Report: EPA underestimated compliance costs

Updated Mar 14, 2012

A new industry report indicates the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency underestimated emission compliance costs for new trucks by a factor of two to five for model years 2004-2010.

The American Truck Dealers and its parent organization, the National Automobile Dealers Association, compared emissions control costs phased in for 2004, 2007 and 2010 for medium- and heavy-duty trucks from the majority of heavy-duty truck and engine makers surveyed.

An EPA spokeswoman had no immediate comment on the report.

The agency had estimated 2010 heavy trucks compliance would cost truck buyers $3,419 more, but it actually created a surcharge of $7,736 to $9,600 more per truck, ATD said.

EPA forecast 2007 compliance would cost truckers $4,214 more per vehicle, but they paid $7,329 to $8,114 extra. For 2004, the agency listed an average increase of $922 more per truck, but buyers faced a $3,674 to $4,762 surcharge per truck.

ATD said the substantially higher prices hurt sales and contributed to a buying surge before each new mandate, which mitigated the environmental benefit otherwise gained by new, cleaner trucks. Additionally, dealers are beginning to see emissions tampering in their shops and on their used truck lot, the report stated.

NADA included the publication in comments it submitted Feb. 13 to the EPA and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration joint rulemaking on 2017 and Later Model Year Light-Duty Vehicle Greenhouse Gas and Emissions and Corporate Average Fuel Economy.

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