By on March 13, 2017

Donald Trump

President Trump is prepared to make a formal announcement on the review of vehicle fuel efficiency standards that were locked in at the tail end of the Obama administration. Sources have confirmed that he’ll be meeting with automotive CEOs in Michigan this week to discuss the the situation after listening to them repeatedly beg him to repeal the current guidelines.

The president plans to visit an autonomous vehicle testing facility outside of Detroit on Wednesday before meeting with the automotive heads representing the Detroit Three. White House spokesman Sean Spicer said on Monday that the trip is centered around “job creation and automobile manufacturing … highlighting the need to eliminate burdensome regulations that needlessly hinder meaningful job growth.”

Sources who had been briefed on the matter told Reuters that the administration has already decided to review the viability of the 2022 through 2025 corporate vehicle emissions rules.

After the Obama administration maneuvered quickly to keep them before turning the keys over, Trump appears poised to overturn that decision. Trump is also submitting a budget proposal to congress this week that bolsters defense spending while cutting a long list of popular domestic programs — including a substantial reduction in the EPA’s annual funding.

The top executives from General Motors, Ford Motor Co, and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles are expected to meet with the president in Ypsilanti Township, Michigan, along with several senior officials from Japanese and German automakers, including Toyota Motor Corp. and Mercedes-Benz.

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76 Comments on “Trump Likely to Announce Review of Vehicle Emission Regulations This Week...”


  • avatar
    new2000car

    Good!

  • avatar

    If any other regulated industry is so far any indication, there will be high fives and desk bottles of bourbon broken out.

  • avatar
    Toad

    If we stick to the current (2017) emissions requirements and fuel economy requirements we will have much cleaner air and lower fuel consumption as older vehicles age out of service.

    If we REALLY want cleaner air and better fuel economy we will require ALL cars to meet the emissions standards for the year they were built, no exceptions. One old sh*t box blowing blue smoke creates far more pollution than a multitude of new cars.

    But our current system of middle class people paying half a years income for a newer, less polluting car but allowing others to drive vehicles that spew unlimited pollution is not rational.

    Enforcing emissions laws will require emissions testing and people will actually have to maintain their cars. Some poor people will be hurt because their old beater will no longer be allowed to pollute many times more than a newer/better maintained car. The “rolling coal” crowd and the tuners will not be happy either.

    But we are reaching the point of diminishing returns with new car emissions controls; cleaning up the pollution from millions of old cars should be the focus of any new initiatives.

    • 0 avatar
      Kendahl

      Lower emissions, lower fuel consumption and greater safety all cost money. There is no point in raising standards if people can’t afford to buy the improved vehicles. I wonder what it would cost to design and build a new vehicle to 1967 standards using newer technology only where it is cheaper or much improved for little or no increase in cost.

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      Not sure about the included R&D costs for emissions equipment but diesels aside ( and thier particulate emissions issues. )

      Modern emissions systems tend to be fairly rudimentary and do not add significantly to the cost of the car. Aside from the baked in stuff like fuel injection and cam phasing which I’d still want regardless my emissions system amounts to two catalytic converters, a,coupla hosed and two extra wide band O2 sensors on my gasoline engine for example

      On a another none hats off to addververtiserss on this site they have manamed to rcreate my 19877 dial up experienc….

      • 0 avatar
        nvinen

        Raph, don’t forget that engines often have to be “detuned” to meet emissions regulations. For example, NA V8 Mustang has 435hp. In the UK it has 415hp. In Australia it has 410hp. Same engine, different tunes to meet different emissions regulations.

        Take an Australian V8 Mustang to a tuner who doesn’t care about emissions, only power, and you will probably get at least 450hp just by reprogramming the ECU. The difference can be even bigger (percentage-wise) for forced induction engines because adhering to NOx limits often means the engine is running quite far from maximum efficiency, limiting not just power but also reducing fuel economy.

        So to get the desired level of performance while still meeting strict emissions regulations might even more money in the sense that a higher performance engine will need to be fitted in order to produce sufficient power/torque when detuned to meet emissions regs. Not to mention the extra money you spend on fuel over the life of the vehicle if it isn’t running at peak efficiency.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          They finally let you have Mustangs but then force a detune on the phuckers? Get out while you can.

        • 0 avatar
          Featherston

          Not to be That Guy, but . . .
          – Ford UK’s website indicates 416 PS for the V8 Mustang; that’s 426 hp.
          – that 9-hp difference is explained primarily by a more restrictive exhaust which was required to clear the RHD steering gear.

