MPG Standards Protect the “Forgotten Americans”

EPA Recognizes Both Consumer and U.S. Car Company Benefits by Staying the Course on the Fuel Economy Standards Agreed to by 13 of the 14 Major Automakers

Washington, D.C. — The Consumer Federation of American (CFA) believes that today’s decision by the Environmental Protection Agency to maintain current Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards will go a long way to protecting both consumer pocketbooks and U.S. car company competitiveness.

“The biggest beneficiaries of the current fuel-efficiency standards are the ‘forgotten Americans.’ The average household spends about $1,500 a year on gasoline. By maintaining these standards, the hard working, economically struggling, American households will be the beneficiaries,” said Jack Gillis, CFA’s auto expert and author of The Car Book. “Not maintaining the standards would place a huge burden on middle class Americans.”

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“What is particularly remarkable about the standards is that they pay for themselves in the very first month of car ownership,” said Dr. Mark Cooper, CFA’s Director of Research.  “The cost of the technology needed to meet the standard is outweighed by the pocketbook savings in gasoline costs even at today’s low gas prices.  As the cost of gas goes up, these savings will multiply.”

The vast majority of Americans want fuel-efficient vehicles, according to a long-standing series of consumer surveys conducted since 2011. The latest study, released in March 2016, found that, in spite of current low gas prices, 81 percent of consumers said they support federal fuel economy standards.

“These standards, which are supported by 13 of the 14 major automakers, have been in place since 2012,” said Gillis. “They’ve been achieved faster, and cheaper than anyone thought possible. By staying the course, the president-elect would continue this wining trend, achieving savings for the consumers who need it most and keeping U.S. car companies competitive.”

Contact: Jack Gillis, 202-737-0766

 The Consumer Federation of America is a national organization of more than 250 nonprofit consumer groups that was founded in 1968 to advance the consumer interest through research, advocacy, and education.