I though the government regulated how manufacturers rated HP and it was changed back in the 70's or '80's, but I could not find the regs. Best I could find was this.
Society of Automotive Engineers
SAE gross power
Prior to the 1972 model year, American automakers rated and advertised their engines in brake horsepower (bhp), frequently referred to as SAE gross horsepower, because it was measured in accord with the protocols defined in SAE standards J245 and J1995. As with other brake horsepower test protocols, SAE gross hp was measured using a stock test engine, generally running with few belt-driven accessories and sometimes fitted with long tube (test headers) in lieu of the OEM exhaust manifolds. The atmospheric correction standards for barometric pressure, humidity and temperature for testing were relatively idealistic.
SAE net power
In the United States, the term bhp fell into disuse in 1971-72, as automakers began to quote power in terms of SAE net horsepower in accord with SAE standard J1349. Like SAE gross and other brake horsepower protocols, SAE Net hp is measured at the engine's crankshaft, and so does not account for transmission losses. However, the SAE net power testing protocol calls for standard production-type belt-driven accessories, air cleaner, emission controls, exhaust system, and other power-consuming accessories. This produces ratings in closer alignment with the power produced by the engine as it is actually configured and sold.
SAE certified power
In 2005, the SAE introduced "SAE Certified Power" with SAE J2723. This test is voluntary and is in itself not a separate engine test code but a certification of either J1349 or J1995 after which the manufacturer is allowed to advertise "Certified to SAE J1349" or "Certified to SAE J1995" depending on which test standard have been followed. To attain certification the test must follow the SAE standard in question, take place in a ISO9000/9002 certified facility and be witnessed by an SAE approved third party.
A few manufacturers such as Honda and Toyota switched to the new ratings immediately, with multi-directional results; the rated output of Cadillac's supercharged Northstar V8 jumped from 440 to 469 hp (330 to 350 kW) under the new tests, while the rating for Toyota's Camry 3.0 L 1MZ-FE V6 fell from 210 to 190 hp (160 to 140 kW). The ES330 and Camry SE V6 were previously rated at 225 hp (168 kW) but the ES330 dropped to 218 hp (163 kW) while the Camry declined to 210 hp (160 kW). The first engine certified under the new program was the 7.0 L LS7 used in the 2006 Chevrolet Corvette Z06. Certified power rose slightly from 500 to 505 hp (370 to 377 kW).
While Toyota and Honda are retesting their entire vehicle lineups, other automakers generally are retesting only those with updated powertrains. For example, the 2006 Ford Five Hundred is rated at 203 horsepower, the same as that of 2005 model. However, the 2006 rating does not reflect the new SAE testing procedure as Ford is not going to spend the extra expense of retesting its existing engines. Over time, most automakers are expected to comply with the new guidelines.
SAE tightened its horsepower rules after some engineers noticed parts of the old test could be subjected to different interpretations. Under the old testing procedures, there were small factors that required a judgment call: how much oil was in the crankcase, how the engine controls were calibrated and whether a vehicle was tested with premium fuel. In some cases, such can add up to a change in horsepower ratings. A road test editor at Edmunds.com, John Di Pietro, said decreases in horsepower ratings for some '06 models are not that dramatic. For vehicles like a midsize family sedan, it is likely that the reputation of the manufacturer will be more important.