          Ford Australia’s website does indicate 306kW, which equates to the 410 HP figure you cite. That 16-hp deficit vs the UK may have to do with emissions, but it also may have to do with minor tuning differences Aussie engineers specified for driveability and durability reasons. Or it may just reflect a more conservative estimate per Aussie advertising norms.

          • 0 avatar
            TMA1

            Just a +1 to Featherston’s explanation. The Mustang wasn’t deliberately detuned, it’s a function of the exhaust location and accommodating the right-hand drive set up.

    • 0 avatar
      probert

      “But our current system of middle class people paying half a years income for a newer, less polluting car but allowing others to drive vehicles that spew unlimited pollution is not rational”

      That’s not a system – that’s a choice based on economics. I’m quite sure the fellow in the shitbox would like a newer car.

    • 0 avatar
      redapple

      TOAD

      A LOT of wisdom there

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      Toad, I’d question if there is much difference between the pollution from a well maintained car and a barely maintained car in 2017. The catalytic converter eventually fails from hours of use. I guess it’s possible to wear out an engine by never changing the oil, but it’s really rare to see a car with an engine so worn that it smokes. Something else expensive usually fails before the engine gets that much wear.

    • 0 avatar
      rpol35

      I really doubt that there will be any relaxation of clean air standards – the Clean Air Act of 1970 and the updated 1990 version pretty much have standards ensconced in law – though I guess the EPA’s CO2 interpretation, though legitimized by a Supreme Court ruling, could be up for consideration.

      I imagine the talk will be around the 54.5 MPG standard and maybe some nascent safety regulations.

    • 0 avatar
      SoCalMikester

      the old cars are going to take care of themselves. theyre going to get crushed, or theyre going to get restored and eventually crushed. either way, they arent being made any more.

      and even the ones that COULD be made from NOS or repro (VWbeetle, etc) wouldnt amount to a big deal.

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      TOAD, the vast majority of the cost of cars that middle class buyers struggle with is not for emission control systems. At this point in the technological curve, the electronics are actually becoming cheaper than the more rudimentary mechanical alternative. Drive by wire (throttle and transmission) is much easier to assemble reliably that cables that need to be snaked through the firewall and laboriously connected by hand. If that was not the case, the throttle cable and return spring would be alive and well. These things make cars cheaper to manufacture.

      I do agree that there is a point of diminishing returns regarding emission levels of cars leaving the factory, and the real improvements can be had in designing and maintaining cars to stay clean throughout their increasingly long lives. But that will require parts to be more durable (adds cost) and will require annual emission inspections, say from year six onward. In the big picture, increased pollution from modified cars is pretty darn small. To that end I’m not so inclined to make it illegal to modify your car (that should include ripping out the EDR if we are going to be fair across the board) but I do think it is imperative to turn attention to the emissions as cars age at this point. While that will raise costs somewhat, the overall societal benefit makes it worthwhile. I know caring about others around here is not a popular stance but so be it. We all share the same air.

  • avatar
    slavuta

    We don’t need no regulation….

  • avatar
    probert

    Line up at the trough folks – money talks and shit walks.

    Let’s watch GM sow the seeds of it’s destruction, just like they did before, as their tech falls behind the rest of the world, sub prime loans default, and Trump invades someone thus screwing up the oil supply.

    Hey it’s not my kids dying out there in Shitskanistan – I’ll leave the truck idling at the quikie-mart if I damned well please.

    I’ll sell you the whole seat, but you’ll only need the edge!!!

  • avatar
    Whatnext

    A nice giveaway to lazy automakers, what’s the payback? No more Chinese-built Buicks maybe Mary Barra?

    • 0 avatar
      Higheriq

      The payback is allowing the market price of fuel making people choose what they want to buy, and subsequently what the automakers make in order to satisfy those wants – you know, something other than socialism.

  • avatar
    frankev

    It’s probably too late at this juncture, but it’d be nice if the EPA-mandated testing of each drivetrain combination was eased so as to allow manufacturers to offer more manual transmissions for the US market. Alas, even if this were to happen I think the automakers themselves would balk at providing more options to consumers, given the additional overhead costs and contrasting that with relatively low demand.

