VW, Hyundai and (Maybe) BMW Exempt From CA CO2 Regs

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
vw hyundai and maybe bmw exempt from ca co2 regs

The Detroit Free Press reports that a little-known loophole in California's greenhouse gas emissions standards will allow some foreign manufacturers to avoid meeting the tough standards. Under the 2004 rules set by the California Air Resources Board (CARB), automakers averaging fewer than 60k annual unit sales in the Golden State would be exempt from the 2016 emissions standards. The Big 2.8 and Toyondissan would have to meet the 35mpg by 2016 standards; Volkswagen, Hyundai and (possibly) BMW would not. The loophole was revealed in discussion of a Senate bill designed to overturn the EPA's decision not to allow California to set its own emissions standards. GM spokesmouth Mark Kammer was unimpressed. "There's a lot of cherry-picking opportunities for a [foreign] manufacturer." The United Auto Workers' Legislative Director Alan Reuther also spoke on behalf of the his members' employers and… the planet. The loophole "undercuts the effort to reduce CO2 emissions and improve fuel economy. And it gives a major competitive advance to newer entrants into the auto market." CARB rules indicate that the exemption sales limit could drop to 4k units per year after 2016, but the proviso is not legally binding. At least not yet.

Join the conversation
4 of 15 comments
  • Strippo Strippo on May 24, 2008

    The only way to make that kind of strategy "fair" is to allow the big 5.8 manufacturers to sell x number of vehicles under the same standards as the small fry, with the rest governed under the 2016 standards. The standards would then be progressive for all, like income tax brackets. Under such a scheme the more vehicles a manufacturer sells the more "green" its average sale would have to be. Noblesse oblige, n'est-ce pas?

  • JJ JJ on May 25, 2008

    The really surprising thing to me as a European is that apparently, if I understand it correctly, BMW sells more cars in CA than Veedub, despite BMW offering only the higher-end models. I mean, there's about 30MM people living there right? Is everyone living in Laguna beach these days?

  • Landcrusher Landcrusher on May 25, 2008

    HAHAHAHAHAHA, I love it. No, none of it is fair. California politicians lost any idea of fairness decades ago. Nice a bunch of you have figured it out. Now, maybe when someone talks about how unfair the US is to the poor you will apply the same logic? Maybe we could have a head tax? That would be fair, no?

  • Strippo Strippo on May 25, 2008
    Maybe we could have a head tax? That would be fair, no? Now there's a tax I would have a hard time avoiding.