Chrysler parent Stellantis [STLA:FP] and General Motors (GM) [GM:US] have collectively paid USD363m in civil penalties for failing to meet the US fuel economy standards, as reported by Reuters on June 2. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Stellantis paid USD234.5m for missing the mark with its 2018 and 2019 model year lineup, while GM paid USD128.2m for its 2016 and 2017 model years. This is the first time in three years that the NHTSA has enforced fuel economy penalties. In December, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) indicated that Stellantis had the lowest real-world fuel economy among major automakers, averaging 21.3 miles per gallon (mpg) in 2021, while GM had the second lowest at 21.6 mpg.
Since March 2022, automakers failing to meet Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) requirements for their 2019 and subsequent model year face significantly increased penalties from the NHTSA. Non-compliant automakers are subject to a civil penalty of USD14, up from USD5.5, for each tenth of an mpg below the standard, multiplied by the number of non-complying vehicles sold. For the 2022 model year, the penalty was set at USD15. The NHTSA intends the penalty to incentivize manufacturers to make fuel economy improvements. Notably, Stellantis had previously spent around USD2.4bn from 2019 to 2021 to purchase European and US emissions credits from Tesla [TSLA:US]. GM, on the other hand, plans to use a mix of credits and fine payments to meet stricter fuel economy rules while working toward an all-electric lineup by 2035.