Ford C-Max & Fusion Hybrid Gas Mileage Lawsuits Combined

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2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid, Catskill Mountains, NY, Oct 2012

2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid, Catskill Mountains, NY, Oct 2012

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When journalists and buyers alike found they were struggling to hit Ford's gas mileage claims for the Fusion and C-Max hybrids, we knew it wouldn't take long for the situation to escalate.

Ford now finds itself on the receiving end of a consolidated lawsuit from two Californian law firms, filing on behalf of "hundreds" of owners unhappy over potentially overinflated efficiency figures.

As The Detroit News reports, Redlands, CA-based McCuneWright and San Diego-based Robbins, Geller, Rudman and Dowd have consolidated their similar lawsuits, which allege Ford's marketing campagin for the two models has been "false and misleading".

Things all started back in November, when we noticed Ford's hybrid pairing was struggling to live up to its 47 mpg billing.

Consumer Reports subsequently backed this up with their own testing. Mileage figures have been up to 20 percent off, in some cases. Since then, the EPA has said it will dig into the two Ford hybrids' mileage, to determine whether the 47 mpg figures really are unrealistic.

Ford has consistently maintained the 47 mpg figure is achievable, with the right driving techniques. That also means not using all of the cars' performance, as both Fusion and C-Max are quicker than their competitors.

The law firms' filing will have between five and ten class-action representatives from all over the country, all Ford hybrid owners and all saying the cars don't live up to the claimed figures.

"We've received hundreds of calls from the few newspaper stories that have been around," said Rich McCune, partner at McCuneWright. "There's a lot of really unhappy people."

On Tuesday, Hyundai announced it would settle in its own lawsuit, following claims both it and Korean partner Kia had overstated gas mileage figures on a wide range of vehicles.

Do Ford, Hyundai and Kia's troubles put you off the brands? Or are the mileage issues representative of how difficult it is to develop a fuel-efficient vehicle these days? Leave your thoughts below.


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Comments (17)
  1. I would argue that most people do not know howo to drive a Hybrid. We have had 2 Prius hybrids and I currently drive a Camry Hybrid. I have always gotten ABOVE the advertised milage and my wife gets way BELOW the advertised mileage.

    If you drive like my wife -- FORGET IT -- you won't get good mileage in anything!!!!

  2. I agree. I have a 2012 Insight and while I regularly get almost 45 mpg's,when my wife gets a hold of it she gets around 37. Mileage may vary definitely applies.

  3. I also agree, I get 40 miles electric range on my Volt no problem, my wife gets around 32. What would help manufactures if the cars had an Eco button (the Civic has one that suggests things to improve efficiency) that reduced power and maximimized efficiency. That way manufacturers could respond saying that the person probably didn't have the ECO button pressed, or if it was the Tesla, they would just show them the data plots.

  4. I just got a C-Max and the mileage is very good, and also all over the place. In a one-hour drive of two-lane highway and small towns yesterday I got 35 mpg. This morning driving 8 miles into and around town and back, I got 54 mpg. go figure. Either way, it's a really sweet car.

  5. I think some of it may be the timing that the cars were released. I know my prius mileage drops 10 mpg in the winter, because of the heater and defroster use

  6. Come on, lets be realistic Ford, Kia, Hyundai, et'al. This is your wake-up call! Consumers will not idly stand by while you attempt to boost vehicle sales by inflating MPG. Also, foggy EPA MPG testing criteria and sporatic vehicle MPG validation has to stop in these days of $4/g plus gas prices.

    EPA should either hire more people and test each and every vehicle MPG or contract Consumer Reports (or the like) to perform critical MPG testing. Start by developing standardized MPG validation protocols.

    Lets be honest, manufacturer-inflated MPG is simply a marketing tool used to entice consumers to spend their hard earned cash. Its EPA's duty to protect the consumer by assuring manufacturers post realistic MPG figures.

  7. A few points. First Kia and Hyundai failed to follow the EPA testing procedure. So far there is no evidence that Ford did not follow the procedure. Do you really want your tax dollars going to test MPGs for every car? If so I think you have some crazy ideas for proper use of my tax money. 10 to 15% testing has been enough to keep almost all companies honest. I see no reason to change the EPA verification program. It is not manufacture-inflated MPG, it is EPA-inflated MPG. Car companies report the EPA figures in part because it is a real pain not to. I think everybody knows that the EPA testing procedures need updating, but until that happens, we are stuck with the EPA MPG estimates.

