• Apr 18th 2007 at 5:03PM
  • 21
Back in December, we told you about the new method the government would be using to calculate fuel mileage. For the first time in twenty years, they decided to make changes to better reflect real-world driving conditions and driver behaviors. The changes went into effect starting with 2008 model year cars, and are evident in the newly styled window stickers on those vehicles (shown above). We correctly surmised that most estimates would go down by some degree using this new formula. In our comments, many of you immediately noticed that this would unfairly bump some vehicles into the gas guzzler tax bracket. Apparently, you had reason to be concerned.

Revealed after some sleuthing by the boys at Dubspeed Driven, the EPA is still using the 1991 tax schedule and gas guzzler calculation method. That essentially means that the exact same car that skirted the gas guzzler surcharge last year, could be a scofflaw in 2008. Cars like a Nissan 350Z, for instance. It's combined 23.15 last year kept it out of the gas guzzler bracket, but under the new formula, it's a $1,300 offender at 21.15 mpg.

There's no mention anywhere on the EPA website about the new testing procedures or the fact that 2008 vehicles will likely be reporting lower mpg compared to 2007 Monroneys. Scared at the possible backlash when their vehicles appear to be getting poorer mileage, major carmakers have banded together to create a website to help educate consumers about the apparent drop in fuel economy, but nothing seems to be in place at the EPA to account for the change. Trucks, some sport utilities and minivans are all still exempt from gas guzzler tax, however.

[Source: Dubspeed Driven]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 21 Comments
      DriftPunch
      • 8 Years Ago
      I think that the government should tax on weight to horsepower to weight ratios on private vehicles. Anything above 20 is tax free. Anything 15-20 is $2,000 per year. Anything 10-15 is $5,000 per year. And anything
      • 8 Years Ago
      The guzzler tax is not based on the EPA Label Fuel Economy. Instead they are based on what they call an "Unadjusted combined MPG". This maybe why they havent changed the guzzler rules.

      See the link below for details.
      Excerpt from the FAQ
      "The fuel economy figures used to determine the Gas Guzzler Tax are different from the fuel economy values provided on this web site (fueleconomy.gov) and in the Fuel Economy Guide."

      http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/info.shtml#guzzler
      • 8 Years Ago
      Non-commercial vehicles should be held to the same fuel economy standards, whether they're cars, trucks, SUVs, vans, or anything else.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Frank, there is another fundamental principle that you're missing. Whenever regulations/laws are made(CAFE, gas guzzler tax, etc.) the relevant measurement protocol used to determined fuel economy is incorporated into the regulation/law by reference, such as protocol FXX-nnnnn dated MM/DD/YY.

      The regulation/law is therefore fixed and does not change automatically with a later revision to the protocol. Makes sense, because you wouldn't want, say, the gas guzzler tax to change without new legislation from Congress.

      Also, imagine the result if the references were left open by simply saying, "as measured by the EPA". A comtemplated change to the EPA protocol would require identifying all affected regulations/laws and assessing the impact to each one. In many cases, the impact may be undesirable, thus forcing changes to those regulations; plus some of the dependencies may be missed. That situation becomes quickly unmanageable.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I think they should leave it as is. The government gets some much needed revenues, and the manufacturers get a kick in the ass to get going on raising their CAFE averages.
      DriftPunch
      • 8 Years Ago
      Sorry guys, the impact of what I wrote was lessened by the fact that you can't seem to use a dash without it causing your entire post to truncate right before the phrase in which the dash was used.
      • 8 Years Ago
      This idea the everone who drives a truck is a careless environment hating idiot, is itself stupid. Most people dont want or need 5 different cars for every situation. Some folks need a truck for hauling/cargo and their other vehicle (read wifes car) is a passenger car. Maybe a 3rd car for an of age child.

      I'll bet you arent nearly as judgemental when you need your buddy's truck to move or bring home a large item that wont fit in your car.
      • 8 Years Ago
      How silly. Sure let's tax cars that get 22 mpg combined (probably only 50,000 of such sold last year) while we continue to give the 8 MILLION of SUVs and pickups getting 14-15 mpg average free passes. Time for more change. Especially with the heavy H2 and others getting the new ratings soon, 9 city and 12 highway here we come. All free of any charge. That is Bugatti Veyron type figure (it gets slapped with a GIANT gas guzzler tax)There are only a handful of Veyrons and thousands of H2s sold each year.
      • 8 Years Ago
      "doesnt that make sense, raise the bar for gas guzzler tax? that would push companies harder to make more fuel efficient cars"

      Like those companies would care... They'd just blame the government and say it'S no their fault... again
      • 8 Years Ago
      doesnt that make sense, raise the bar for gas guzzler tax? that would push companies harder to make more fuel efficient cars
      • 8 Years Ago
      Paul Y : Yeah I still don't understand how my front neighbour managed to pass off her brand new Durango as a company truck considering she runs a small daycare center in her house....
      • 8 Years Ago
      Just like the Prius Ecotest failure of the other day, another great exemple of bureaucratie in action... or is it inaction....
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