By on January 18, 2019

As previously reported, vehicle certifications have been suspended during the current government shutdown. While this is normally a non-issue, the extended length of this federal deferment is starting to spook automakers.

Fiat Chrysler has already bemoaned the situation, as it’s currently waiting for the Environmental Protection Agency to approve its Ram Heavy Duty pickups. While the situation hasn’t become truly dire, other automakers have begun expressing concerns of their own. 

According to Automotive News, Jim Farley, Ford’s head of global markets, said the automaker has a number of important products coming down the pipe this year. That includes highly profitable models like the redesigned 2020 Explorer and Escape, as well as the all-new Lincoln Aviator.

“We’re all waiting in lines,” Farley said at the Automotive News World Congress in Detroit this week. “Every new vehicle has to get certified through the government. If that gets backed up, so do the launches.”

“Thankfully, ours are positioned more in the spring and summer,” he continued. “I don’t know what’s going to happen. If this continues … who knows?”

General Motors similarly confirmed it was “among the automakers that are awaiting decisions in the certification process” on Wednesday. How many models are being affected are unknown but the company said business operations had not yet been impacted by the prolonged government shutdown.

From Automotive News:

The EPA every year doles out about 1,200 certificates of compliance proving that cars and trucks meet federal emissions standards, according to Jeff Alson, a former senior engineer and policy adviser who retired from EPA last spring. Automakers test their own vehicles, then submit the data to the EPA for review. The EPA targets new models and randomly selects about 200 vehicles for verification testing at its engine laboratory in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Even vehicles that aren’t physically tested by EPA will be delayed from going on sale, Alson said, because the EPA has to review each data submission, prepare a certification and deliver it to the companies. During the shutdown, there are no technical personnel to process those applications.

As things stand, the delays shouldn’t impact any automaker’s bottom line in a severe way. However, that could change if the shutdown continues for another month. It would be unheard of, but we’ve already broken the old record and neither the Republicans or Democrats look ready to cave in and help to get the show back on the road.

Of course, if the government shutdown lasts until spring or summer, delayed automobile launches will probably be pretty low on our list of worries as a nation.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

25 Comments on “The Waiting Game: List of Automakers Standing in Line for EPA Approval Grows...”

  • avatar

    We should just impeach him.

    • 0 avatar

      Nah, the old people just need to compromise and stop acting like children. Ironically that is exactly what adults teach children yet the lesson seems to get lost doesn’t it?

      • 0 avatar

        There is a compromise. The House and Senate both have the votes. The House vote is approaching veto proof and the Senate is around 57-43 right now.

        McConnell won’t even put the vote on the floor on the compromise.

        • 0 avatar

          House doesn’t vote to over ride vetos, it’s purely a Senate function. Missing a simple fact like that kind of kills any other thoughts expressed.

        • 0 avatar

          McConnell knows how it works: if the President won’t sign, don’t bother until there’s a veto-proof majority. Failure to overide a veto is a failure for Congress and empowers the President, so it’s avoided unless the votes to override are assured.

    • 0 avatar

      Bill Clinton was impeached. So was Andrew Johnson. They both finished their terms in office.

      It takes a 2/3 vote of the Senate, after a trial presided over by the Chief Justice, to remove a president. Impeachment is just a bill of charges, and a waste of time without the 67 votes, and there aren’t 67 votes to remove Trump in the Senate.

      Oh, and by the way, the House can send a bill of impeachment to the Senate, but there’s no requirement for the Senate to hold a trial. The Senate majority can simply ignore it.

    • 0 avatar

      Impeaching Trump won’t do a damn bit of good. He’ll spin it into some kind of self-victimizing spiel that about 30% of the voting population will buy into out of pure tribalism.

    • 0 avatar

      Impeach him for what? He hasn’t done anything. In fact, he’s doing a lot of good things. You know, like fighting to secure the border.

  • avatar

    This shutdown is stupid, as were the other shutdowns. Compromise, get the dive opened again and maybe congress should figure out a way – since they have some time to contemplate such things – to avoid this nonsense going fwd.

    We’ve elected idiots and this is the result.

    • 0 avatar

      POLITICS – People Of Little Intelligence Tempoarily In Charge of Sh*t.

      Sorry I can’t remember the name of the comedian who should be credited with this gem.

    • 0 avatar

      The problem isn’t that we elected idiots. It’s that these idiots were the only ones that the real voters – special interests – allowed us to cast a ballot for. They’re bought and sold to do one thing: preserve the status quo for the people pulling the strings. Vote one set out and another bought-and-sold set takes office.

      Prime example: the voters in Missouri overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment during the last election demanding cleaner government. The legislature is now working on dismantling the amendment. Why? Because cleaner government makes it harder to buy people off. You cannot make this s**t up.

      Until We The People insist that the f**king money be taken out of this as much as possible, this situation isn’t going to get any better.

  • avatar

    As I wrote commenting on the previous article, the automakers do all the testing and submit it. If the EPA is closed, just sell the vehicles and lawyer up when the EPA is back in business, if it’s stupid enough to charge the automakers. If the courts don’t slap down the EPA, Trump probably will.

    • 0 avatar

      Doesn’t work that way. The requirement to obtain a certificate of conformity isn’t in a regulation, it’s in the Clean Air Act itself. “Any person” (or any state) can bring a civil action to enforce violations. So even if Trump managed to “slap down the EPA,” 30-odd states would be in court doing what the EPA isn’t and a district court would issue an injunction the same day.

    • 0 avatar

      He’s got maybe 2 years left in which to try to do what damage he can to the economy and the environment, etc., etc.; his dropping 30 – whatever % won’t be enough to squeak him in again.

  • avatar

    Just move on without the EPA’s approval. With enough high profile lawyers they can twist the collective arms of the bureaucrats into submission.

  • avatar

    Oh waaaaaaaaahhhhhh. Cry me a river. This is the last thing anyone cares about right now. What pathetic attempt to click bait and continue the BS rhetoric.

  • avatar

    US Government will be paralyzed till 2020 and then some 4 more years. Poor Nancy – she is held hostage by radical left or she is too old to be functional. Trump has nothing to loose. First he is not politician and just having fun while it lasts – his goal is just to be on TV screen 24/7. He knows what he is doing. And he will be impeached no matter what he does. Which does not mean he will not hang around in WH another 6 years.

  • avatar

    “delayed automobile launches will probably be pretty low on our list of worries as a nation.” Actually we are doing just find with the government shut down. It’s actually a good thing.

  • avatar

    Big Daddy Government has to approve our cars. Just disband the EPA already.

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • Undead Zed: I really wish some of these companies would just do something different with their EVs. Everybody getting...
  • Jeff S: I dated a gal back in the early 80s who had a Lancia Beta it was the best handling smoothest shifting car I...
  • Corey Lewis: This plan won’t work. As others have pointed out, Fiat has too much overlap in branding already....
  • FreedMike: The purists seem to misunderstand one simple fact about Lancia as it is: it’s dead.
  • wolfwagen: Environmental regulations related to the auto industry in general suck. They are rarely ever developed by...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Jo Borras
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber