• Jan 8, 2009
According to the NHTSA, more than $37 million in fines were collected last year for cars sold in 2007 from manufacturers that failed to meet current CAFE standards. Of the six manufacturers that paid fines, Mercedes-Benz was hit the hardest, racking up an astounding $28.9 million bill that was paid in December. That's a huge figure, especially in this troubled automotive market, but it's actually a bit smaller than the $30.3 million fine paid by DaimlerChrysler the previous year -- a figure that still holds the record. Go Daimler!

Other marques that failed to meet CAFE requirements included Volkswagen, which was hit with a $4.5 million sum, along with Porsche and Maserati, both of which paid fees of $1.2 million and Ferrari, which managed to skate by with a relatively paltry $1.1 million fine.

With increasingly strict regulations expected in the near future, these fines don't exactly bode well for the manufacturers of higher-end luxury vehicles, and the fact that the timing for these requirements is still undecided makes it even tougher to plan for them.

[Source: Detroit Free Press]


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  • 58 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Over MB's 225,000 sales for 2008 this amounts to about $130 per vehicle.

      CAFE is a ineffective, illogical law but at least its teeth aren't that sharp. For now anyway.



      • 6 Years Ago
      How can this beeeeee.

      According to the recent congressional hearings and the NYT, GM is the only one making gas guzzlers.

      I guess those ponpous AHoles did not do any pre investigation.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Exactly! Read my post below.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Go Chrysler!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Is this in addition to the gas guzzler tax which is placed on every individual unit sold that is below CAFE numbers? But looking at the list, mostly makers of high end, low production models are affected here. Yet there are no fines on the millions of large suvs and trucks classified as 'work vehicles' that get spit out of assembly lines every year, or at least, used to get spit out until the recent economic problem. That must have been a nice piece of lobbying to get that exception.
      • 6 Years Ago

      Maybe if Mercedes sold more Smart cars in the US, they could have met CAFE standards or at least might have had lesser amount of fines to pay.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Where does all this money go???
      Bette
      • 6 Years Ago
      I presume the US Government is getting this money. I would be interested in where it is going and what is being done with it. Seems to me it could be used to lower deficit or go to pay for budgeting at least. It may not be billions but it all add up.
      • 6 Years Ago
      It would be more correct to have a black box in each car measuring and counting annual emissions. Then owners of polluting vehicles would have to pay fines or grow trees.
        • 6 Years Ago
        yeah cuz thats not a privacy violation... the day the government has a black box in my car that reads my speed and where I am is the day I move.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Funny how most environmentalists, (of which I am one), or the media don't talk about the fact that Ford and GM have never paid CAFE penalties but many of the European companies have. They are the victim of only selling upper end vehicles. Herein lies the problem with CAFE.

      If you look at individual models, In addition to Mercedes, many of the Euro cars use more gas than some mid-sized American SUVs, but that never gets talked about. For instance, those 2.7 L V6 Audio A6 All-Road wagons were very inefficient. The BMW X5 V8 was a total pig, not sure if it has improved of late. The X6 is a wasteful vehicle. VW's Touareg is innefficient for its size. That is not exactly being green.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Both companies have exceeded CAFE at times, but they have enough built up credits from doing better than needed in the past that they haven't had to pay fines.
      Doctor Bob
      • 6 Years Ago
      ....... A GREEN fine? What the h3ll is that? You mean that now the friggin' Socialist/Communist Greenies have somehow usurped the power to levy fines against people they don't agree with? Hmmmm.... well, I hereby levy a $30 BILLION fine against the Greenies for messing with my life, trying to tell me what I can drive and what I can't drive. Pay up, Greenies. I have just as much "authority" to fine you as you do to fine me!

      • 6 Years Ago
      Seriously? You look at VW who's cheapest fit fighter manages around 25 mpg on the highway, Porsche who's fleet is horrid, Maserati even and what immediately strikes you is 'bo-hoo it's unfair?'. Let's be real, VW shouldn't be putting such a gaz guzzling 2.5L in it's base model, esp when they have a raft of other engines with the same power (TDI and TSI) and almost double the fuel economy that they could federalize. Porsche didn't give a damn, now we have the first diesel porsches already being produced for market, they're attempting to adapt. Yes, let us continue to make excuses for companies failing to get with it, if they fail they fail.

      Wait… no… no we just tossed the free market out the window and bailed out two of america’s three auto makers.
        • 6 Years Ago
        quote from zamafir: -
        "You look at VW who's cheapest fit fighter manages around 25 mpg on the highway................Let's be real, VW shouldn't be putting such a gaz guzzling 2.5L in it's base model, esp when they have a raft of other engines with the same power (TDI and TSI) and almost double the fuel economy that they could federalize" -

        Which Fit fighter is that? The 30mpg hwy 2.5L Rabbit or the 30mpg hwy 2.5L Jetta? I fail to see which vehicle you are looking at of thiers that gets 25mpg hwy and competes with the Fit(which neither the Rabbit nor Jetta do, mind you).

        As far as the other engines, they do have the TDI federalized here and you are on here enough to know that. It is only in the Jetta right now, but as in previous years I expect VW to make the TDI available in many more models once production catches up to demand. I personally would love to see them bring a TSI engine here and I'm sure it will happen, but it's nothing new. Many manufacturers often release their best engines overseas before bringing them here.

        One more fact regarding the "gas guzzling" 2.5L 5cyl VW engine, looking back to 2005 the last year of VW's previous 2.0L 4cyl base engine, in the same vehicles(Golf and Jetta) that engine managed 28mpg hwy. That's converted to the new EPA figures, but nonetheless, the new larger, more powerful(170hp vs 115hp) engine manages 2mpg better on the hwy than the previous engine. Personally, that seems fairly impressive to me considering the obstacles. Name me some other models that have been able to do the same, much more powerful(almost 48% more in this case), larger engine(25% larger), more MPG. They are few and far between.
      • 6 Years Ago
      If you want people to use less gas, tax the hell out of it. The run up in gas prices this summer shows that the price of gas will affect people's behavior, both in terms of driving habits and car buying.

      The problem with putting the burden of changing consumption habits on the automakers is that people in the U.S. equate small, fuel efficient cars with low prices, few options, and lack of driving fun. In Europe, small cars come loaded with options, are fun to drive, and cost a lot, because gas has always been much more expensive than in the U.S., so people want small, well-equipped cars.

      If gas sold for $5 or $6, you would see people driving SUVs, CUVs, and luxoboats getting smaller cars, whereas the truly weathy, who don't mid spending $100 to fill up, would still buy gas guzzling SUVs and high-performance sports cars.
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