2013 Ford Fusion HybridEnlarge Photo
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is set to look into claims that two Ford hybrids don't meet their official fuel economy ratings in real world driving.
We reported back in November that the 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid and Fusion Hybrid struggled to attain their official ratings, even driven with fuel-efficient techniques.
Since then, Consumer Reports has run its own tests on the vehicles and found them to be out by a full 20 percent, both cars topping the charts for vehicles unable to meet the EPA figures.
The EPA will study Consumer Reports' data, says the L.A. Times, to seek more information before it decides upon any action.
Mere weeks before we reported on the Ford duo's poor real-world economy, Korean carmakers Kia and Hyundai were in hot water over their own ratings. Both companies had been overstating their cars' mileage figures, some by several MPG.
Both companies issued unreserved apologies, and said that each buyer would be issued with a debit card to the value of fuel the owner may otherwise have saved in the mileage-adjusted vehicles. Each company is also facing a federal lawsuit for further compensation.
Ford insists that owners of each hybrid have been able to achieve figures equal to and greater than the 47 mpg each offers--but the company will certainly be worried about the threat of a fate similar to the Korean marques.
In Consumer Reports testing, each car managed only 35 mpg in city driving--12 mpg shy of the official 47 mpg city rating. CR admitted that each was still a good result for the type of car, but significantly below the EPA numbers.
While the old adage "your mileage may vary" hardly needs repeating here, we've seen before that consumers aren't prepared to put up with variation outside their expectations...