The federal government said Jan. 18 it won't require 2004 model year light trucks to meet higher fuel economy standards, because the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) hasn't had enough time to study the matter. NHTSA says it has not had sufficient time to study whether a level other than the one that has been in place since 1996 should be proposed but, by law, must issue a final rule establishing a model year 2004 light truck CAFE standard by April 1, 2002. The agency says it is, therefore, proposing that fuel economy standards remain unchanged. The current corporate average fuel economy standards, known as CAFE standards, require automakers to build a fleet of cars that get an average of 27.5 miles per gallon. Light trucks, a category that includes pickups, vans and sport-utility vehicles, must get an average of 20.7 miles per gallon. The agency is inviting comments on the maximum feasible level of average fuel economy and says it will consider all submissions, including those with data and analysis suggesting a level higher or lower than 20.7 mpg. The notice will have a 30-day comment period.