It looks like Michigan's senior senator has won a reprieve for his biggest corporate constituents in the new fuel economy bill that's working it's way through the US Senate right now. Following hearings this week where the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee heard from various automaker representatives, Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan got a concession from bill sponsor Diane Feinstein.

The regulations would be modified to set different targets for trucks and cars which would give a big break to Chrysler where seventy percent of their sales are light trucks. If they go ahead with this, they should also clarify what counts as a truck vs. a car. One of the reasons why seventy percent of Chrysler's sales are trucks is because the current rules allow them to classify vehicles like the PT Cruiser as a truck rather than a car.

Clearly the PT is not a truck and this loophole needs to be corrected. All the carmakers abuse this rule to some degree, but Chrysler is by far the worst in this regard. A committee vote on the bill is expected next Tuesday.

[Source: Detroit News]

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