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Background
NHTSA must decide fuel econ­o­my rules for 2005MY by next Apr
NHTSA com­ments sub­mit­ted by May 8th dead­line, Dock­et #11419
Light trucks make up ~ 50% US light vehi­cle sales
Light-trucks must avg 20.7 MPG to avoid Fed gas-guz­zler penal­ties under CAFE; Cars must avg 27.5 MPG
Significant Points
NHTSA’s deci­sions on tech­ni­cal & seman­tic def­i­n­i­tions could have sub­stan­tial eco­nom­ic impact on auto indus­try
What’s a car & what’s a truck for fuel-econ­o­my pur­pos­es?
Cur­rent­ly SUVs, mini­vans & car-truck hybrids are clas­si­fied as trucks for fuel-econ­o­my pur­pos­es
Reclas­si­fy­ing as cars amounts to man­date for less gas guz­zlers, lighter­weight & pos­si­ble less pow­er­ful vehi­cles
Cur­rent­ly NHTSA clas­si­fies Dodge PT Cruis­er as a truck while EPA says it is a car
Car-bases crossover SUVs help boost automak­ers’ truck fuel-econ­o­my scores