By on August 11, 2017

pumping fuel

While the Trump administration continues gearing itself up to loosen fuel standards for automakers, much to the chagrin of environmentalists and other countries, the agencies that set those benchmarks want to pick your brain a little before making a final decision. You’ve got an opportunity to be part of the process — the painfully boring, yet incredibly important, process.

On Thursday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Transportation opened a public comment period on the reconsideration of the standards for greenhouse gas emissions for light vehicles built for the 2022-2025 model years. Additionally, the EPA wants comments on the appropriateness of the existing 2021 standards. The agencies are inviting the public to submit any relevant (i.e. factual) data and information that can inform a final decision of the standards. 

“We are moving forward with an open and robust review of emissions standards, consistent with the timeframe provided in our regulations,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “We encourage the public to submit the best-available and most up-to-date information, so that we can get back on track with what the regulation actually requires of the Agency. Finally, we are working with DOT to ensure that our standards are ultimately aligned.”

While it is going to be difficult to resist the urge to use this as an invitation to complain generally, the agencies are specifically looking for the following: consumer behavior, feedback on modeling approaches, and assessing advanced fuel technologies.

Against the rollback on mpg standards? Explain how a spike in fuel prices might negatively impact an economy with inefficient vehicles. Claim it might make domestic vehicles less competitive or the cost to automakers won’t be as big as they claim. Back it up with facts.

All in favor of the rollback? Explain how less regulation would be a financial boon to automakers and that general consumer trends are leaning toward larger, less-efficient, models anyway. Back it up with facts.

I’m going to make it as easy as possible for you, because the initial bureaucratic nonsense you have to endure just to express you opinion on the matter is fairly potent. A comprehensive rundown on how to submit a formal comment and any accompanying media is available on the EPA’s website, while regulations.gov allows you to submit a digital response instantaneously on any of the current issues open for comment.

Just remember that, regardless of how you submit your comments, you must include the applicable docket number identified in the heading in your statement or you might have well not have sent one. The public comment period is open for 45 days. Meanwhile, the EPA review is due by April 1st, and could alter the 50.8 mpg corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) goals enacted in the last days of the Obama administration.

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84 Comments on “Give the U.S. Government a Piece of Your Mind About Fuel Economy Rules...”


  • avatar
    gomez

    And all of the comments will promptly be ignored by the current administration, which will just do whatever the hell they want. Just look at the overwhelmingly negative reaction the public has had to the FCC wanting to kill net neutrality…and they’re still going to do it.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      The public has a relatively poor grasp of the technicalities of most regulations. They just know the hype that’s fed to them. Hence the need for cogent arguments. Net neutrality is a good example of that. Public opinion on that summarized;

      “Muh Netflix.”

    • 0 avatar
      mason

      “And all of the comments will promptly be ignored by the current administration which will just do whatever the hell they want”

      You speak as if this is unique to the Trump administration (and more specifically the EPA). Couldn’t be further from the truth.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        You’re right. This is ‘your tax dollars at work’ going back nearly to the beginning of the republic. It’s enough that they let us vote once in awhile, but they don’t want any more input than that. I don’t even bother with contacting my representatives, since all I’ll tell them is that they have no constitutional powers to do what they’re doing, and their staffs ignore all that.

        Even the dimwit elected officials themselves are aware that when the White House was blown up in “Mars Attacks”, most theater audiences cheered – and that was with a popular President in office. They’re all painfully aware of what many of us think of them, and limit contact as much as possible.

      • 0 avatar
        Blackcloud_9

        This is true. While I’m in favor of keeping the CAFE regulations, the same could be said of the previous administration. The Obama administration was determined to move forward with tighter fuel economy standards despite of all of the protestations form the other side.

  • avatar
    Zane Wylder

    Time to repeal CAFE once and for all!

    Remove the shackles the EPA imposed on our automotive industry and let them do as they please

    • 0 avatar
      thelaine

      God bless you, Zane. From your lips to the C in C’s comb-over covered ears. Let freedom ring.