    • 0 avatar
      OldManPants

      “offer more manual transmissions for the US market”

      They got a machine that does the shifting now. Once word of that gets out, who’s gonna buy a stick shift?

      • 0 avatar
        frankev

        OldManPants: indeed, even those who have the skills such as my mother-in-law, who’s beginning to battle knee trouble, and my wife don’t want to be bothered with manuals anymore. Each of the cars they drive most often have ATs.

        It’s a preference of mine, so I try to do my part: among our fleet of five vehicles two of them have MTs, a 2015 Sonic (base model) and my nearly 30-year-old motorcycle.

        I guess it’s really a desire to see more variety. For example, one can buy a new Ford Escape in Australia fitted with a manual, but that’s a no-go here in the US. I think we would also enjoy more options if we were to harmonize safety regulations, but that’s a topic for another article.

        • 0 avatar
          OldManPants

          “harmonize safety regulations”

          Gonna happen! And we’ll notice it first when China-sourced pharmaceuticals start killing elderly Americans.

          • 0 avatar
            Jeff Waingrow

            They already have, as well as ones from India. Well documented. FDA oversight is virtually nil. Your generic is a crap shoot. Even domestic brands source ingredients from countries with sketchy oversight. Later recalls won’t help you when you’re dead.

          • 0 avatar
            OldManPants

            MAGA!

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            Free Chinese Fentanyl for everyone not covered by RumpCare.

          • 0 avatar
            shaker

            MSSAMSA

            Make Social Security And Medicare Solvent Again

          • 0 avatar
            golden2husky

            …They already have, as well as ones from India. Well documented. FDA oversight is virtually nil. Your generic is a crap shoot. Even domestic brands source ingredients from countries with sketchy oversight. Later recalls won’t help you when you’re dead…

            Yet another example of lack of regulatory control. Regulations are necessary -where the line gets drawn is certainly fair game but the idea the simply flushing them into the toilet is going to make America great is nonsense. Since this story is about emissions, just go to a marina to see what a non emission regulated industry smells like. If it’s not forced it’s not going to happen. Period.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al From 'Murica

      As the article is about emissions, didn’t automakers go to automatics in part because the consistent nature of how they operate led to better emissions? Also the fuel economy advantage enjoyed by manuals has shrunk to basically nothing with modern automatics?

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        Not sure if automatics are better in that regard, but some of the tuning certainly is for emissions. I find “rev hang”, the slow decay of rpms when you lift off the gas annoying. That is done intentionally to reduce the spike in NOx that would be created otherwise. It is not as bad as it once was – my old 92 takes eons for the revs to decay; my new car is much better. But compared to my carb’ed Chrysler LA engine in my 72 Fury, they all rev hang…

  • avatar
    rocktobersky

    This administration is determined to make sure USA goes back to 1960 standard of living, one repeal/budget cut at a time.

  • avatar
    reclusive_in_nature

    Oh no! Manufacturers will be able to sell vehicles people want? The horror!

    Sure going to break my heart seeing all those high-strung turbo charged four cylinder engines give way to six and eights.

    • 0 avatar
      OldManPants

      “Manufacturers will be able to sell vehicles people want?”

      Will this be a new thing?

      Cuz Americans appear to have wanted an available new vehicle 17.55 million times last year.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      Who says the turbo fours and sixes will give way? The F-150 has a V8 option and two turbo V6s, and guess which engine is the least preferred by buyers?

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        Drzhivago138 – beat me to it.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        “Who says the turbo fours and sixes will give way?”

        Maybe it will do nothing. Maybe it will do a lot. I’m not a soothsayer, but how about we get rid of CAFE and see what happens?

      • 0 avatar
        AK

        Drzhivago138- the engine least preferred by buyers is the one that carries the least amount of significant incentives on it and the one that’s harder to find on a lot.

        That’s the 5.0 V8

        I was shopping for f150s for a friend last year and at least where I’m at (Chicago suburbs), lots were loaded with Ecoboosts while v8s were limited. Also, there were incentives specifically on the turbo engines that were not on the V8.

        Ford is pushing the turbo 6s. Hard.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          My local dealer always has an assortment of 5.0 F150’s at hand.
          I haven’t seen Ecoboost only incentives but then again, the Canadian market is a bit different.

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      Manufacturers will continue to sell cars with 4 cylinders and 8 speed transmissions instead of 8 cylinders and 4 speed transmissions, but they won’t be forced to make the gas-electric hybrid the volume “choice” in the non-CARB states. The current turbo engines are not what I’d call “high-strung” considering their low-end torque.

