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NHTSA and Fuel Economy

When the first fuel economy standards were set in 1970, the Secretary of Transportation was required by Congress to regulate the fuel economy of new passenger cars and light trucks (pickups, vans and SUVs). Under this Congressional mandate, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) administered the program as it applied to passenger cars and established the first fuel economy standards for light trucks. From 1996 to 2001, appropriations riders attached to bills by the auto industry prohibited federal spending for the light truck standards program. In 2002, the first year without a similar rider, NHTSA implemented a rule containing only a drop-in-the-bucket 1.5 mpg increase for light trucks by model year 2007.

Public Citizen calls upon federal regulators to do more to improve vehicle fuel economy in both passenger cars and lights trucks and to improve vehicle safety at the same time by setting meaningful standards for rollover crashworthiness and vehicle compatibility.

Hot Issues

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    » autosafety | fuelecon | nhtsacafe


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