NHTSA Fines DaimlerChrysler $30,257,635.50
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) sets Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards and collects fines from manufacturers who fail to meet their provisions. NHTSA recently updated their website with a list of CAFE fines the agency collected for model year '06 scofflaws. DaimlerChrysler's $30,257,635.50 penalty covers Mercedes models both imported and domestic, and represents an enormous jump from last year's cost of doing business ($16,895,472). In fact, the now defunct DaimlerChrysler's fine is the largest single amount NHTSA's ever collected, eclipsing BMW's massive penalty in 2001 ($27,985,925). That's not to say that BMW got off lightly for their '06 models; the Sultans of Stuttgart forked over $5,056,012.50 for not meeting the required fleet-wide federal mpg standard. BMW's whack just "beats" Porsche's '06 model year CAFE fines ($4,599,864.50). No wonder Porsche was trying to change the new law to get an exemption as a low volume automaker. Speaking of which, Ferrari shelled-out $842,160 to the feds for their fuel-sucking models' mpgs. As the new standards get tougher, the Germans and Italians are going to have work harder to make the grade, or dig deeper into their corporate coffers. Oh, and if you think about it, guess who really pays these fines?
More by Robert Farago