Skip to main content

Morning commuters travel in rush-hour traffic towards Los Angeles on March 20, 2019.Mike Blake/Reuters

Toyota Motor Corp. , Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and other major automakers said on Tuesday they were joining General Motors Co. in abandoning support for former U.S. president Donald Trump’s effort to bar California from setting its own zero-emission vehicle rules.

The automakers, which also included Hyundai Motor Co., Kia Corp., Mitsubishi Motors Corp. and Subaru Corp., said in a joint statement they were withdrawing from an ongoing legal challenge to California’s emission-setting powers, “in a gesture of good faith and to find a constructive path forward” with President Joe Biden.

The automakers said they were aligned “with the Biden administration’s goals to achieve year-over-year improvements in fuel economy standards.”

Nissan Motor Co. in December withdrew from the challenge after GM’s decision in November shocked the industry and won praise from Mr. Biden.

Separately, an auto industry trade group on Tuesday proposed to start talks with the Biden administration on revised fuel-economy standards that would be higher than Trump-era standards but lower than ones set during the prior Democratic administration.

The group represents all of the automakers that were involved in the legal challenge.

The Trump administration in March finalized a rollback of U.S. Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards to require 1.5-per-cent annual increases in efficiency through 2026, well below the 5-per-cent yearly boosts under the Obama administration rules it discarded.

The auto group, representing GM, Toyota, Volkswagen AG , Honda Motor Co. and others, said a new countrywide emissions framework deal “should achieve improvements in GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions roughly midway between current standards and those of the former Obama administration.”

Mr. Biden has directed agencies to quickly reconsider Mr. Trump’s 2019 decision to revoke California’s authority to set its own auto tailpipe emissions standards and require rising numbers of zero-emission vehicles as well as Mr. Trump’s national fuel-economy rollback.

Ford Motor Co., Honda, VW and BMW AG in July, 2019, struck a voluntary agreement with California on reducing vehicle emissions that was less stringent than rules previously adopted under Barack Obama but higher than Mr. Trump’s rollback.

Be smart with your money. Get the latest investing insights delivered right to your inbox three times a week, with the Globe Investor newsletter. Sign up today.