high demand for a certain type of product encourages companies to develop that product. Products evolve as demand rises, forcing shorter deadlines on that evolution increases cost dramatically. That cost is passed on to consumers by driving up the price of the product. Making new cars more affordable would be far more beneficial to the environment. Selling a 1000 cars with 25 MPG now and getting more of the older 15MPG cars off the road is much better than selling 100 35MPG cars 5 years from now.

As for some of the other regulations...

"The rule, to be phased in starting in 2013, will require automakers to keep unbelted adults from moving more than 4 inches past the side window opening in a crash. The government says it could save 373 lives annually and cost automakers $500 million annually. "

Seriously?!?! It is the car maker's responsibility to spend 1.34 MILLION dollars to save the life of one person that doesn't want to put their seat belt on?

"Automakers also want more lead time to meet the 2014 date set by NHTSA to have backup cameras in all new vehicles. That would cost the industry between $1.9 billion and $2.7 billion annually, the government says. "

Now they have to pay up to 7.4 MILLION dollars everyday, because people are too fraking lazy to look behind them when the back-up?

People know that they should do these things and choosing not to falls under personally responsibility.You know that if you don't wear a seatbelt, you are more likely to get injured. You know that if you don't look behind you, you might back into something. It is not the automaker's (and mine as a consumer) responsibility to pay to protect these stupid people.

If someone really wants to make a difference they could spend a little to educate people (and again, I don't believe this is the automaker's responsibility). Car accidents are the number one killer of children, the technology to save them is already there and in use, however 90% of parents use their child safety seats incorrectly.

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