AAA Insurance Statement on CAFE

Washington, D.C. – 3/29/2006

Statement of Robert Darbelnet, President and CEO of AAA on today’s release of the Administration’s final rules on fuel economy standards for light-duty vehicles:

The Administration’s new Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards take small steps in the right direction. They raised the bar for manufacturers to improve the fuel economy of SUVs, minivans and some pickup trucks. Together, these vehicles represent between 50 and 60 percent of the market for new vehicles.

While AAA welcomes the news that the biggest SUVs, those over 8,500 pounds, will now be required to meet CAFE standards, the Administration missed a good opportunity to include large pick up trucks under CAFE.

Measurable improvements in CAFE standards are good news for consumers. The higher gas prices go, the more uncertain fuel supplies become, the more fuel savvy consumers become.

But, AAA believes more needs to be done and calls on the government to aspire to ambitious CAFE standards that will allow the U.S. to significantly improve fuel economy. AAA further urges manufacturers to continue using technologies that will enable even greater fuel economy gains, while not compromising vehicle safety.