Department of Transportation

  • Lotus Safe & Sound noisemaker

    The idea of adding noise-makers to vehicles that are "too quiet" didn't exist until the first hybrid-electric cars hit the market in 2000. Within a few years, however, organizations representing the blind began to raise alarms that cars operating at low speeds solely on electric power couldn't be heard by pedestrians who also couldn't see them. What followed was almost a decade of slow investigation, proposals, directives, and rule-making. DON'T MISS: 'Quiet Car' Rules To Make Hybrids, Electric Cars Noisy Delayed, Again (Dec 2015) On Monday, the Department of Transportation's NHTSA finalized...

  • Elaine Chao
    Trump names Elaine Chao as U.S. Secretary of Transportation

    President-elect Donald Trump nominated former labor secretary Elaine Chao to be his secretary of transportation yesterday. She will follow current DoT secretary Antony Foxx, who himself succeeded Ray LaHood in 2013. Foxx has focused on safety recalls following the GM ignition scandal, as well as...

  • The White House, Washington, D.C.  [Creative Commons license by dcjohn]
    White House designates 48 electric-car charging corridors on U.S. highways

    The White House today announced a range of actions intended to stimulate and speed up the deployment of zero-emission electric vehicles in the U.S. It took these actions, it said, as part of its efforts to "combat climate change, increase access to clean-energy technologies, and reduce our...

  • 2013 Ford Fusion Energi
    Transportation Secretary Foxx Tours Detroit, Drives Plug-In Hybrid

    Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx toured facilities of the Big Three car makers and drove a Ford Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid.

  • Gas pump
    New Fuel Economy Standards For 2025 Coming Today

    While much of the auto industry is focused on the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show, a handful of folks are looking in the opposite direction, toward Washington, D.C. There, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Transportation are expected to announce new fuel economy regulations that...

  • EPA gas-mileage label (window sticker), design used starting in model year 2013
    New Gas-Mileage Window Stickers: DoT Head Ray LaHood Explains Them For You (Video)

    Starting with the 2013 model year, you will see a new and more informative gas-mileage sticker on the window of new cars for sale. There are several changes, both graphic and informational, that are meant to provide consumers with more information so they can make more informed choices among...

  • 2011 Fuel Economy Labels

    The Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Transportation have unveiled their updated fuel economy labels. There's some new information aimed squarely to inform consumers looking to buy a hybrid vehicle, plug-in hybrid, or electric car. First and foremost are the MPG or MPGe ratings, stating just how far the car's batteries or tanks will get it, how much electricity or fuel will be used to drive 100 miles, and how long it will take a plug-in vehicle to fully charge. Overall, the labels look much clearer, with 1-to-10 rating bars showing how fuel-efficient or smog-contributing a...

  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency adminstrator Lisa Jackson and President Barack Obama
    California, EPA, DoT Make Nice On Timing Of Higher MPG Rules

    Three government agencies agree to "coordinate" their actions and announce "a single timeframe" for proposing new rules. This signals "continued collaboration" among the trio. Yawn. But actually, this is a bigger deal than you might think. In the 10 months since President Barack Obama announced a...

  • Tough Tractor Trailer
    EPA Proposes 10-to-20-Percent Gas Mileage Rise for Big Trucks

    Well, now we know the numbers. And there are a lot of them. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Transportation jointly proposed cutting greenhouse-gas emissions from medium and heavy duty trucks by 10 to 20 percent, starting in 2014 and extending through 2018. (The actual...

  • Tough Tractor Trailer
    Long-Haul Truckers Beg For Rescue From Nasty Gas-Saving EPA

    It's pretty rare when a group of drivers begs a government agency to regulate them. But when it could avert what they think would be even worse regulations from another agency, anything's fair in love and war. The drivers in this case are the nation's long-haul truckers or, more precisely, the...

  • Barack Obama
    Obama and EPA Launch 34.1-MPG Fuel-Economy Rules for 2016

    The other shoe has dropped: Yesterday, two U.S. government agencies jointly announced the final fuel-economy rules for model year 2012 through 2016 vehicles, giving automakers a single national set of standards and averting the threat of state-by-state regulation. Starting with 2012, automakers...

  • Wrecked Toyota Prius owned by Elizabeth James, photo by Ted James, from Houston Press
    U.S. DoT Asks Scientists, NASA To Probe Toyota Acceleration

    In the face of continuing suggestions that random electronic interference may be causing unintended acceleration in the Toyota Prius and other vehicles, the U.S. Department of Transportation has asked for independent studies on the topic from two scientific organizations. Despite multiple recalls...

  • Loose all-weather floor mat jams accelerator pedal. Photo: NHTSA

    As reported earlier this afternoon on our sister site TheCarConnection.com, Toyota may will recall up to 3.8 million cars and pickup trucks to ensure that the floor mats on the driver's side are not interfering with the accelerator and brake pedals. It would will be the company's largest recall ever, four times the size of a 2005 recall to replace defective steering arms. [UPDATE: Toyota spokesperson Wade Hoyt said on Wednesday, September 30: Despite widespread reporting to the contrary, this is not yet a recall, but a safety advisory to owners of affected models.  Our engineers are working...

  • Loose all-weather floor mat jams accelerator pedal. Photo: NHTSA
    ALERT: Toyota Recalls 2004-2009 Prius, DoT Urges Removing Floor Mat

    Toyota may will recall all models of the 2004-2009 Toyota Prius to ensure that the driver' side floor mat cannot interfere with the accelerator and brake pedals, possibly causing the accelerator to stick. This afternoon, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued an "urgent" warning...

  • 2010 Toyota Prius
    2010 Toyota Prius Price-Gouging Pops Up

    We've just read some nice investigative reporting by DailyTech's Jason Mick on a well-known but infuriating phenomenon: auto dealer price gouging, in this case on the sought-after 2010 Toyota Prius. We're far from the only outlet to note that the Cash-For-Clunkers plan boosted sales of the 2010...

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