      • 0 avatar
        Zane Wylder

        Let it ring indeed

        EPA shouldn’t exist, government shouldn’t be as big as it.

        All they need to do is protect us from foreign threats and deliver the mail.

        Idk about the rest of you guys, but this is a car site, don’t wanna see anything government here or in our daily lives, period

        • 0 avatar
          stingray65

          Zane – but what will the welfare mothers and crony capitalists survive on if the government is cut back to only what the Constitution authorizes? And of course without government the automakers will immediately stop putting seatbelts and other safety features in their cars, and make non-emission controlled 8 mpg 454 V-8s standard equipment on all their vehicles because they are evil capitalists that want to destroy the world.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            I don’t think you’ve actually *read* the Constitution. Ever. You’re like those “Christians” whose familiarity with the Bible starts and ends with a few verses in Leviticus and Deuteronomy and would probably personally crucify Christ himself again if he showed up preaching his liberal hippie beliefs.

            Despite how desperately you cling to the 10th amendment, you fail to realize that the powers the Constitution describes the government as having are (intentionally) rather vague. the Framers weren’t stupid, they knew damn well things change over time and didn’t want every new thing to require an amendment, which would paralyze everything.

          • 0 avatar
            thelaine

            The Constitution is a document that was intended to establish and then strictly limit the size and power of the federal government. Anyone who denies that basic fact is either pig ignorant, in denial due to ideology, or the product of a typical American university.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            “The Constitution is a document that was intended to establish and then strictly limit the size and power of the federal government. Anyone who denies that basic fact is either pig ignorant, in denial due to ideology, or the product of a typical American university.”

            because, of course, you were there when it was written and ratified. If it was supposed to be so rigid, why did they even build in an amendment process?

            the only one who is “pig ignorant” is the typical arrogant Internet Person who believes “I have an opinion” = “my opinion is automatically correct.”

          • 0 avatar
            thelaine

            That is really flamboyantly ignorant Jim, and you should be embarrassed. The slightest bit of reading would confirm it. That is how American federalism was created. That is why the federal governments has specifically enumerated powers. That is why we have inalienable rights which are not given to us by governments. This is not even a controversial point among people who have taken at minimum a couple of hours to study some history.

          • 0 avatar
            thelaine

            “because, of course, you were there when it was written and ratified. If it was supposed to be so rigid, why did they even build in an amendment process?”

            Jim, do you really think that in order to discern the meaning of the Constitution you would have had to actually been a participant in its drafting? Have you heard of the Federalist Papers.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          I love it. the “anti-EPA” people are almost all too young to remember what things were like before the EPA existed.

          you are as bad and as dangerous as anti-vaxers.

          • 0 avatar
            stingray65

            JimZ – Well I’m sure you are a Constitutional scholar so I will of course bow down to your expertise about what the founding fathers were thinking about with regards to the EPA and all the other departments that have popped up in the last 228 years, whose functions are not mentioned in the original Constitution or any of its amendments. We probably should ignore the Constitution anyway, because after all it was written by a bunch of white males and some were even slaveholders – so what would they know without input from a more diverse group of citizens? None-the-less I’m sure they would be delighted that a bunch of unelected, unfireable, unaccountable civil servants are now the primary deciders regarding how environmental laws are defined in terms of key definitions (such as a “navigable bodies of water” that the EPA lawyers interpreted to mean stock ponds, irrigation canals, swamps, and dry river beds), scope, and enforcement.

            I may not be old enough to remember the Constitutional Convention, but I am old enough to remember smog in LA, and the burning Cuyahoga river. Today those serious air and water pollution problems have mostly been solved in the US, but the EPA is bigger than ever. Unfortunately agencies that have “solved” the problem they were designed to address, are never shut down or even down-sized, so today the mass of EPA lawyers and environmental zealots ignore all scientific and economic evidence that does not support their continued existence. CAFE provides a perfect example, because it was designed to help reduce US dependence on foreign oil after the Arab embargo in 1973, but it never achieved this goal. Rather than shut it down, however, CAFE’s mission has morphed into solving global warming, and I’ll bet big money it will never achieve that goal either.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            I’ve never understood the idiocy of thinking “well, the regulations worked so we don’t need them anymore.”

