National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:
Light Truck Average Fuel Economy Standard, Model Year 1999
OGC-97-36, Apr 18, 1997
Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO reviewed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) new rule on the light truck average fuel economy standard for model year 1999. GAO noted that: (1) the rule would set the corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standard for model year 1999 light trucks at 20.7 miles per gallon; (2) NHTSA interpreted the Department of Transportation and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1997, as requiring it to prescribe the same light truck CAFE standard for model year 1999 that applied to model year 1998; (3) NHTSA did not comply with the applicable requirements in promulgating the rule; and (4) NHTSA did not follow many of the steps that ordinarily would apply to the rulemaking, based on its interpretation of the law that the agency had no discretion over the standard.