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DaimlerChrysler tops mpg fines
For vehicles sold in 2004, parent company of Mercedes-Benz and Chrysler paid most in CAFE fines.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - DaimlerChrysler paid the most in fines last year for violating Corporate Average Fuel Economy regulations for vehicles the company sold in 2004. The fines were assessed over the course of 2005.

DaimlerChrysler makes Mercedes-Benz, Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep vehicles. The company paid $8.5 million in fines to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which administers the CAFE program.

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BMW paid the most overall last year, but it paid fines for vehicles sold in the years 2001 and 2003. In 2005, BMW paid a total of $12 million for exceeding CAFE standards for vehicles it sold in 2001 and 2003. BMW has not paid any fines, at least yet, for running afoul of fuel economy standards in 2004.

Fines are based on the total number of vehicles manufactured or imported and the amount by which those vehicles underperform set fuel economy standards.

The standard for cars is an average of 27.5 miles per gallon. For light trucks, including SUVs and minivans, it's 21.6 mpg.

The fines are collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which administers the CAFE program.

Last year, Porsche paid a total of $6.4 million in fines. Half the fines stemmed from sales of the company's Cayenne SUV.

Volkswagen paid $3.5 million in fines last year and Italian exotic car maker Ferrari paid $1.5 million. Top of page

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