          • 0 avatar
            EBFlex

            Jim must not read very well.

            Where did he say to deregulate?

          • 0 avatar
            thelaine

            This is why people don’t bother to read or care to understand:

            “the average person thinks he’s 100x smarter than he actually is. and thinks everyone else is 100x dumber than they actually are.

            we are an extremely arrogant culture, apropos of nothing.”

            Also, people are often more emotional than rational. And many people have abandoned traditional religions and substituted politics. It makes for pit-bull dogmatism, furious jihadism, starry-eyed utopianism, pagan earth-god worship, fascist impulses, poor reading comprehension and cognitive dissonance.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            “JimZ – Well I’m sure you are a Constitutional scholar so I will of course bow down to your expertise ”

            hey chief, you’re the one who brought the Constitution into this thread so if you’re going to tell me to “show my work” I’m’a be “you too, guy.”

          • 0 avatar
            MrZ

            “Despite how desperately you cling to the 10th amendment, you fail to realize that the powers the Constitution describes the government as having are (intentionally) rather vague.”

            The constitution is actually quite clear about only giving the Government very specific powers, all those others being reserved to the states and the people. It is quite literally in the words of the 9th and 10th amendments. They are not vague at all.

            The amendment process is quite clear. It was set up to be difficult. It is rarely used because it is a barrier to the regulatory state.

            The point these guys are making is that the EPA, along with the myriad of other federal agencies (how many more will come about in the next terrorist attack or oil spill?!?), these un-elected bureaucrats quite literally have the power to extort billions out of automakers (or put you in jail for breaking some obscure law… because progress).

        • 0 avatar
          joeaverage

          I’d like to take you on a little ride in my time machine to the city where I grew up and where pollution was so bad that they knew there was a problem even back then – but everyone was powerless (lack of political will) to regulate it on a local and state level.

          Eliminate the EPA and the pollution problem will backslide b/c we must maximize profits.

  • avatar
    whitworth

    CAFE is a tax on the cars Americans actually want to buy.

    The 2025 standard is absolutely ridiculous, 54.5 mpg as an average means anyone not driving a Prius is going to have to subsidize someone else’s vehicle.

    It’s bad for the consumer and bad for the manufacturers. It also starts creeping into potentially unreliable technology that’s going to mean expensive repairs for anyone outside of a manufacturers’ warranty.

    I’d like to see CAFE scrapped altogether, but I would hope people on both sides of the aisle would concede you can overshoot these things and at a minimum some sort of common sense should prevail over ideology.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      CAFE is a tax particularly on cars Americans no longer want to buy. It’s actually a factor why less people are buying them. CAFE 2025 is tougher on vehicles designated as cars as they have to hit a higher target for their given footprint and classification. It’s a big reason why makers are turning their attention away from small and midsize cars in the U.S. They have to invest proportionally more to make them compliant, but can’t charge as high prices.

      • 0 avatar
        chuckrs

        Once again government proves it could screw up a one car funeral. Goal: better fleet fuel efficiency. Tactic: make it more difficult for manufacturers to make an economic case to develop a smaller car that could increase fleet fuel efficiency.
        Lets not even talk about trucks.

        • 0 avatar
          Zane Wylder

          Lower the avg to 30mpg to start with, then like Obamacare, repeal it!

          • 0 avatar
            th009

            Oh, that was repealed, was it? I must have missed it …

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            “Oh, that was repealed, was it? I must have missed it …”

            someone with a name like “Zane Wylder” (assuming that’s his actual name) is probably a 19 year old with a confederate flag on his pickup and only knows what AM talk radio has forced down his throat.

          • 0 avatar
            Whittaker

            “someone with a name like “Zane Wylder” (assuming that’s his actual name) is probably a 19 year old with a confederate flag on his pickup and only knows what AM talk radio has forced down his throat.”

            Isn’t this the kind of personal attack TTAC has vowed to handle?

