Mercedes-Benz Anticipates No U.S. CAFE Penalty in 2010

In previous years, Mercedes-Benz occasionally has had to pay penalties because its corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) figure fell beneath standards set by the U.S. government. That will soon change, as the automaker expects to meet the 2010 CAFE standards.

Starting this summer, all of Mercedes-Benz’s six- and eight-cylinder engines will use direct injection, which covers every car the automaker sells in the U.S. According to Dr. Thomas Weber, Mercedes-Benz’s head of research and development, this development played a large part in helping the automaker meet the U.S. standard.

“Even for 2009, we aren’t likely to pay much in the way of penalties,” Weber told Automobilwoche. “From 2010 on, we won’t pay anything. That is clearly our goal.”

Vehicles like the new S400 and ML450 Hybrids will certainly help, but Mercedes-Benz is moving towards using forced-induction engines with smaller displacement. For instance, the new twin-turbocharged 5.5-liter destined for its AMG line is reportedly 25-percent more fuel-efficient than the 6.2-liter V-8 it replaces.

We’re not surprised this is a major focus for Mercedes-Benz. In 2006, the company faced a record $30.3 million fine, and a similar $28.9 million fine in 2007. If Weber’s estimations prove correct, Mercedes-Benz has come a long way to reduce fuel consumption while offering customers the power they’ve come to expect.

Source: Automotive News

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