Kia, General Motors and other top foreign and US car companies support the Trump administration in an ongoing lawsuit with California on fuel economy standards – a new grip that splits the auto industry.
The Coalition for Sustainable Automotive Regulation, a group supported by General Motors, Toyota North America and several leading foreign automakers, filed the motion to intervene on behalf of the Trump administration on Monday, claiming it supports call for a national emission standard.
“Since 2010, America has had a unified fuel economy in greenhouse gas emissions and improved fuel efficiency programs. Recent federal and California decisions have threatened to end this balanced approach, creating uncertainty for consumers. When faced with this problem, we had a duty to intervene, ”said John Bozzella, president and CEO of Global Automakers and a coalition spokesman, during a conversation with reporters.
The filing supports the Trump administration in a lawsuit filed by California and 22 other states in September challenging the federal government's authority to revoke a pollution exemption that allowed the state to set stricter emissions standards for pipes than those established federally. California argues that it is right under the Clean Air Act.
The automakers' filing goes in direct contrast to four other leading automakers ̵
The message followed stopped talks with the Trump administration about a possible unified government. The Trump administration has since threatened to withhold funding on the highway during the move. In September, the Environmental Protection Agency announced that it had abolished California's waiver completely.
The automobile coalition argued that while it supported California and the other states in their desire for emissions standards to increase "year over year," the Trump administration supported its desire to maintain a national emissions standard, which it argued that California eventually moved.
"Historically, the industry has taken the view that the federal government is the sole purpose of fuel economy," said Bozzella of Global Automakers, which lobbies for companies including Nissan, Hyundai and Kia.
"In 2010, we agreed, all parties, federal agencies, the state of California, we agreed on one national program. California departed from the national program. There were no negotiations between California and the federal government that resolved that split," Bozzella said, placing the onus on the state.
Bozzella said that the industry's decision to support the Trump administration was aimed at keeping car makers at the "table" and is not an indicator of support for Trump's yet-to-be-announced emissions standard.
"The governments have moved this into the courthouse, and we are committed on behalf of our customers and our employees and our shareholders to follow that discussion into the courthouse," he said.
"We have not reached the question of which side we are taking with the rigor of the standards. This will ensure that we have room at the table with the new arena for this trial," he added.