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Fuel Economy Ratings

Q: Why don’t all trucks and big SUVs have fuel economy ratings?

A: Trucks and SUVs with a gross vehicle weight rating over 8500 pounds are exempt from the fuel economy requirements set out by the federal government. In response to the oil embargo in the 1970s, the federal government established Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards for light trucks and cars to reduce energy consumption. The original exemption on vehicles weighing over 8500 pounds was designed for commercial and farm vehicles. Today, more and more people own large SUVs (e.g., Ford Excursion and Hummers) and trucks over 8500 pounds for everyday passenger vehicles where CAFE standards are not applicable.