Regardless of your political leanings or environmental beliefs, we can all agree that government regulations are often imperfect. The newest CAFE regulations – which mandate a dramatic improvement in new vehicle fuel economy ratings over the next 12 years – are a great example.
Regulators, in an effort to:
- reduce national oil consumption (a good thing considering most of our oil comes from foreign countries), and
- reduce air pollution (also a good thing, at least if you like to breathe as much as I do)
have created a system that is forcing automakers to use every trick in their bag to try and meet this fuel economy mandate. While some of these tricks are admittedly awesome (direct injection, variable valve lift, stop-start systems), other tricks are less desirable…which brings me to skinny tires, thin plastic panels, and the 2014 Tundra.