It looks like some carmakers could be awarded a partial "get out of jail free" card for the new national greenhouse gas rules announced by the Obama administration in May. The EPA and NHTSA won't issue final rules until later in the fall, but it looks like carmakers that sell less than 400,000 cars a year could catch a break this time around. Apparently, up to one-quarter of the company's fleets would get a four-year exemption. That would allow companies like BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz to sell high-powered M, RS and AMG models without it affecting their fleet CO2 emissions numbers.
The proposed rules would give the automakers less of a break than the California rules, which would have exempted their entire fleets for seven years. Nonetheless, these automakers would still have an advantage over a company like General Motors which competes with some of these cars with the likes of the Corvette ZR1 and Cadillac CTS-V.