  • avatar
    George B

    The TTAC title of the article is misleading. The primary issue is 2022-2025 fuel efficiency requirements, not pollution requirements. The Obama administration sped up the review process for the 2022-2025 fuel efficiency requirements. The Trump administration is pulling back the decision and reopening review of the standard. I’d guess “review” means that we plateau at the 2021 standard for at least a couple years.

  • avatar

    Too bad this will be [email protected] I wish they’d just legislatively abolish CAFE standards entirely.

  • avatar

    Anything that removes barriers to entry in automobile manufacturing, importing and sales would be welcome as well.

    Can we roll the regulation clock back to sometime inn the mid-80s?

    I’d kill for a cheap sub-ton, manual with 200+ hp, or even a brand new AE86 Corolla.

    • 0 avatar
      Snooder

      Do you remember what cars were like in the mid 80s? Or what the air was like in cities like LA then?

      Shit, I remember reading textbooks in the early/mid nineties predicting a sharp risen in acid rain due to increased pollution from cars. Thank fucking God we stopped that nonsense with, yes, regulation.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      And I’d like to be able to breathe without pain on humid days and not die in a 35mph crash.

    • 0 avatar
      shaker

      *Redacted*

      • 0 avatar
        zoomzoomfan

        In the mid-’80s, a four-cylinder family sedan made around 90 HP and took about 20 seconds to hit 60 MPH. Today, my four-cylinder family sedan makes 184 HP and hits 60 in 7 seconds. And, if I crash into something, it will perhaps let me live rather than folding around me like a tin can. People often view the past with rose-colored glasses. I’ve been guilty of it myself. But, turning back the clock to the “simpler times” doesn’t just bring the supposed “good” of those times. It brings back the bad as well.

        • 0 avatar
          hgrunt

          This is why I love watching old MotorWeek episodes, where old cars are reviewed as new, and not in retrospect against newer cars.

          Some of the cars the internet generation praises for being great drivers cars with thin a-pillars and lots of steering feedback, get comments from MW like “A rocket to 60, at 10 seconds flat!” and “numb steering and lots of body roll”

  • avatar
    Erikstrawn

    The big 3 like to complain about regulation, but behind closed doors things are different. Remember OBD and OBDII? Those were pretty effective at locking China and India out of our market for a few years more (but not Korea). Maybe the technical hurdles aren’t as effective any more and they’re willing to end the fight? I’m willing to bet there won’t be a rollback of the laws as much as there will be a third option that keeps a technical hurdle in place.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    Remember, this wailing about “unfair standards” comes from an industry that routinely fights any safety and emissions regulations. In real life most of work under the 89/20 rule; 80% of what you do is routine and 20% of your time is spent dealing with problems. Do the automakers have to spend 80% of their time working on the 20% government regulations? I don’t think so; they’ve cried wolf too many times. Compare the difference between a 1969 muscle car, Mustang, Camaro, charger, et al, and a 2017 muscle car.

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      Exactly. Rolling back emission, safety, and fuel economy standards will profit the automakers, nobody else. Sure, you might get 2 bucks saved for every extra $10 in profit the carmakers take. Then you will give more that $2 back in increased insurance for the higher death rates and health problems. There simply is no free lunch.

  • avatar
    bullnuke

    Remember that this is a re-review of the proposed future standards. The last roll back of note for federal regulations due to energy concerns was arbitrarily raising the number of migratory birds (including protected species) that may be chopped up to support the wind turbines that “fuel” Teslas, Bolts, Leafs (Leaves?) et al.

  • avatar
    DearS

    1990 Lumina = $24k in Today’s money. 140HP
    Modern midsized car = $22k. 180HP+

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    We need to know what changes are proposed by the Trump camp.

    If there is any winding back of FE I would hope there is a corresponding increase in fuel tax to offset the changes.

    I don’t foresee any changes to emissions.

    The changes that the big three will push for will be to protect large vehicle production in the US.

  • avatar
    Q

    Corporate emissions standards and/or efficiency standards are unnecessary.

    Emissions standards are already promulgated by the EPA and enforced by the states under the NAAQS. Areas that need more control to meet the standards (nonattainment areas) must put in an approved plan that is implemented to achieve compliance.

    Most all of those plans (state implementation plans) include vehicle emissions testing to drive compliance of the ozone standard.

