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Feds Propose Grading Cars For Fuel Economy, Emissions

The Environmental Protection Agency and the Transportation Department have jointly proposed assigning letter grades from A to D to rate the fuel efficiency and emissions of automobiles, Josh Mitchell reports. The only cars that would receive an A-plus, A or A-minus would be electric cars and plug-in hybrids. Compact and midsize vehicles generally would be in the B range; bigger models such as SUVs and pickups would be C students.

"We think a new label is absolutely needed to help consumers make the right decision for their wallets and the environment," says Gina McCarthy, the EPA's assistant administrator for air and radiation. Environmental groups supported the proposal while auto groups criticized it.

"The proposed letter grade falls short because it is imbued with school-yard memories of passing and failing," says Dave McCurdy, president of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers. A spokeswoman adds that "grades may inadvertently suggest a government label of approval." One dealer suggests that a better approach would be to compare vehicles in the same size class for their environmental impact and fuel economy.



Read the whole story at Wall Street Journal »

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