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WASHINGTON -- Amid record high oil prices and concerns about climate change, cars and light trucks sold in the United States hit a new mileage record for the 2007 model year, with average fuel economy improving almost 1 mile per gallon.

According to a report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released late last month, fleet-wide fuel economy in the United States averaged 26.6 mpg, up 3.5 percent from the 25.7 mpg averaged in the 2006 model year. Passenger cars averaged a new high of 31.2 mpg, while light trucks averaged a separate record of 23.1 mpg.

Both figures handily beat the government's 2007 mileage mandates of 27.5 mpg for passenger cars and 22.2 mpg for light trucks

Automakers set record for mileage
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