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Ford facing a class action suit over new Fusion Hybrid and C-Max fuel economy figures

A California man has filed a class action lawsuit against Ford Motor Company, insisting that the fuel economy figures of 47 miles per gallon by the 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid and the new 2013 Ford C-Max are misleading – and this man believes that owners of these vehicles are deserving of some payment for the false mileage claims.


The 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid and the 2013 Ford C-Max are rated by Ford Motor Company as offering 47 miles per gallon in the city, on the highway and combined. These figures were approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for use on the window stickers and in the official specifications of these two new vehicles but since hitting the streets a few months ago, several parties have seemingly debunked those 47mpg figures. Consumer Reports published findings that indicated that the new Fusion Hybrid and C-Max are only really capable of hitting between 37 and 39 miles per gallon in real world testing – which account for a pretty significant difference between what Ford advertises and what the vehicles are actually reaching on the open road. These less-than-advertised fuel economy figures for the Fusion and C-Max have also been realized by those who own and drive these models regularly and Richard Pitkin is among those owners.

Richard Pitkin has filed a class action lawsuit with the US District Court in the Eastern District of California with the complaint that the mileage figures stated by Ford Motor Company are “false and misleading”. The suit goes on to insist that the Motor Company used "misrepresentations and omissions” to reach those advertised fuel economy figures. Pitkin has sought the help of the California law firm McCuneWright to pursue this class action suit – the same company responsible for the ongoing class action suit against Hyundai for their fuel economy claims that have been proven to be incorrect.

The biggest difference between the class action suit against Ford Motor Company and the one filed against Hyundai and Kia are that those related Korean automakers have acknowledged that their vehicles are not capable of meeting their advertised fuel economy figures. Hyundai and Kia have admitted to selling almost a million vehicles here in the US which may not be able to hit their advertised fuel economy figures in normal real world driving and for that problem, the two companies plan to compensate the owners. Both Hyundai and Kia have amended their fuel economy figures for both 2012 and 2013 model year vehicles including some of their most popular models such as the Hyundai Accent, Veloster and Elantra. Once those figures have been adjusted, neither of these companies will offer a vehicle that achieves over 40 miles per gallon after previously boasting that they were the only companies in the US to offer so many models that would hit the 40mpg plateau.

On the other hand, Ford Motor Company is not commenting on either the pending lawsuit or the pending review by the EPA of the 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid and the 2013 Ford C-Max that is based on the report by Consumer Reports. If the EPA conducts their own tests of the Fusion Hybrid and the C-Max with the result being similar to those advertised by Ford Motor Company – the class action suit against Ford for their mileage claims will not stand a very good chance of resulting in a payout to the owners. However, should the EPA find that Ford’s ratings of 47mpg across the board are exaggerated, the many owners of these two models around the US could have a check coming from the automaker as part of the class action suit settlement.

In the mean time, sales of both the 2013 Ford Fusion and the new Ford C-Max are going strong with the C-Max setting sales records in its first month on the market – cutting hard into the hybrid crossover market that has been dominated by the Toyota Prius for years.

Source: Automotive News


RonaldKramer (not verified)    February 6, 2013 - 3:13AM

In reply to by CMaxChat (not verified)

I thought my C-MAX would be a Prius Killer? As a cross over buyer I feel deceived. I want to support US companies and US jobs. What was Ford thinking when they published 47/ 47 estimates? I would have been ok with low 40's but low 28-33 is not even in the ballpark. Mark my words there will be no fix for this. Ford should offer to take the cars back or offer cash compensation to offset the mileage claims. The EPA estimates will have to be adjusted to the mid 30's and sell the cars as is. My dealer's sales and service department were ok at the beginning of the complaint process, but now have turned hostile and un-professional.

Ronald Kramer
Yankee Ford Customer
South Portland, Maine

Anonymous (not verified)    December 27, 2012 - 9:22PM

Agreed, the EPA does need to check these out. Considering I can get EPA in my 2010 Fusion Hybrid, and it gets at least 2 MPG more than my 2013 Hybrid on the same roads driven the same way, something is not right with these cars. 47 MPG highway is very unrealistic, and over a 2600 mile road trip I came no where near that, let alone near 40 MPG and I tried every trick I could to do so. I even drove at 55 MPH with the ecocruise and got so many dirty looks and fingers that it was embarrassing.

AFAIC, Ford can take this car back, for the MPG I am getting I could have got a Focus and saved $10K.