Summary: S.279 — 102nd Congress (1991-1992)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Reported to Senate with amendment(s) (04/25/1991)

Motor Vehicle Fuel Efficiency Act - Amends the Motor Vehicle Information and Cost Savings Act to establish average fuel economy standards for passenger automobiles and automobiles other than passenger automobiles (light trucks) for model years 1996 and thereafter.

Authorizes the Secretary of Transportation (Secretary) to modify such standards for model year 1996 and thereafter. Directs the Secretary, in response to petitions filed at least 12 months in advance of the model year, to conduct a rulemaking proceeding to determine whether to increase or decrease such standard to a level that is the maximum feasible average fuel economy for that model year, except that such standard shall not be reduced below a level equal to the average fuel economy achieved by the involved manufacturer for model year 1988, as multiplied by a specified percentage.

Requires the Secretary, in evaluating the need of the Nation to conserve energy, to consider the fuel savings and reduction in carbon dioxide and traffic congestion in urban areas realized by car pooling in automobiles with six or more passengers.

Requires the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to report annually to specified congressional committees on a study which: (1) examines the accuracy of fuel economy testing of passenger automobiles and light trucks; and (2) assesses the extent to which fuel economy deteriorates during the lifetime of such vehicles.

Directs the Secretary of Energy to distribute at least 100 explanatory booklets each year to every dealer and additional numbers if requested.

Requires the Secretary to provide for a review and report to the Congress by the National Academy of Sciences of the current state of research and development in light truck fuel economy and passenger automobile fuel economy and an assessment of the potential for improving the fuel efficiency and reducing the energy consumption of passenger automobiles and light trucks. Requires the Secretary of Energy to study and report to the Congress on the future options for regulating the fuel efficiency of such vehicles beyond 2001.

Provides for the judicial review of average fuel economy standards (including modifications thereof) established under this Act.

Doubles the civil penalty for repeated violations of the fuel economy standard. Requires such penalty to be adjusted for inflation.