Autos: Debate Over an Extra Mile

Debate Over an Extra Mile

After the first round of OPEC-induced oil price shocks, Congress passed a law that required U.S. automakers to build more fuel-efficient cars. By the close of the 1985 model year, said the 1975 Energy Policy and Conservation Act, cars should average 27.5 m.p.g., vs. the gas-guzzling 14 m.p.g. that was the norm when the law was passed. Now the September deadline looms, and only Chrysler's fleet can meet the standard. Ford's cars will average 25.9 m.p.g., GM's 25.1. Technically, the two largest carmakers could face fines of up to $400 million in the case of GM and $80 million for Ford.


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