Spare the Tire and Spoil the Trip: Another Awful Idea from the Feds

All this to save the mere 30 pounds that a space-saver spare weighs? That sure sounds nutty to me. It also sounds nutty to Sam Kazman, an attorney with the Washington-based Competitive Enterprise Institute who’s a big critic of the federal Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards.

“When it comes to fuel efficiency, there are a hell of a lot of regulations they didn’t think through,” said Kazman.

This one is typical, he said. On the macro level, it might make sense to regulators to add up all of those tiny gains in mileage achieved by eliminating the weight of a spare tire. But on the micro level, you’re trading a tiny reduction in fuel mileage for the risk of getting stranded whenever you hit a pothole.

“That’s the basic problem with all of these energy mandates: cars, washing machines and so on,” he said. “If high-efficiency models are going to save people money, then why do you need a law mandating them?”