WASHINGTON (AFP) - BMW paid more than 42 million dollars in fines during the year that ended September 2003, for violating US corporate fuel efficiency rules, officials said. The luxury German automaker incurred a fine of 14 million dollars for its 2002 model-year vehicles and another of 28 million dollars for 2001 model year vehicles. It opted to pay the total in one fiscal year, which ended September 30, 2003, according to a spokesman for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (news - web sites). Under Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency (CAFE) rules, automakers are required to keep the average fuel efficiency of their passenger car fleets to 11.7 kilometers per liter (27.5 miles per gallon), weighted by sales. The corresponding truck target is 8.8 kilometers per liter (20.7 mpg), rising to 8.9 kilometers per liter (21 mpg) for 2005 model-year trucks and sport-utility vehicles. But certain automakers routinely pay fines for exceeding those caps, although US and Asian companies have stayed within the government's limits. BMW is among a handful of companies that have decided that paying the fines is part of the cost of doing business in the United States -- the world's largest automotive market, according to the trade magazine Automotive News. BMW builds "the cars our customers want to buy," spokesman Gordon Keil is quoted as saying in Monday's issue of the magazine. Fast cars with superb handling and luxury features weigh more and use more fuel, Keil said. "If there are penalties, so be it." The agency's annual fuel efficiency report is due out before the year's end. It will provide details on industry-wide compliance with the rules for the 2002 model year -- the latest year for which figures are available.