Bloomberg Law
Free Newsletter Sign Up
Bloomberg Law
Advanced Search Go
Free Newsletter Sign Up

California Won’t Buy Cars From Manufacturers Siding With Trump (1)

Nov. 18, 2019, 7:04 PMUpdated: Nov. 18, 2019, 7:37 PM

California state agencies will be banned from buying vehicles from manufacturers siding with the Trump administration in the ongoing feud over vehicle fuel economy standards.

California’s Department of General Services announced Nov. 15 that as of Jan. 1 state agencies will only be authorized to buy vehicles from manufacturers that recognize the California Air Resources Board’s authority to set greenhouse gas and zero-emission vehicle rules.

The state also said it would immediately stop buying sedans that solely use gasoline or diesel fuel. Public safety vehicles are exempt.

The Department of General Services, which didn’t name the banned manufacturers in its news release, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

The latest in California’s ongoing battle with Washington could affect manufacturers like Toyota, General Motors, Nissan, Ferrari, and others that have joined with the Trump administration as it works to rollback standards and strip California of its ability to set higher limits on tailpipe emissions.

‘Oil Industry Over Clean Air’

California has long had authority to set more stringent rules under the Clean Air Act. Earlier this year, President Donald Trump revoked a 2013 waiver the state had to set its own vehicle fuel economy standards, a fight that is now in court.

Ford Motor Co., Honda Motor Co, BMW AG, and Volkswagen AG agreed in July to meet emissions targets set by California, splitting the manufacturers between the two camps.

On Twitter over the weekend, California Gov. Gavin Newsom clapped back at Toyota USA, which said in October it joined the Trump-supporting coalition to set one federal standard, but the decision wasn’t political.

“You can try to disguise the decision you made—but it won’t change the facts,” he wrote in a tweet. “You chose to go the way of Donald Trump and the oil industry over clean air and our kids’ future. There is no denying that.”

California has about 40,000 motor vehicles in its statewide fleet.

(Updates last paragraph to note size of California's fleet.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Emily C. Dooley at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Gregory Henderson at; Renee Schoof at