One SAFE bet: new US vehicle emissions rule is headed for court

The Trump administration believes the SAFE Vehicles rule makes cars safer and cheaper, but a legal challenge by automakers and US states appears inevitable. By Ian Graig

In late March, the Trump administration released a long-awaited final regulation easing Obama-era greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and fuel economy standards for passenger cars and light trucks. The so-called Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles rule, which follows an earlier action targeting California’s vehicle emissions standards, is scheduled to be published on 30 April. The rule will be subject to many court challenges, and its fate will remain unclear for months or even years, giving little clarity on the standards that automakers will need to meet in future years. The outcome of the battle over the rule, which could be affected by the outcome of the 2020 US elections, has significant implications for the future of the automotive market in the US.

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