By on February 11, 2020

The United States Department of Justice has ended its investigation into Ford, Honda, Volkswagen, and BMW over a presumed antitrust violation stemming from a deal they made with California to adhere to regional emission rules. Their agreement technically circumvents the current administration’s plan to freeze national emissions and fuel economy standards — established while President Obama was still in office — at 2021 levels through 2026. Under the California deal, the automakers promised to comply with pollution and gas mileage requirements that are more stringent than the federal standards suggested in the rollback proposal.

But the probe also looked like retaliation from the Trump administration against automakers publicly siding with the state causing the most trouble in the gas war. Under the deal, the automakers promised to comply with pollution and economy requirements that are tougher than proposed federal standards. Despite the corporate promise being as empty as an Oscar speech, it was still an affront to the current administration’s efforts to tamp down lofty efficiency targets put in place just days before it came into power.

While the Justice Department hasn’t explicitly said why it closed the investigation, it’s presumed that it simply didn’t find anything that it felt violated antitrust laws. California Governor Gavin Newsom said on Friday that he wasn’t surprised by the decision, stating that the “trumped-up charges were always a sham, a blatant attempt by the Trump administration to prevent more automakers from joining California and agreeing to stronger emissions standards.” (Read More…)

Recent Comments

  • Lou_BC: @jkross22 – politicians don’t care about anything beyond election cycles. They continually kick...
  • Dave M.: Well said. The Houston Auto Show is one of my annual enthusiast highlights…but I have to wonder how...
  • Kendahl: I hope Porsche does a better job with the 718 than they did with the Taycan. Compared to a Tesla Model 3...
  • dal20402: On the other side of the coin, you can idle in an EV with the heat on for as long as you want without...
  • mcs: A 2020 911 Carrera S has about 338 miles range. With 2025 battery tech, an electric 718 could have significantly...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

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