          • 0 avatar
            joeaverage

            Yeah, that’s an approach that is far too simplistic and why the GOP won’t get my vote anytime soon. These are complicated topics with complicated answers.

            Letting the hungry starve and dumping chemicals on the ground isn’t an answer going forward.

    • 0 avatar
      th009

      The CAFE 54.5 mpg is most definitely NOT the same as the EPA 54.65 mpg. That might correspond to 45 mpg or less on the EPA tests.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        You’re right, it’s not. Automakers can get specific amounts of mpg credit for implementing certain technology. For example off cycle systems or “stop/start” can give a vehicle a 1-2 mpg CAFE credit whether it actually increases the EPA fuel economy or not. Added credit if it’s not defeatable!

        The side effect of course is that we as consumers get all kinds of crappy added content that we don’t care about, but will pay more for.

  • avatar
    zip89123

    The market is going to determine the rules by what they purchase. But as for gasoline itself, get the garbage additives out of there that kill my mpg by at least 10% if not more.

    • 0 avatar
      Reino

      “The market is going to determine the rules by what they purchase. ”
      That would be ideal, but unfortunately is not the world we live in. The market is influenced by the heavy-hand of government planning, and what little is left for consumer discretion now belongs to the Chinese middle-class.

  • avatar
    PentastarPride

    Here’s what I feel about fuel economy regs (and most regulations in general): The market is the invisible regulator. Naturally, consumers create a demand and the manufacturers fulfill that demand. If consumers want 50mpg cars, manufacturers can and will meet the demand with zero regulatory intervention. The fuel economy regulations are superfluous, as are many others.

    I’m happy with 30MPG in my 200, 20MPG in my ’06 Ram 2500 with a Cummins, 25MPG in my ’93 Concorde and 30MPG in my wife’s ’15 Outback. In my mind, those numbers are very reasonable. Theoretically, if I wanted to save fuel, I have options. If regulations slipped away overnight, I am sure I could still get something that gets 50-60MPG with no effort. Do I want to? No. But the option is there for someone so inclined.

    We have encountered the efficiency limitations of ICE. We now have to pull tricks out of a hat to meet these goals. We need to ask ourselves if achieving high fuel economy is really worth it, as it will come at a cost: higher sticker prices, higher repair bills, and shorter automotive lifespans, because we are entering Rube Goldberg territory with engine/drivetrain technology to achieve these numbers. Even a turbocharged subcompact will not be cost effective to own past the warranty period.

    • 0 avatar
      th009

      And yet somehow cars are more reliable than they have ever been. Even the FCA products are better than they used to be: your 200 is surely visiting the dealer far less than the Concorde did when it was the same age.

    • 0 avatar
      tod stiles

      Yes, this is all the same stuff that was said 45 years ago. No one wants fuel injection. Catalytic converters are too expensive and don’t do anything. Why would anybody need to get more than 8.5 mpg anyway? Aluminum? You mean like for a beer can? Disc brakes are way over-rated. I’ve got plenty of road-hugging weight, padded dashes are for wimps. Seat belts come in handy for holding my beer cooler in the seat. Too hard, too expensive. And so on.

      Remember the horrified look on my bosses face when i told him we should get some Bosch FI manuals. Most cars were junk after 5 years, 7 years was really pushing it. 100k miles was the stuff of legends. Still amazed at guys wanting to take FI off and put a carb on. They have to learn on their own I guess.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        the average person thinks he’s 100x smarter than he actually is. and thinks everyone else is 100x dumber than they actually are.

        we are an extremely arrogant culture, apropos of nothing.

        • 0 avatar
          stingray65

          Jim – I agree with you, but remember that same overconfidence in one’s own intelligence and disparagement of everyone else’s is also present in every government bureaucrat. “Consumers are too stupid to buy the clean/safe cars they should buy – so the super-intelligent EPA is going to decide for them” is exactly what CAFE rules are about.

        • 0 avatar
          joeaverage

          Cheap is king for a big portion of the consumer market and “COOL” is king of the rest.