  • avatar
    whitworth

    Do even defenders of CAFE really think 54.5 mpg by 2025 is a realistic goal?

    Unless you just want everyone driving some version of a Prius in 8 years, it’s not happening. Or if you just want to see consumers paying huge fines for the “privilege” of driving a normal sedan.

    • 0 avatar

      Electrification is clearly the route, be that full electric or hybrid.

      I see no reason to relent. It is very doable. Start by hybridizing the worst of the gas guzzlers and the fleet avg will increase dramatically.

      • 0 avatar
        whitworth

        Electric cars are here and will eventually be the primary form of transportation, all this arbitrary goal will do is make the consumer have to subsidize it even more and pay a lot more for a new car than they need to.

        Cat’s is already out of the bag, why punish consumers to get there just a few years quicker?

        If someone wants an electric car, they can get one. The tax code and regulatory environment already shower electric car makers with subsidies at every angle possible.

        • 0 avatar

          If by showering EV’s with subsides at every angle possible, do you mean.

          1. Outlawing the direct sale of Tesla’s in many states. (The map resembles a political map)

          2. Elimination/Expiration of state rebates in many states, e.g. Georgia, Tennessee to mention just a few.

          3. Introducing fixed annual EV registration taxes that add up to more than the equivalent in gas taxes.

          http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1095337_where-can-tesla-legally-sell-cars-directly-to-you-state-by-state-map

          Allowing people to drive what they want (i.e. SUV’s, 4×4 Truck’s) and at the same time reducing emissions through significantly increased fuel efficiency seems like a good idea to me. The owners of these vehicles may also appreciate the reduced running costs of hybridizing their vehicle.

          • 0 avatar
            whitworth

            I thought it was all about people paying their fair share?

            These subsidies were always sold to us as just a short term sweetener, not a permanent entitlement. And many of these subsidies are still with us. Registration taxes pay for roads being built and maintained, why do electric cars owners not have to pay these taxes?

            The franchising laws and access are about brand and consumer protection, not the underlying vehicle technology. I don’t support laws that limit the way Tesla sells its cars, but the issue is not that it builds electric cars. Other car companies are able to build electric cars without issue.

            I guess some people won’t be happy unless EVERYONE is subsidizing their electric car. Just not getting the hero recognition they so deserve.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      The thing is 54.5 is just a number thrown out there by Obama to make him look good. The devil is in the details and that number, which was based on the model mix popular with gas was $4/gal, never ever has to be met thanks to the foot print rules. I read somewhere that FCA’s mix when the Dart and 200 were still around would have put them in the low 30’s which really means upper 20’s on the sticker and mid 20’s in the real world. The foot print regulations were what the auto industry wanted as it protects them from consumers changing tastes.

      • 0 avatar
        whitworth

        Right, it was always unrealistic, but it made for a feel good headline and let somebody else be the “parent/bad guy” that splashes cold water on it because it would be devastating to the auto industry and consumers if actually implemented.

        Sort of like all of these “midnight” Executive Orders Obama gave after the election that somehow weren’t important enough to put in place for the 8 years he was President. They were just designed to make Trump repeal them. Had the next President had a (Dem) next to their name, they wouldn’t have been made.

    • 0 avatar
      hgrunt

      CAFE MPG measurements are taken differently than the EPA rating we’re used to seeing on window stickers, that’s why they look so much higher. In the real world, they’re much much lower.

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    From an emmission/pollution stanf point, raise the gas tax. The market will respond in kind.

    • 0 avatar
      OldManPants

      I’ve always liked that idea and now wonder if with the ubiquity of smaller, fuel-efficient engines the squawking about “regressive tax!” can’t be discounted.

      • 0 avatar
        87 Morgan

        Perhaps naively, i figure that if the cost of gas goes up, buyers will naturally shift their buying habits to more fuel efficient models, which will pollute less.

        My issue, perhaps incorrectly, with CAFE is the regulation requiring ever higher mpg is driving the cost of R and D to generate unachievable mpg.

        To me, the gas tax achieves multiple objectives: increased revenue for our dereriorating infrastructure (even the most ardent tax hater would agree that bridges falling down is a bad thing) and having a market driven auto cycle vs a gubment induced market the manufactures spend more time circumventing. Pt Cruiser is a truck? FIAT 500E in CA so the hellcat can be sold. Even though the 500e will never sell.

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