In July, Honda, Ford, Volkswagen and BMW sided with California in the battle, striking a deal with the state to follow more stringent standards close to the original Obama-era rules. That surprise agreement would allow those automakers to meet both federal and state requirements with a single national fleet, avoiding a patchwork of regulations.
The pact came as an embarrassment for the Trump administration, which assailed the move as a “P.R. stunt.” In what was widely seen as a retaliatory move, the Justice Department subsequently opened an antitrust inquiry into the four automakers on the grounds that their agreement with California could potentially limit consumer choice, according to people familiar with the matter at the time the inquiry was opened.
In a statement, Honda distanced itself from Global Automakers’ intervention.
“Honda is not a participant in this litigation,” said Marcos Frommer, a Honda spokesman, “and is not contributing any funds supporting our trade association’s activity in this area.” Honda has already locked in vehicle greenhouse gas standards through model year 2026 based on the stricter standards agreed on with California, Mr. Frommer said.
General Motors and Fiat Chrysler referred queries to Global Automakers. Toyota did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Obama-era national fuel economy standard requires automakers to build vehicles that achieve an average fuel economy of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, which would eliminate about six billion tons of carbon dioxide pollution over the lifetime of those vehicles.
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