WASHINGTON -- The National Automobile Dealers Association said it will likely oppose a federal proposal to label new vehicles with a letter grade from A+ to D based on their fuel economy and emissions.
NADA joins many automakers in criticizing the Obama administration's letter-rating proposal, which has been endorsed by many environmental groups.
"NADA opposes changes that would confuse the buying public, make vehicle purchasing decisions more difficult or treat certain automakers or fuel types unfairly," NADA spokesman Bailey Wood wrote in an e-mail.
The Obama administration is carrying out a 2007 law signed by President George W. Bush that requires labels to put new vehicles in fleetwide context for fuel economy, greenhouse gases and smog-forming pollutants.
The administration is considering two options for window stickers starting with 2012 models and is seeking public comment before it adopts a final rule.
One approach would feature a letter grade. The label also would estimate the vehicle's fuel-cost savings over five years compared with similar vehicles. The second proposal would keep the current label's focus on fuel economy and annual fuel-cost projections. A sliding bar underneath would compare the vehicle's fuel economy and tailpipe emissions with those of similar vehicles.
Current labels show how many miles per gallon a vehicle gets and its estimated annual fuel cost. Comparisons are limited to the class of vehicle rather than the entire U.S. fleet. An SUV, for example, is compared just to other SUVs.
Dave McCurdy, CEO of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, which represents General Motors, Ford, Toyota and eight other automakers, said Monday the rating system "falls short because it is imbued with schoolyard memories of passing and failing."