Motor Vehicle Fuel Efficiency

Roll Back MPG Standards and Foreign Automakers Will Roll Over Detroit

In 2016 Asian Automakers Have Been Exceeding MPG Standards While Domestics (Except Tesla) Lagged Behind

Washington, D.C. ­– American auto manufacturers are at risk of losing market share if fuel economy standards are weakened. This analysis comes amidst reports that American cars and light trucks from the 2016 model year will be the first to fall short of federal fuel economy targets in more than a decade.

“Each year the fleet increased by an average of 7.1 percent through 2015, which is truly remarkable,” said Jack Gillis, Consumer Federation of America’s vehicle expert and author of The Car Book, an annual car-buying guide. “Having just one year in the negative still has us increasing at an annual pace of 6.4 percent since 2004. But make no mistake; our domestic automakers have much to risk if they fail to use fuel saving technology available today in all their vehicles.”

CFA’s analysis of NHTSA fuel economy projections show that for 2016 MY, out of 41 vehicle categories, 18 beat the requirements and, out of 17 manufacturers, 10 had one or more models that beat the requirements – all who beat the standards were foreign automakers except Tesla.

“Foreign automakers will roll over our automakers if fuel economy standards are rolled back,” continued Gillis. “Standards are the only thing keeping us competitive with the high-performing Asian manufacturers. If and when gas prices spike, American automakers will be caught flat-footed as consumers look to foreign brands to save money at the pump.”

“Not only do consumers want the standards to stay, but because large SUVs and pickups get a break with lower requirements, there’s no reason our automakers can’t meet the requirements.  Furthermore, rolling them back means the only winners will be the foreign oil importers.”

Contact: Jack Gillis, 202-737-0766


The Consumer Federation of America is an association of more than 250 non-profit consumer groups that, since 1968, has sought to advance the consumer interest through research, education, and advocacy.