Back in December 2022, GM Authority reported that General Motors was ranked by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as the second-worst automaker in regard to fuel economy ratings over the course of the 2021 calendar year. Now, it appears as though the Detroit-based automaker paid heavily for this distinction.
According to a report from Reuters, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) fined GM more than $128.2 million for violations of the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) program during the 2016 and 2017 model years.
For comparison, rival Stellantis – which was ranked as the least fuel-efficient automaker in the aforementioned EPA study – was fined $235.5 million for violations over the course of the 2018 and 2019 model years.
“We work towards the goal of a zero-emissions future, we may use a combination of credits from prior model years, expected credits from future model years, credits obtained from other manufacturers, and payment of civil penalties to comply with increasingly stringent CAFE regulations,” a GM spokesperson was quoted as saying.
It’s worth noting that The General had previously not paid any fines in the 40-year history of CAFE. In addition, the Detroit-based automaker had initially planned to use credits to reach minimum fuel economy standards, but instead opted to pay penalties.
General Motors’ decision to save credits may have something to do with reinstated CAFE regulations. As previously reported by GM Authority, the NHTSA signed a recent ruling that allowed the agency to enforce much stiffer penalties for CAFE violations.
As reference, the penalty was $14 for every 0.1 mpg short of the required fuel economy standard during the 2019-2021. Under this new ruling, the fine rose to $15 per 0.1 mpg for the 2022 model year. Before the 2019 model year, the penalty was $5.50 for every 0.1 mpg.