Following an Environmental Protection Agency recommendation, Ford will voluntarily lower the fuel economy ratings on one of its new hybrid cars from the highly touted 47 miles per gallon
(city and highway combined)to 43 mpg.
The change is embarrassing for Ford, which hasn’t been shy about promoting the 47 number. In the “Hybrid Games” video series it created for its website, the automaker pitted the C-Max against Prius v in mpg ratings.
Unsurprisingly, Ford won.
But the overly impressive mileage claim has led to trouble for Ford. In December, Consumer Reports found both the C-Max and Fusion hybrid models fell about 20% short of the 47 mpg they promised.
The EPA originally rated the Fusion C-Max Hybrid for 47 mpg because the Ford Fusion Hybrid scored that number.
The two cars have the same engine, transmission, and weight class, so the EPA automatically bestowed the rating on the C-Max, too.
In March, some C-Max and Fusion owners filed a class action lawsuit in California accusing Ford of a “false and misleading” marketing campaign.
After receiving complaints that the C-Max Hybrid was falling short, the EPA actually tested the car. It came up with lower, but still solid, numbers: 45 mpg city, 40 mpg highway, 43 mpg combined.
In a statement, Ford said the 2013 C-Max Hybrid is “still class-leading” in fuel economy, and current owners will “receive a goodwill payment for the difference.”
According to the Wall Street Journal, that payment consists of $US550 to owners, and $US325 to lessees. About 32,000 people have bought the car.
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