          If the CAFE/EPA regs went away you’d see automotive engineering revert to 1980s levels at most. Maximum profit at the lowest cost to produce with a modicum of safety.

          People want the least required amount of maintenance and that’s why I don’t imagine automotive technology to regress to the carburetor.

          I think it would be a short few years before we started seeing third rate companies dumping their industrial waste into the ground or the water again too b/c they thought nobody would notice.

          If anyone would wants to repeal environmental regs wants to explore the topic further I encourage you to visit a crowded third world country. Feel free to drink the water and swim in the rivers. Then come back and tell us if you really think this is a good way to live.

          • 0 avatar
            joeaverage

            I don’t worry too much about the consumer – they can only pick and choose from what is available to them.

            The anti-pollution controls folks can still go out and buy a 1950s or 1960s car and drive it daily if they so choose. I notice that very few people make that particular choice. It takes alot of effort to do that.

            For me the EPA/CAFE rules are about forcing the manufacturers to keep moving forward with technology to make the exhaust pipe cleaner. And its worked for the most part.

            I can see improvements over our family’s two 18 year old vehicles in our 2014 vehicle. More power from the given displacement. More fuel economy. No exhaust odors that I’ve noticed. Drivability is great.

            I look forward to our 2020 vehicle whatever it will be and the further diversification of the vehicular fleet in our country which will surely include more and more electrics which accept electrons from any kind of power source available.

            As our country gets ever more crowded I think this is the only way forward.

            And all this “black magic” will continue to get cheaper as it matures. A fuel injection pump in the early 1980s was expensive too, then they got cheaper with time as new revisions were designed and installed in newer cars.

  • avatar
    Tele Vision

    If you have to worry about fuel economy then either buy a miserly car or walk. My 2010 F-150 shows 15.3 MPG at the moment. That’s nowhere near the promised mileage but I don’t care as it will get me anywhere I need to get to in the snow. My company truck? Don’t care. My CTS-V? Don’t care. My ’84 Doral with a 115 Evinrude? Don’t care. My lawnmower? Don’t care. Herself’s Equinox? Really don’t care…

    Want to save some fuel? Ground your Air Force for a weekend and park the turbine-powered tanks for a week. $0.50 gas will be back in no time.

  • avatar
    Lichtronamo

    CAFE doesn’t work as it doesn’t directly effect the consumer. The decline of the not-really-so-large and midsize sedan has a lot to do with the compromises of CAFE being built ]into these segments. It forces manufacturers to build cars people don’t actually want to buy, and, instead they choose a different segment. As cars lose size and V6 engines, pickups, SUV, and now crossovers sales increase. I always think it’s interesting when you see a manufactures sedan and crossover products next to each other – note that the crossover is generally bigger in most dimensions, has a more usable rear seat (leg and headroom), and utilitarian cargo area. I’m thinking CRV/Civic, Escape/Focus, Fusion/Edge, etc. The full-size pickup is the modern version of the Big 3 “standard” model of the 60s. If the government really wants to effect consumer behavior, gas tax is the right approach. Every time gas prices go up, sales of pickups, SUVs, and probably crossovers will slow as people prioritize fuel economy.

    • 0 avatar
      joeaverage

      You nailed it. The modern SUV is simply the fullsize station wagon of our childhoods. Better proportioned IMHO.

      I’m pleased that our 4400 lb mid-seized SUV has met or surpassed the fuel economy of most of the cars of my childhood and the previous 3300 lb SUV from 18 yrs ago.

      In my opinion, we’ve having our pie and eating it too.

      If we want to save gas we drive less. And we do drive less at my house than many other folks in big cities.

  • avatar
    tod stiles

    “The agencies are inviting the public to submit any relevant (i.e. factual) data and information…”

    Coming from an agency headed by a denier who thinks facts are part of a big conspiracy is a hoot.

    • 0 avatar
      EBFlex

      Denier of what? Junk science and unwarranted hysteria?

      Sounds like a pretty smart guy to me.

