June 26, 2020 / 4:04 PM / 10 days ago

Ford, other automakers will stay neutral on challenges to Trump vehicle emissions rule -document

WASHINGTON, June 26 (Reuters) - Four major automakers will not take a position on legal challenges to the Trump administration's decision in March to dramatically weaken Obama-era fuel economy standards but want to weigh in on any court fix, according to a document seen by Reuters.

The Trump administration in March finalized rollback of U.S. vehicle emissions standards to require 1.5% annual increases in efficiency through 2026. That is far weaker than the 5% annual increases in the discarded rules adopted under President Barack Obama.

Ford Motor Co, Volkswagen AG, Honda Motor Co and BMW AG struck a voluntary agreement with California in July 2019 on vehicle emissions rules. On Friday, the four automakers plan to ask a U.S. Appeals Court in Washington for permission to be heard in the court challenge "to ensure that any remedy imposed by this court is both appropriate and achievable," according to a draft of the filing. Other major automakers like General Motors Co and Toyota Motor Corp have sided with the Trump administration on the rollback. (Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Dan Grebler)

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