View all text of Part 531 [§ 531.1 - § 531.6]

§ 531.6 - Measurement and calculation procedures.

(a) The fleet average fuel economy performance of all passenger automobiles that are manufactured by a manufacturer in a model year shall be determined in accordance with procedures established by the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under 49 U.S.C. 32904 and set forth in 40 CFR part 600.

(b) For model years 2017 and later, a manufacturer is eligible to increase the fuel economy performance of passenger cars in accordance with procedures established by the EPA set forth in 40 CFR part 600, subpart F, including any adjustments to fuel economy the EPA allows, such as for fuel consumption improvements related to air conditioning efficiency and off-cycle technologies. Manufacturers must provide reporting on these technologies as specified in § 537.7 of this chapter by the required deadlines.

(1) Efficient air conditioning technologies. A manufacturer that seeks to increase its fleet average fuel economy performance through the use of technologies that improve the efficiency of air conditioning systems must follow the requirements in 40 CFR 86.1868–12. Fuel consumption improvement values resulting from the use of those air conditioning systems must be determined in accordance with 40 CFR 600.510–12(c)(3)(i).

(2) Off-cycle technologies on EPA's predefined list or using 5-cycle testing. A manufacturer that seeks to increase its fleet average fuel economy performance through the use of off-cycle technologies must follow the requirements in 40 CFR 86.1869–12. A manufacturer is eligible to gain fuel consumption improvements for predefined off-cycle technologies in accordance with 40 CFR 86.1869–12(b) or for technologies tested using the EPA's 5-cycle methodology in accordance with 40 CFR 86.1869–12(c). The fuel consumption improvement is determined in accordance with 40 CFR 600.510–12(c)(3)(ii).

(3) Off-cycle technologies using the alternative EPA-approved methodology. A manufacturer is eligible to increase its fuel economy performance through use of an off-cycle technology requiring an application request made to the EPA in accordance with 40 CFR 86.1869–12(d).

(i) Eligibility under the corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) program requires compliance with paragraphs (b)(3)(i)(A) through (C) of this section. Paragraphs (b)(3)(i)(A), (B), and (D) of this section apply starting in model year 2024.

(A) A manufacturer seeking to increase its fuel economy performance using the alternative methodology for an off-cycle technology, if prior to the applicable model year, the manufacturers submits to EPA a detailed analytical plan and is approved (i.e., for its planned test procedure and model types for demonstration) in accordance with 40 CFR 86.1869–12(d).

(B) A manufacturer seeking to increase its CAFE program fuel economy performance using the alternative methodology for an off-cycle technology must also submit an official credit application to EPA and obtain approval in accordance with 40 CFR 86.1869–12(e) prior to September of the given model year.

(C) A manufacturer's plans, applications and requests approved by the EPA must be made in consultation with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). To expedite NHTSA's consultation with the EPA, a manufacturer must concurrently submit its application to NHTSA if the manufacturer is seeking off-cycle fuel economy improvement values under the CAFE program for those technologies. For off-cycle technologies that are covered under 40 CFR 86.1869–12(d), NHTSA will consult with the EPA regarding NHTSA's evaluation of the specific off-cycle technology to ensure its impact on fuel economy and the suitability of using the off-cycle technology to adjust the fuel economy performance.

(D) A manufacturer may request an extension from NHTSA for more time to obtain an EPA approval. Manufacturers should submit their requests 30 days before the deadlines in paragraphs (b)(3)(i)(A) through (C) of this section. Requests should be submitted to NHTSA's Director of the Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance at [email protected].

(ii) Review and approval process. NHTSA will provide to EPA its views on the suitability of using the off-cycle technology to adjust vehicle fuel economy performance. NHTSA's evaluation and review will consider:

(A) Whether the technology has a direct impact upon improving fuel economy performance;

(B) Whether the technology is related to crash-avoidance technologies, safety critical systems or systems affecting safety-critical functions, or technologies designed for the purpose of reducing the frequency of vehicle crashes;

(C) Information from any assessments conducted by the EPA related to the application, the technology and/or related technologies; and

(D) Any other relevant factors.

(iii) Safety. (A) Technologies found to be defective or non-compliant, subject to recall pursuant to part 573 of this chapter, due to a risk to motor vehicle safety, will have the values of approved off-cycle credits removed from the manufacturer's credit balance or adjusted to the population of vehicles the manufacturer remedies as required by 49 U.S.C. Chapter 301. NHTSA will consult with the manufacturer to determine the amount of the adjustment.

(B) Approval granted for innovative and off-cycle technology credits under NHTSA's fuel efficiency program does not affect or relieve the obligation to comply with the Vehicle Safety Act (49 U.S.C. Chapter 301), including the “make inoperative” prohibition (49 U.S.C. 30122), and all applicable Federal motor vehicle safety standards (FMVSSs) issued thereunder (part 571 of this chapter). In order to generate off-cycle or innovative technology credits manufacturers must state—

(1) That each vehicle equipped with the technology for which they are seeking credits will comply with all applicable FMVSS(s); and

(2) Whether or not the technology has a fail-safe provision. If no fail-safe provision exists, the manufacturer must explain why not and whether a failure of the innovative technology would affect the safety of the vehicle.