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Laws & Regulations

Corporate Average Fuel Economy

NHTSA's Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards regulate how far our vehicles must travel on a gallon of fuel. NHTSA sets CAFE standards for passenger cars and for light trucks (collectively, light-duty vehicles), and separately sets fuel consumption standards for medium- and heavy-duty trucks and engines. NHTSA also regulates the fuel-economy window stickers on new vehicles. This site contains information about many aspects of these programs, and we encourage you to check back as new information is posted.

Aug. 16, 2022: NHTSA Announces Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement

For Model Years 2027 and Beyond Corporate Average Fuel Economy Standards and Model Years 2029 and Beyond Heavy-Duty Pickup Trucks and Vans Vehicle Fuel Efficiency Improvement Program Standards

In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act, NHTSA intends to prepare an environmental impact statement to analyze the potential environmental impacts of new Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards for model years 2027 and beyond passenger cars and light trucks, and new fuel efficiency standards for model years 2029 and beyond heavy-duty pickup trucks and vans. NHTSA is seeking comment on the scope of considerations to be addressed in the EIS, and for identifying significant environmental effects related to the proposed action. NHTSA invites comments from Federal, State, and local agencies, Indian tribes, stakeholders, and the public in this scoping process to help identify and focus any matters of environmental significance and reasonable alternatives to be examined in the EIS.

March 31, 2022: NHTSA Finalizes CAFE Standards for MYs 2024-2026

After reviewing the tens of thousands of public comments submitted on NHTSA’s August 2021 Proposal for MYs 2024-2026 CAFE Standards and accompanying Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement, NHTSA finalizes CAFE Standards for MYs 2024-2026. The final rule establishes standards that would require an industry-wide fleet average of approximately 49 mpg for passenger cars and light trucks in model year 2026, by increasing fuel efficiency by 8% annually for model years 2024 and 2025, and 10% annually for model year 2026. The agency projects the final standards will save consumers nearly $1,400 in total fuel expenses over the lifetimes of vehicles produced in these model years and avoid the consumption of about 234 billion gallons of gas between model years 2030 to 2050. The agency also projects the standards will cut greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, reduce air pollution, and reduce the country’s dependence on oil.

December 21, 2021: NHTSA Repeals SAFE I Rule

After reviewing all the public comments submitted on NHTSA’s April 2021 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, NHTSA finalizes the CAFE Preemption rulemaking to withdraw its portions of the so-called SAFE I Rule. The final rule concludes that the SAFE I Rule overstepped the agency’s legal authority and established overly broad prohibitions that did not account for a variety of important state and local interests. The final rule ensures that the SAFE I Rule will no longer form an improper barrier to states exploring creative solutions to address their local communities’ environmental and public health challenges.

Light-Duty Vehicles

Standards

Final Rule: CAFE Standards for MYs 2024-2026

August 10, 2021: NHTSA Proposes New CAFE Standards for 2024-2026

NHTSA is proposing to amend the CAFE standards set in 2020 for passenger cars and light trucks manufactured in model years 2024-2026, so that standards would increase in stringency at a rate of 8% per year rather than the 1.5% year set previously. NHTSA will seek comment for 60 days on its tentative conclusion that these standards are maximum feasible for the model years covered. This proposal also responds to President Biden’s directive in Executive Order 13990 to reconsider the CAFE standards finalized in 2020.

September 24, 2021: Draft SEIS Comment Period Extended

NHTSA has extended the comment period for the Draft Supplemental EIS in order to coincide with the closing of the comment period for the NPRM and provide commenters additional opportunity to comment; the Federal Register document announcing this extension is linked above.

Documents Associated with Earlier Rulemakings

Compliance and Enforcement

CAFE self-service reporting data portal

NHTSA’s Public Information Center (PIC) is a resource tool for the public and for automobile manufacturers to obtain information on the CAFE and Heavy-Duty Vehicle and Engine Fuel Consumption programs. PIC allows researchers, analysts, media, and the public to easily access dynamic data about how manufacturers are complying with NHTSA’s fuel efficiency programs and provides self-service portals for easy access to the data. For manufacturers, PIC provides the most up-to-date resource tools for compliance. Public information is routinely updated on PIC to provide timely, reliable compliance data, which can be viewed in reports, and interactive table and graph formats. The interactive data can be easily sorted and filtered based on specific areas of interest to produce custom reports, which can also be downloaded as Excel or PDF files. NHTSA will add reports and additional resources for manufacturers to PIC sites as regulations and needs arise.

Rulemaking on civil penalty rate

March 25, 2022: NHTSA final rule withdrawing the January 2021 interim final rule and reverting to the December 2016 final rule, restoring the application of the increased CAFE civil penalty rate as mandated by Congress beginning with Model Year 2019, instead of Model Year 2022.

Previous rulemaking

August 17, 2021: NHTSA supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking requesting comment on whether NHTSA should proceed to a final rule that withdraws the January 2021 interim final rule and reverts to the December 2016 final rule, restoring the application of the increased CAFE civil penalty rate beginning with model year 2019, instead of model year 2022.

January 14, 2021: NHTSA interim final rule adjusts the CAFE civil penalty rate to $14 beginning in model year 2022; if the August 31, 2020, decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Case No. 19-2395 is vacated, however, the rate will remain at $5.50 instead.

July 12, 2019: NHTSA final rule retains the $5.50 penalty rate applicable to automobile manufacturers that fail to meet CAFE standards.

Heavy-Duty Vehicles

Phase 2

The compliance dates for NHTSA’s fuel efficiency regulations, to the extent they apply to truck trailers, are currently stayed, pursuant to an order of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued on September 29, 2020 in case No. 16-1430.

Final Rule for Phase 2 fuel efficiency and GHG emissions standards for medium- & heavy-duty vehicles, MY2018-2027

Documents relating to the Phase 2 proposal for medium- & heavy-duty vehicles, MY 2018-2027

Phase 1

Phase 1 of Fuel Efficiency and GHG Emission Program for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Trucks, MYs 2014-2018  

Technical Amendments

Final Rule

NEPA Process

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking


Fuel Economy and Environment Label

NHTSA and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a joint final rule establishing new requirements for a fuel economy and environment label that will be posted on the window sticker of all new automobiles sold in the U.S.