  8. I am inclined to believe that the Ford EPA numbers are accurate. Even the EPA highway test has a significant period where the car can "glide". It makes sense to me that the EPA highway number could be higher than the real world steady 60-65mph. The car simply takes maximum advantage of all low power, coasting, and regen situations. Most people don't let their car coast - whenever possible they are up against the car in front or the speed limit, then they are on the brakes. So, they will never get the Ford EPA numbers on the road.

    This is very different from the Hyundai/Kia situation where they used the wrong coast-down numbers which skewed the dyno results in their favor in such a way that it was not easy for the EPA to detect.

  9. SORRY ALL BUT.....EVERY FORD PRODUCT I used to purchase was always under the rated MPG that Ford posted...i WAS an avid FORD purchaser until my neighbor who owned a Toyota Camry told me to just buy one Toyota product ...well after many conversations I purchased a Hybrid Synergy Drive earlier model my surprise the numbers for the first time on the window sticker were lower than what I achieved in the real world driving habits...I do the speed limit usually and on the highway usually i push it a if you ask me Ford wants to beat the Prius figures they made a HUGE MISTAKE with this you not notice that all the TV adds are saying that Ford beats all the Toyota vehicles in its epa figures..NOT TRUE...

  10. This just means that EPA test sucks... Perfect for automakers to "game" it without having any correlation to real world driving.

  11. If they find that Ford followed the EPA test guidelines, then they should sue the EPA.

  12. Well, that would be hard since EPA has never said their testing "reflect" real world driving...

    My guess is that Ford figured out a way to make EPA results looking great when it is well within the rules and do so legally.

    It is time to update the EPA test again. At least make it longer than 11 miles.

  13. The Fusion is a great next car...if it can realistically get close to 40 mpg, I will be happy..getting 16 local, and 28 highway on my 2012 Lacrosse (which I still Love)...GO FORD !

  14. I own a 2012 Ford focus SFE. My average mileage over about 16k miles has been over 37mpg (EPA combined rating is 33), no one would ever accuse me of being a slow driver, I cruise at about 8 mph over the posted limit and I accelerate faster then most people do. The reason I get such great mileage is that I know how to manage the inertia. Inertia management is the key to great mileage in any car (especially a hybrid). I have driven many a mile in a 2010 fusion hybrid also; I almost always averaged 4 or 5 mpg over the EPA numbers in that car also.
    I looked this morning at the EPA web site and I saw that two owners are reporting an average of 10 mpg on their 2012 Focus SFE’s then do I, why is this? They don’t know how to manage inertia...

  15. Our 2013 Ford C-Max Horror Story with Kelowna Ford Lincoln

    We purchased this car about a month ago and we purchased it because Kelowna Ford had huge banners in the windshield of the car claiming that is got 71 MPG in the city and 69 MPG on the highway and the best we have ever gotten out of it was 40.5 MPG while driving the car very easily and gently, a far cry from 71 MPG. Even in Ford Canada's brochure on the front page they claim that the car gets 71 in the city and 69 on the highway which is a bold face lie.

    How much more of this crap and outright lies and deceptions are we supposed to put up with from the Kelowna Fords and the Ford Canada's of this world before we say ' enough is enough' and do something about it.

  16. As with all heavily government-regulated automobile emissions issues, the carmakers have calculated that resisting the truth about these vehicles is more cost-effective than fixing the known defects of the millions of vehicles they have sold under false fuel mileage claims. Driving conservatively and easing off the gas may work for the Prius, but it most certainly does not for the Fusion when it kick on the gas engine at 25 instead of 45. This known defect is precisely where the 10-20% lossin fuel mileage is coming from.

  17. My C-max gets 33mpg avg. The on-board computer says 36 but it seems Ford has programed a 3mpg error into it. I've driven over 200,000 miles in two Prius and a Hyundai Hybrid and they all got the mpg advertised except the Ford. I drive the same route I've driven in the other 3 Hybrids. Ford stuck it to us all. If you are posting that your Ford Hybrid gets mpg as asvertised then you must work for Ford. Every one of the owners I've talked to have the same results I do. 10 to 15mpg less than Ford advertised.

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