• U.S. Capitol Building

    It's probably the battle that will do most to determine the carbon emission from new U.S. vehicles over the next decade. Automakers want to modify, delay, or extend the current corporate average fuel economy standards for 2022 through 2025 vehicles; regulators don't. The mid-July release of the EPA's Technical Assessment Report opened a 60-day window for the public at large to comment on whether those standards should change. DON'T MISS: Automaker lobbyist group predicts doom, gloom over CAFE A large lobbying group led by the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers had requested that the time...

  • Semi trailer
    EPA releases final heavy-truck emissions rules

    The Environmental Protection Agency unveiled this week its final rules for reducing emissions from heavy-duty trucks, including semitractor-trailers, buses, and other heavy trucks. The agency said the new rules would cut carbon dioxide emissions by 1.1 billion tons, cut fuel costs by $170 billion...

  • 2017 Ford Super Duty
    You'll never know the EPA ratings of heavy-duty pickup trucks: here's why

    The EPA doesn't require carmakers to report fuel economy for heavy-duty trucks.

  • 2016 Nissan Leaf
    How much do electric cars really pollute, even without tailpipes?

    Personal automobiles have given hundreds of millions of people the great luxury of a convenient and comfortable mode of transportation. But there's no escaping that manufacturing these vehicles, driving them for 10 years or more, and then disposing of them creates pollution that has a wide range of...

  • 2017 BMW X3
    2017 BMW diesel lineup gets EPA approval for sale

    The EPA approved 2017 BMW diesel models for sale last week.

  • Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 (Image: Flickr user Aero Icarus, used under CC license)
    Coming up next: emission standards for airplanes

    The EPA is preparing to draft emissions standards for airplanes.

  • U.S. Capitol Building

    Two weeks ago today, three federal and state agencies jointly released a "Technical Assessment Report" on how well automakers have done thus far in meeting corporate average fuel economy standards. It concluded that car companies may not quite reach the theoretical goal of an average 54.5 mpg (or about 38 mpg on window stickers) for vehicles sold in the U.S.—due to the combination of cheap gas and higher sales of SUVs than expected. Now the battle begins. DON'T MISS: EPA: 2025 target of 54.5 mpg may not be met; SUVs, trucks, cheap gas to blame The report sets the stage for what is...

  • 2014 BMW 328d xDrive Sports Wagon
    Diesel car sales down in 2016; will there be any in 2017?

    A backlog of diesel cars waiting to be tested by federal regulators has delayed several models from going on sale in the U.S. including many from BMW and possibly others from different manufacturers. And the backlog only compounds the problems diesel-powered passenger cars and SUVs face in the...

  • 2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen
    Why VW killed its TDI diesels in the U.S.: future emission standards

    Hell hath no fury like a well-meaning government regulator who's been sneered at and condescended to by executives of one of the world's largest auto companies—only to learn the company has systematically lied to her and deliberately violated the laws she's charged with enforcing. After the...

  • Gas pump
    EPA: 2025 target of 54.5 mpg may not be met; SUVs, trucks, cheap gas to blame

    A pair of U.S. federal agencies said yesterday that while automakers had complied with the first five years of stricter fuel-efficiency laws, the industry seemed unlikely to meet 2025 targets for improving gas mileage. Rather than hitting the projected 54.5-mpg Corporate Average Fuel...

  • 1970s Los Angeles smog depicted in the Honda short film "Never Ending Race."
    What does VW's diesel-pollution mitigation program actually do?

    Last month's settlement proposal to resolve the claims of more than 450,000 owners of VW and Audi 2.0-liter diesel cars contains quite a few separate requirements in its hundreds of pages. As well as buybacks of the affected cars and separate cash payments to owners, it requires Volkswagen to set...

  • 2014 Volkswagen Passat TDI
    VW to offer TDI diesel owners $7,000 plus buyback: rumor

    With terms of a final settlement between Volkswagen and the EPA on 482,000 TDI diesel vehicles due to be announced next Tuesday, Judge Charles Breyer has imposed a gag order on all parties. That doesn't seem to have stopped unidenitfied sources from talking about possible terms contained in the...

