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Cars Seen Missing U.S. Mileage Targets for First Time Since 2004

  • Regulator report shows U.S. fleet to fall below mileage target
  • Results may feed debate over Obama auto-efficiency standards
Vehicles move slowly in rush-hour traffic on the US 101 freeway in this aerial photograph taken over the Sherman Oaks neighborhood of Los Angeles on July 10, 2015.
Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg
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Cars and light trucks from the 2016 model year will be the first to fall short of U.S. fuel economy targets in more than a decade, according to a new projection released by regulators that will feed a debate over efficiency standards between automakers and environmental groups.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration forecasts that the 2016 models will average 32.1 miles per gallon, below the target of 32.8. The agency forecasts another shortfall in model year 2017 of 31.8 miles per gallon compared to a projected target of 33.