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Critics Say Fuel Efficiency Standards Undermine Auto Safety

Auto safety has been a concern for many automakers in the recent past due to an increase in demand for more efficient vehicles that are also safe and reliable, however, some seem to think that it may be impossible to make extremely fuel efficient vehicles that are also reliable, safe and affordable.

According to recent articles, safety advocates have been reporting they believe the administration’s new fuel economy standards could make vehicles less safe.

The new MPG regulations called the Corporate Average Fuel Economy has been established by the Congress back in 1975 in order to keep up with the oil embargoes due to the energy crisis of the period. The idea behind CAFÉ was to induce an energy consumption reduction. Not, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has implemented new regulations, which as a result, set a new standard for new autos concerning fuel efficiency.

According to some of the critics of this new regulation standards, the jump to the 54.4 mpg requirement could have unintended consequences, which could even include hurting the environment.

By 2025, vehicles will have to reach a 54.4 mpg rating or else the automakers will not be complying with federal regulations. The concern has gone from making safer vehicles to making more fuel efficient vehicles, which is making lighter vehicles and small trucks more efficient and lighter, putting these vehicles on the road with heavier trucks that are exempt from this new regulation requirement. According to some of the safety advocates, the reduced weight of the more fuel-efficient cars could increase the risk of injury and even death. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the risk of death increases by 47 percent if a passenger vehicle crashes with another vehicle that is 1,000 pounds heavier.

Some believe that by making vehicles more fuel-efficient without making them extremely costly for the average consumer could make roads less safe due to the fragility of the auto.

Critics of the new fuel economy standards say that an increase in efficiency could also hurt the environment since the use of fuel is less costly and consumers tend to use their vehicles more often than they would were fuel more expensive. According to some of the critics, studies show that as efficiency increases, more fuel is used because the creation of energy is cheaper.

The increase in automotive use could hurt the environment and turn into an unintended consequence.

To read more about what critics are saying about the new efficiency standards, click here for the full article.

About the Author
The Vachon Law Firm is based in Southern California and focuses exclusively on consumer protection litigation.