On Tuesday, federal documents released to the Associated Press revealed that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration raked in a more than $37 million from fines issued to automakers for CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) violations. Of that $37 million, a staggering $28.9 million was provided courtesy of Mercedes-Benz USA LLC, effectively equalling the second largest CAFE fine ever assessed a single automaker. The record for highest fine ever paid by an automaker belongs to Daimler-Chrysler AG, who was forced to fork over $30.3 million in 2007 for imported vehicles from the 2006 model year which, ironically enough, were Mercedes-badged.
Due to their heavier representation in the general consumer market Mercedes-Benz certainly racked up the biggest CAFE tab, but they were by no means the only luxury automaker to feel the mighty wrath of the NHTSA in 2008. Volkswagen of America Inc. shelled out $4.5 million in August for light truck violations, Porsche Cars North America and Maserati Automobiles of America a relatively discreet $1.2 million, and Ferrari North America $1.1 million. Surpsinginly, Saleen Inc., whose hypothetical Monroney would read “800-horsepower, -1 mpg,” managed to escape with the least amount of damage and were only forced to stroke a check for $41,000.
Source: Detroit Free Press