      • 0 avatar
        tod stiles

        No, it’s called science and facts and… oh OK you’ve got me. It’s really a Gore/Clinton/Obama conspiracy going back decades. In fact Obama was thinking of how to screw up the world with clean air and water while he was in the womb. As for Gore, well the less said the better.

        • 0 avatar
          thelaine

          Leftism is not a conspiracy, it is an ideology. Its goal is to help people. Its effect is to control people and nations, destroy their freedom, and make them poor.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            ” Its effect is to control people and nations, destroy their freedom, and make them poor.”

            blah blah blah. I’m guessing you have a port in the base of your skull (Matrix-style) where Limbaugh and Hannity automatically pump this garbage into your brain.

            meanwhile, one of your ilk just decided to run down counter-protesters in Virginia.

          • 0 avatar
            thelaine

            I don’t listen to either one of them, Jim. If you are telling me they are discussing the Constitution, however, I may have to start. When do they come on?

          • 0 avatar
            thelaine

            “meanwhile, one of your ilk just decided to run down counter-protesters in Virginia.”

            That’s pretty low, Jim, but, unfortunately, is a typical leftist-style attack. You should be ashamed for making such a hateful statement. If you actually knew me, you would feel terrible for having said such a thing.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            ah, a sea lion.

            “If you actually knew me, you would feel terrible for having said such a thing.”

            based on what you post here, I very much doubt that.

          • 0 avatar
            No Nickname Required

            “meanwhile, one of your ilk just decided to run down counter-protesters in Virginia.”

            Jim, I would kindly suggest that you man up and apologize for making that statement. The man who ran down those protesters was apparently an incredibly sick and twisted human being. But to somehow link him to someone on this site who disagrees with your views was an ignorant thing to do. As open minded as we claim to be, we can at times be incredibly narrow minded.

          • 0 avatar
            mason

            You can’t expect him to apologize. He’s too many generations deep into being told he’s not the one in the wrong.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            For frak’s sake man, THINK.

            Cui bono?

          • 0 avatar
            thelaine

            Mmmmm…fracking

          • 0 avatar
            thelaine

            Heh, Jim, you couldn’t be further off base. It is hilarious to me. No apology needed. You have given me a great story.

  • avatar
    stingray65

    CAFE forces automakers to develop and sell at a loss small cars that most Americans don’t want, in order to have government “permission” to sell the profitable large vehicles that most Americans do want to buy. If the US government were really concerned about fuel use they would tax gasoline and diesel so that it never went below $4 per gallon no matter what the oil prices were, and gradually increase it further so it was $8+ per gallon as it is in Europe and Japan, which would make a lot more Americans buy a Golf, Volt, Civic, Corolla, or Fiesta, and a lot fewer buy a Suburban, RAM2500, F-150, CT-6, S-Class. Of course raising fuel prices dramatically would put all those oil workers in ND, OK, and Texas out of work, and bring energy poverty to anyone with below average income, and shut down the economy in general, but hey that is a small price to pay for saving those polar bears. But for better or worse, higher fuel taxes will never happen because politicians care about 1 thing more than any other – getting re-elected.

    • 0 avatar
      tod stiles

      Damn polar bears again. Wish they’d all put themselves on an ice flow and float out to sea already.

      • 0 avatar
        EBFlex

        Tod, I’m going outside and letting my two V8s idle for no reason in your honor. Just for you.

      • 0 avatar
        thelaine

        Agreed

      • 0 avatar
        thelaine

        Floe

      • 0 avatar
        thelaine

        Polar bears are not suffering, by the way. That is another bullsht myth you have been taught by the Church of Climatology and aL. Ron Gore.

        • 0 avatar
          tod stiles

          Well I think we should round up all those polar bears and send them to the SW to build and patrol The Wall.

        • 0 avatar
          stingray65

          You mean Al Gore the man who’s Tennessee mansion uses 30 times the electricity of the average US house (most of it coal fired), the man who insists on flying to climate conferences on a private jet and riding to the venue in a Suburban that he insists idle outside while he speaks (so its not too hot or cold when he returns for the ride back to the private jet) – that Al Gore is lying to us about the Polar Bears?

