The automaker formerly known as DaimlerChrysler isn't finished making headlines yet. The NHTSA, which levies fines for manufacturers not meeting CAFE standards, has issued its largest penalty to any automaker, ever, by giving DaimlerChrysler a bill for $30,357.635.50.
The fine is for the carmaker's entire fleet, which includes Mercedes models produced here and overseas. According to the NHTSA, "The penalty for failing to meet CAFE standards recently increased from $5.00 to $5.50 per tenth of a mile per gallon for each tenth under the target value times the total volume of those vehicles manufactured for a given model year."
To be fair, it's only the biggest by a (relatively) small margin, seeing that BMW paid $27,985,925.00 in 2001 -- especially if you consider the drop in the dollar in that time. If you're wondering where part of that European car premium goes -- after it goes into the treasury -- CAFE fines seem to be something Europeans specialize in. Of the more than half a billion dollars in civil CAFE fines, not a cent has been contributed by domestic or Asian automakers. Yet.
[Source: NHTSA via The Truth About Cars]