  • Gas pump

    The steady rise of corporate average fuel economy rules through 2025 puts increasing pressure on manufacturers to boost the gas mileage of all vehicles. Lately, carmakers are challenged by cheap gas and a resulting public preference for utility vehicles of all sizes against sedans and hatchbacks. Now, a slight tweak to EPA calculations for the widely-used EPA fuel-economy ratings poses a further challenge. DON'T MISS: Consumer Reports confirms 2016 Toyota Prius 52-mpg rating For the 2017 model year, the EPA has slightly changed the calculations for its gas-mileage ratings. (Full details of...

  • 54.5 MPG CAFE standard for 2025
    How CAFE works: 5 things you should know about gas-mileage standards

    As automakers and policy wonks fret and fuss over future fuel economy standards, interested spectators may be lost in the fumes. What exactly are Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards, and what's important to know about them? The CAFE rules have many layers and facets—far too many to put...

  • 2016 Chevrolet Traverse
    GM big SUV buyers to get gift cards or protection plan for fuel-economy errors (updated)

    GM says it will compensate owners who bought crossovers with inaccurate fuel economy on window stickers.

  • 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS Class
    2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS diesel on hold, facing further EPA scrutiny

    Sales of the 2017 Mercedez-Benz GLS350d are on hold in the U.S. while it awaits a certificate of compliance from the EPA, a Mercedes-Benz spokesman said this week. The diesel SUV, which is the automaker's base offering in the GLS range, is slightly different than the 2016 version that was sold last...

  • 2016 Chevrolet Traverse FWD 4-door LT w/1LT Angular Front Exterior View
    Gas-mileage error halts sale of GM's large SUVs; new labels on the way

    It would appear that every automaker is rechecking its gas-mileage calculations these days. The ongoing VW diesel-emission cheating scandal and Mitsubishi's recent admission that it misstated fuel-economy results in Japan for more than 20 years have led to renewed public attention to how makers are...

  • 2014 Audi Q5 TDI, Catskill Mountains, Oct 2013
    Fix for Audi, VW, Porsche V-6 diesels closer to approval: report

    Last November, the EPA announced that nearly 100,000 cars and SUVs fitted with VW Group's 3-liter V-6 diesel engines violated the Clean Air Act. The agency said at the time that their emissions were up to nine times the legal limit in some circumstances. While that's better than the figure of "up...

  • Volkswagen TDI 'clean diesel' television ad screencap

    A main aspect of the agreement between VW and the EPA to settle its diesel-emission cheating scandal is an offer by Volkswagen to buy back all 482,000 2.0-liter TDI diesel vehicles sold from 2009 through 2015. The details of that agreement won't be made public until June 21, and won't be finalized until July 26, after public input has been received. Today, owners don't know what they'll be offered for their cars—though we sense that the longer the scandal drags on, the more owners are likely to offer their cars to VW to buy. DON'T MISS: VW settlement with EPA announced over diesel...

  • 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport
    Mitsubishi retests U.S. fuel economy after EPA request, confirms 2013-2017 ratings (update)

    The dominos continue to fall as more and more carmakers are investigated for accuracy in their testing of emissions and fuel economy over longer periods of time. While European buyers had complained for years that EU fuel-economy ratings diverged from real-world results, nothing much happened until...

  • 2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI Six-Month Road Test
    VW diesel agreement: what we know (and don't know) in 5 questions

    Yesterday's news that Volkswagen and the U.S. EPA had reached agreement on a deal to address VW's diesel-emission cheating scandal brought as much confusion as clarity. The carmaker and the regulator said they had agreed on the general outline of a deal to offer owners a choice of either...

  • 2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI Six-Month Road Test
    VW settlement with EPA announced over diesel emission scandal (updated)

    Volkswagen and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said today that they had reached an agreement on a plan to address hundreds of thousands of diesel vehicles sold over six years deliberately designed to violate U.S. emission laws. The agreement, released at 8 am California time this morning...

  • 2015 Volkswagen Golf TDI SE
    European fix for VW diesels complies with law, but real-world emissions still too high

    Updates to the millions of Volkswagen TDI diesel cars that turned out not to meet European emission regulations were supposed to be well underway by now. German authorities had signed off on the modifications—software updates and for one group of engines, a new plastic insert to alter...

  • 2015 Volkswagen Golf TDI SE
    Can VW, agencies meet April 21 diesel-fix deadline? EPA head not sure

    Nine days remain until the deadline imposed by a judge for Volkswagen and two regulatory agencies to agree on the outline of a plan to modify vehicles affected by the diesel-emission scandal. That deadline was already postponed once, but whether VW, the EPA, and the powerful California Air...

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