Auto Repair Shops May Need to Readjust for 2021 Fuel Efficiency Revisions

July 27, 2017
CAFE Standards developed under the Obama administration meant changes were in store for automotive repair shops—now that could change. In particular, those standards created a greater focus on electronics, which would require technicians to understand adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping systems as advanced driver-assisted systems became more commonplace.

July 27, 2017—The U.S. Transportation Department said it may revise auto fuel efficiency requirements starting with the 2021 model year, a year earlier than previously disclosed, and could adopt lower standards through 2025, according to Reuters.

In March, President Donald Trump ordered a review of U.S. vehicle fuel-efficiency standards from model year 2022 through 2025 established under the Obama administration. U.S. regulators said in a notice published Tuesday they are preparing a new environmental impact statement and could decide to freeze 2021 standards through 2025, rather than raising them every year.

As Ratchet+Wrench reported in June 2016, CAFE Standards developed under the Obama administration meant changes were in store for automotive repair shops—now that could change. In particular, the Obama standards created a greater focus on electronics, which would require technicians to understand adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping systems as advanced driver-assisted systems became more commonplace. 

On top of that, more stringent fuel efficiency standards meant smaller, turbocharged engines would more the norm and that transmissions would have more gears; plug-in and hybrid vehicles would increase dramatically; and training for gasoline direct injection would become necessary.

The Obama administration's rules, negotiated with automakers in 2011, were aimed at doubling average fleet-wide fuel efficiency to about 50 miles per gallon by 2025. The Obama administration said the rules would save motorists $1.7 trillion in fuel costs over the life of the vehicles but cost the auto industry about $200 billion over 13 years.

Under the 2011 deal, the 2022-2025 model year rules must be finalized by April 2018. Trump reopened a review of those rules after automakers said the Obama administration did not conduct a proper review to ensure the rules are feasible.

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