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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.

April 22, 2021: NHTSA Proposed to Repeal SAFE I Rule

In the CAFE Preemption Proposed Rule, issued today, NHTSA proposes withdrawing NHTSA’s regulations and legal analysis regarding preemption under The Energy Policy and Conservation Act. NHTSA is seeking comment on whether the SAFE I Rule, which was finalized in 2019, overstepped the Agency’s statutory authority by issuing regulations and announcing views that purported to impose broad preemption requirements. If finalized, the rule would wipe the regulatory slate clean.

Light-Duty Vehicles

Standards

Passenger car standards: 49 CFR Part 531

Minimum domestic passenger car standards: 49 CFR 531.5(d)

Light truck standards: 49 CFR Part 533

Documents Associated with Earlier Rulemakings

CAFE Compliance and Effects Modeling System 

Compliance and Enforcement

CAFE self-service reporting data portal

NHTSA’s Public Information Center allows researchers, analysts, media, general public, etc.) to easily access dynamic data about manufacturer compliance with the light-duty CAFE program through the CAFE PIC self-service reporting portal. The PIC provides timely, reliable fuel economy data, which can be viewed in report and/or graph format. The 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.

Rulemaking on civil penalty rate

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.

Previous rulemaking

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.