          • 0 avatar
            thelaine

            “The earth has a fever!”

            It is a bit ironic how the man who first popularized the catastrophic anthropogenic global warming myth is now a millstone around the neck of the watered-down “climate change” religion. Warming apostles hate it when people bring up his name.

            Good for him to turn this phenomenon into some serious cash, though. Go capitalism. There is a sucker born every minute and he is the PT Barnum of the climate hustle.

          • 0 avatar
            joeaverage

            No matter what wy your politics leans, try to rely on fact rather than rumor.

            http://www.snopes.com/politics/business/gorehome.asp

            If you have a short attention span just skip forward to the part where the discredited conservative think tanker Drew Johnson pulls some numbers out of his backside.

    • 0 avatar
      W210Driver

      Agreed, Stingray65.

      A fuel tax could encourage some Americans to buy sensibly, especially if they have to watch their finances.

      But it’s the last thing I honestly want to see here. People should develop some common sense before buying an SUV and then complaining about the poor gas mileage. It happens all the time, and I just don’t understand it.

      • 0 avatar
        stingray65

        W210 – part of the problem is CAFE itself, because people see the SUV they want to buy has a CAFE rating of 22 mpg, but find after purchase they are getting 18 because automakers design the vehicle to maximize its MPG according to the test cycle parameters – not “real world” driving. The problem tends to be even worse for hybrids and diesels, which miss their EPA ratings by huge amounts unless drivers learn to utilize hyper-mile techniques. Of course such disparities are easy to find during pre-purchase research, but most consumers focus their search on purchase price if they do any search at all.

    • 0 avatar
      Tennessee_Speed

      You’ve got it right, Stingray. CAFE regs. never saved a gallon of gasoline. Forcing us to buy smaller cars with better fuel mileage just allowed consumers to drive more miles and end up using the same amount of gas as their less fuel-efficient autos would have in the first place.
      But worse than that, it allowed the Japanese to sell far more autos in the U.S. than would have happened normally. It gave Toyota, Nissan, etc. a tremendous edge in the U.S. since they already had small cars in production and we didn’t.
      Government regulations – they almost never work as intended and cause a lot of unforeseen damage to the economy.

      • 0 avatar
        stingray65

        Tennessee – its worse that you describe, because CAFE rules forbade US carmakers from using foreign built cars in calculating their corporate fuel economy average. So Isuzu, Mitsubishi, or Mazda could import a 30 mpg car from Japan and easily meet CAFE standards, but GM, Chrysler, or Ford couldn’t import the same car branded as a Chevy, Dodge, or Mercury and have it help offset the 15 mpg Caprice, Fury, or Cougar. Instead CAFE forced the US automakers to build small cars in the US to help the UAW, which meant they never made any money on them, and we ended up with lousy Vegas and Pintos, and mediocre Omnis, Escorts, and Cavaliers that were built 10+ years past their prime due to lack of profitability.

        • 0 avatar
          thelaine

          WOW Stingray, I did not know that! Jesus, the lousy small cars of that era did massive damage to the quality image of the domestics compared to the Japanese, which carries on even to today.

  • avatar
    beachy

    I read a lot of car reviews, and most cars *don’t* miss their EPA ratings in real-world driving. Some do on the low side, some on the high side. Easy to check at fuelly.com too.

  • avatar
    285exp

    If people were serious about reducing gasoline consumption and encouraging electric cars and mass transit, they’d be demanding that we start jacking up the fuel taxes so we’d eventually be in the $5-6 per gallon range that our betters in Europe enjoy. We wouldn’t have to force the automakers to make cars we don’t want, we’d be demanding them.

    But people aren’t really serious, so they won’t.

  • avatar
    PandaBear

    I don’t care what other people drives, I’m driving hybrid from now on and don’t see a reason why I should get a V8 anything, or big SUV, or retro styled big Detroit iron.

    I do care how much PM, NOX, and CO coming out of other people’s tailpipe, and I totally think EPA should ban rolling coal and revoke the registrations of vehicles with such modifications.


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