AP Source: Ford to restate hybrid gas mileage (Update)

August 15, 2013 by Tom Krisher
C-Max hybrid

Ford will reduce gas mileage estimates for its C-Max hybrid, following a government investigation into consumer complaints that the car's actual mileage was lower, a person familiar with the matter said Thursday.

Ford will drop the combined city-highway mileage listed on the window sticker from 47 mpg to 43 mpg (20 kpl to 18 kpl), according to the person, who asked not to be identified because the change has not been formally announced.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which monitors gas mileage testing, began its probe earlier this year after consumers complained that the C-Max's mileage fell short of estimates.

Ford followed EPA methods to calculate the C-Max mileage, but in this case, the numbers still were overstated, according to the person familiar with the matter.

Ford spokesman Todd Nissen would not comment Thursday afternoon. The company had scheduled an announcement about gas-mileage on Friday, without giving specifics.

It's the second time in less than a year that the EPA has made an automaker reduce window sticker mileage figures. In November, the EPA found inflated numbers on 13 Hyundai and Kia models.

The Ford error likely stems from EPA test procedures that let automakers test one car, then apply that car's gas mileage to other models with the same engines, transmissions and weight classifications, said John German, a senior fellow at the International Council on Clean Transportation and a former EPA mileage certification official.

In this case, Ford would be allowed to test the Fusion midsize hybrid and apply its mileage figures to the C-Max. But the C-Max may not get the mileage of the Fusion in the real world because it sits higher and has more wind drag.

The C-Max went on sale in October 2012. Through July of this year, the company had sold a total of 36,349. The C-Max starts at $25,200, which is nearly $9,000 more than its non-hybrid equivalent, the Ford Focus.

In the Hyundai-Kia case, the automakers acknowledged the problem with more than 900,000 vehicles. They changed the numbers and blamed a procedural error. As compensation, the companies have paid owners around $88 annually, based on the amount the mileage was overstated and the average price of gasoline. The customer payments are likely to cost the companies millions of dollars.

Automakers follow EPA procedures to test vehicles, and the EPA spot-checks their results or checks them in response to consumer complaints. But it rarely finds problems that warrant corrections. The EPA has said the Hyundai-Kia case was the first in which erroneous test results were found in so many models. Only two similar cases have been discovered since 2000, and those involved single models.

Some buyers refused to settle and sued in federal court, where Hyundai is now negotiating with plaintiffs. The EPA says it's still investigating the Hyundai-Kia case and could further punish the automakers.

The vehicles involved include the Hyundai Azera, Accent, Genesis, Santa Fe, Sonata Hybrid, Tucson and Veloster and the Kia Optima Hybrid, Rio, Sorento, Soul and Sportage.

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5 / 5 (1) Aug 15, 2013
Ford will drop the combined city-highway mileage listed on the window sticker from 47 mpg to 43 mpg

Erm...I get 45-48mpg with my car (non-hybrid). And this is not a testtrack value but an everyday average over the past 10 years (usually about 50% city and 50% Autobahn). Why would I buy this hybrid?
1 / 5 (4) Aug 15, 2013
That is the problem with hybrid cars. They really don't save gas. The gas engine is underpowered to save room for the electric motor so it struggled to get the car moving. Along with the fact that the electric motor can only run if the batteries are charged (not likely) most people will not see any savings in gas. However, if they keep the batteries charged and most (70%-100%) of their driving is city they will see a huge difference. City millage is the only time the electric motor is running. Once you get over a certain speed the gas engine kicks in.
not rated yet Aug 16, 2013
47 mpg to 43 mpg (20 kpl to 18.3 kpl)

Nowhere in the world is measuring fuel consumption in kilometers per liter. It's nonsensical due to its non-familiarity and doesn't help people who are used to metric to understand how much fuel is being consumed because they have to convert it to units that make sense anyhow.

That said, fuel consumption tests are simulated on a dynamometer that is loaded according to the manufacturer's reported drag coefficient of the car. If the actual coefficient is different in actual driving instead of what the manufacturer states, the fuel consumption figures will be off.

Which is very likely, and even intentional.
not rated yet Aug 17, 2013
Only in the U.S would a hybrid car only get 43mpg,in Europe our normal diesel cars average above 50mpg.Hybrid cars average between 75 & 85 mpg,what would be the point of owning an hybrid that has a lower average mpg than any run of the mill diesel motor car.By the way in Europe our cars have averaged above 50mpg for more than a decade which just proves the car manufacturers only make a car as efficient as they think the public will be happy with.As we all know they're in bed with the big oil companies.We have the tech for for an all electric car that only needs charging every 500 miles or much more.They don't allow this as they want you to charge every 100 miles or so,Why? because the electricity with what you charge your car with is generated by yes you've guessed it fossil fuels.Basically why would they want fuel efficient cars that don't harm the planet when there is billions in cash to be made.After all money is more important than our children's future isn't it?
not rated yet Aug 17, 2013
in Europe our normal diesel cars average above 50mpg

US gallon or UK gallon?

43 MPG-US is 52 MPG-UK.

And there are practically no diesel passenger vehicles in the US, so all the hybrids are naturally running on gasoline, which is naturally less efficient.

And, the MPG figures are misleading because beyond about 50 MPG, the numbers get really big but the actual difference in fuel consumption gets really small, since you need to double the mpg to halve the fuel consumption.
not rated yet Aug 18, 2013
Only in the U.S would a hybrid car only get 43mpg,in Europe our normal diesel cars average above 50mpg.

Diesel is evil and probably results in unborn children becoming Republicans. That's why America doesn't allow them!
/been driving a diesel van for 9 years.
1 / 5 (2) Aug 18, 2013
America is still obsessed with the muscle car and horsepower culture. The 2013 Shelby Mustang has 620hp, for example. Hell, my 2011 Toyota has 158hp (plenty for what I need) and I feel like it's a wimpy car. Maybe it's because my older brother built drag cars for a living when I was growing up, but many people I know see a reduction in horsepower for increased fuel efficiency as OK for minivans but not for anything they would want to drive. If you look at the trend of cars in America, horsepower has been increasing with every model change and even sometimes increases are made between new years of the same model. I recently saw something where Ferarri engineers came out and said "OK guys, we can't keep increasing engine output forever." Car culture is just much different in America than in Europe.

Back in the 90s I was entertaining some friends from Holland, and they were fascinated by my Dodge Dart with a 360ci engine. "We don't have any cars like this on the roads," they said.

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