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.

Mar. 31, 2020:  NHTSA and EPA finalize CAFE and carbon dioxide emissions standards for model years 2021-2026

The Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule, issued today by NHTSA and EPA, sets tough but feasible fuel economy and carbon dioxide standards that increase 1.5% in stringency each year from model years 2021 through 2026. These standards apply to both passenger cars and light trucks, and will continue our nation’s progress toward energy independence and carbon dioxide reduction, while recognizing the realities of the marketplace and consumers’ interest in buying vehicles that meet all of their diverse needs.

Sept. 19, 2019: NHTSA and EPA establish One National Program for fuel economy regulation

"The Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule Part One: One National Program" announced EPA's decision to withdraw California's waiver of preemption under Section 209 of the Clean Air Act, and finalized NHTSA's regulatory text relating to preemption under 49 U.S.C. 32919.

Light-Duty Vehicles


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.