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Briefs: Hybrids, Recall, CAFE

Originally Published in Trailer Life Magazine

Hybrids Sales Gaining

R.L. Polk & Company reports that U.S. registrations of new
hybrids rose by 139 percent last year, to more than 199,000. A company
analyst said that as many as 80 percent of buyers consider hybrids, but
many pass because they can cost up to $4,000 more than conventional
gas-powered counterparts.

GM Recalling Midsize Pickups

General Motors is recalling approximately 400,000 midsize pickup
trucks. The affected vehicles are the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon
from the 2004-06 model years and the 2006 Isuzu I-280 and I-350.
According to GM, some vehicles may lose brake-lamp functioning or have
brake lamps that are stuck on. Vehicles with cruise control also lose
that function. Dealers will repair the affected vehicles at no charge.

Bush Wants CAFE Raised

President Bush would like an increase in the Corporate Average
Fuel Economy (CAFE) standard for passenger autos. The government
recently raised the fuel economy standard for trucks and added some
large SUVs to the rule, but left passenger cars unaffected. President
Bush will ask the feds to set different fuel-economy levels for
different-size cars, for a boost of about 10 percent in fuel economy.
The changes could take effect by 2008-2011.

10 States to Sue Feds Over CAFE

The New York Times reported that 10 states — California,
New York, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico,
Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont — will sue the federal government,
contending that it did not fully consider the environmental impact of
gas consumption when it revised fuel-economy rules. California is trying
to set new emissions rules that would force automakers to improve fuel
mileage; however, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and
automakersare are fighting implementation.

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