VW attacks proposed CAFE standards, goes to White House image

Volkswagen has approached U.S. regulators to change the proposal to double fuel efficiency for passenger cars by 2025, arguing the new plan disadvantages the company and is unfair to clean diesel engines.

Volkswagen did not sign the agreement that almost all major U.S. and overseas car companies have backed and that led to the current proposal from the Obama administration to almost double fuel economy standards to 54.4 mpg by 2025.

VW says it remains hopeful changes will be made to reduce incentives in the plan that favor the biggest pickups, built mostly by U.S. automakers like General Motors, Chrysler and Ford. Europe’s largest carmaker also wants benefits for clean diesel engines such as the one from the Passat TDI which gets 43 mpg on the highway and is built in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

“A lot of good work has been done, but there is room and a need for some improvements to keep a level playing field for all automakers to attain the challenging new goals,” Jonathan Browning, CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, was quoted as saying by Reuters. David Geanacopoulos, VW USA general counsel, added that company officials have met with government agencies’ representatives as well as White House officials.

“We don’t know whether changes will be made, but we’re hoping that our views will be taken into account. There is a need for improvement. We’re optimistic,” Geanacopoulos said.