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