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NHTSA proposes fuel economy labels for cars

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is proposing two different fuel economy labels for new cars and is seeking public comment on them.

The proposed rule and labels can be viewed at www.epa.gov/fueleconomy.

One label features a letter grade to communicate a vehicle's overall fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions performance. The second proposed label retains the current label's focus on miles per gallon and annual fuel costs, while updating its overall design and adding new comparison information for fuel economy and emissions.

The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 mandated that the U.S. Envrionmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) rate vehicles according to fuel economy, greenhouse gas emissions and smog-forming pollutants.

"We are asking the American people to tell us what they need to make the best economic and environmental decisions when buying a new car," says EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson.

"New fuel economy labels will keep pace with the new generation of fuel-efficient cars and trucks rolling off theline and provide simple, straightforward updates to inform consumers about their choices in a rapidly changing market."

Both the EPA and DOT propose the development of a Web site to provide consumers with additional data on non-tailpipe emissions.

"The agencies are aiming to compelete the rule in time to allow the new label to appear on the windows of as many 2012 model year vehicles as possible," say NHTSA officials.

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