A federal agency says it’s investigating “frequent flyer program” that uses diesel fuels and gasoline to fuel transportation vehicles.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says the program is part of a nationwide effort to “improve fuel economy and reduce fuel use.”
It’s part of an ongoing investigation by the agency’s inspector general.
A total of 834 vehicles were tested over the past two years, according to the EPA.
EPA says the cars have a fuel economy rating of between 31 and 50 mpg.
It said it was working with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and state transportation departments to help ensure those vehicles meet the standards.
The agency is notifying owners of the vehicles.
It says the EPA has identified potential violations of federal motor vehicle safety laws and has issued a civil penalty of up to $6,500.
“We’re concerned that people who do not have a federal motor carrier endorsement may be using a program that may not be appropriate for them,” EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said at a press conference Monday.
McCarthy said the EPA is working with all states and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to identify, inspect and address issues related to this program.
“I know that we are not the only agency in the country that has this program and we are committed to ensuring that we continue to be diligent in the enforcement of those rules,” McCarthy said.
The EPA said the program began in 2018 and has a total of approximately 2.4 million miles on the road.
McCarthy says it was not clear whether the EPA would require owners to complete a form that is supposed to identify which vehicles qualify as “high-mileage” vehicles.
McCarthy also said the agency was working to address any potential concerns that may be raised by the program.
She said the DOT will review any complaints it receives about the program and will take enforcement action if it determines there is a violation.
“Our goal is to ensure that vehicles are not using any of these fuels in a manner that is unsafe or otherwise harmful,” McCarthy added.