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The lawsuit seeks at least $5 million in damages

Customers who've purchased certain new Ford hybrid vehicles in Pennsylvania are suing the automaker, saying that its fuel-efficiency claims are false

Pennsylvania owners of Ford's 2013 Fusion Hybrid and C-Max Hybrid cars are suing the Detroit auto company because their vehicles are falling far below the advertised 47 mpg. In fact, they've fallen as short as 17 to 21 percent below that figure.

The lawsuit, which was filed by Pennsylvania owners of the two vehicles in Philadelphia federal court, seeks damages of at least $5 million and says Ford has violated the state’s unfair-trade practices and consumer protection laws.

“Plaintiffs are some of the tens of thousands of consumers who purchased a Fusion Hybrid or C-Max Hybrid, only to be stuck with under-performing, less valuable vehicles that inflict higher fuel costs on their owners,” according to the complaint.

Back in December 2012, Consumer Reports pointed out the inaccuracies of both the 2013 Fusion Hybrid and C-Max Hybrid cars. According to its testing, the C-Max Hybrid received 35/38/37 mpg for city/highway/combined and the Fusion Hybrid had 35/41/39 mpg.

At that time, Ford responded to Consumer Reports' claims saying that mileage varies among hybrids. 

"Early C-Max Hybrid and Fusion Hybrid customers praise the vehicles and report a range of fuel economy figures, including some reports above 47 mpg," said Ford spokesman Wes Sherwood. "This reinforces the fact that driving styles, driving conditions and other factors can cause mileage to vary."

While all vehicles must undergo the EPA test for fuel efficiency, the test isn't actually administered by the government agency. Instead, automakers perform the test and the EPA reviews it. In many cases, factors like temperature and speed result in gas mileage being lower than the EPA sticker.

But after Ford was called out for coming up with inaccurate fuel ratings for its two hybrids, the EPA stepped in to do a test of its own. 

In another round of testing of the C-Max Hybrid in March, Wayne Gerdes found that it only achieved 35.537 miles per gallon over 360 highway miles. But in the city, he was able to achieve 52 miles per gallon over 22.8 miles of driving, which is better than the EPA promises.

Source: Bloomberg

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Just can't drive responsibly
By AlvinCool on 4/26/2013 12:50:32 PM , Rating: 5
My 2000 Honda Civic gets 36mpg on the average. I have a friend with the same car and he averages 28mpg. He drives like crap sticking his foot in it when he takes off and screeching to halts when he stops.

It's the same with any car. If you don't drive for gas mileage, you aren't gonna get it.

RE: Just can't drive responsibly
By Brandon Hill on 4/26/2013 1:44:58 PM , Rating: 4
No one can get 47 mpg from the Ford hybrids. Not the reviewers, not the owners, not even hypermiling green nuts who do this for a living.

That's the issue.

RE: Just can't drive responsibly
By Souka on 4/26/2013 2:00:22 PM , Rating: 2
My 2004 Prius is rated 60 city/ 50 highway.

I NEVER get above 45 if driving mostly in the city area
On the otherhand, driving pure highway I get about 60mpg.

am I goign to cry? nope...

RE: Just can't drive responsibly
By Brandon Hill on 4/26/2013 2:20:36 PM , Rating: 4
No, your 2004 Prius is EPA (corrected) rated at 48/45/46 city/highway/combined so you're right where you should be. So why would you complain?

If I bought a car that was rated at 47/47/47 and even after driving it like a grandma and babying it, all it got was 39 I'd be pissed.

RE: Just can't drive responsibly
By Samus on 4/26/2013 6:11:29 PM , Rating: 2
I knew something was up with their claims years ago when the Fusion Hybrid was released. There is no way a bigger, heavier car with the lacking aerodynamics and pedigree of the Prius drive train could beat the Prius let alone match it.

However, $5 million is a ridiculous number for a small group to ask for. So your cars don't get the mileage you wanted...ok, so what, your car should be free then?

The only realistic settlement is one similar to Kia/Hyundai in the form of a 'fuel reimbursement' debit card, and perhaps a little additional to compensate for reduced resale value. But that's a stretch.

RE: Just can't drive responsibly
By Lord 666 on 4/26/2013 6:26:01 PM , Rating: 2
Disagree about the fuel cards for both Hyundai and Ford. The mpg issue impacts past, present, and future value. The fuel cards just compensate for ongoing use.

Additionally, while the non-hybrid Hyundai owners received a decent settlement, the hybrid Ford owners should ask for even more. Why? Buying a hybrid with 47/47/47 is a specific purpose built car with the marketing hubris to back it up. Owners can easily claim they purchased just for the hybrid efficiency. The same cannot be argued as strongly for the non-hybrid owners.

They all should have purchased TDIs anyway.

RE: Just can't drive responsibly
By sigmatau on 4/26/2013 8:50:25 PM , Rating: 2
What magical Prius did you buy in 2004 that beats a 2013 Prius in mileage?

By Brandon Hill on 4/26/2013 8:56:24 PM , Rating: 2
Those were the Prius' actual ratings before the EPA made corrections/adjustments to factor in hybrids and account for higher highway speeds for all vehicles.

RE: Just can't drive responsibly
By Gasaraki88 on 4/27/2013 1:15:57 AM , Rating: 2
What a lie. The Prius was NEVER rated 60 city by anyone, not the EPA, not Toyota.

RE: Just can't drive responsibly
By MichaelR on 4/29/2013 10:08:56 PM , Rating: 2
What a lie. The Prius was NEVER rated 60 city by anyone, not the EPA, not Toyota.

RE: Just can't drive responsibly
By BRB29 on 4/26/2013 2:08:24 PM , Rating: 3
I'm sure the hypermilers can easily pass 50 mpg with that car. They are nuts after all.

RE: Just can't drive responsibly
By jRaskell on 4/26/2013 4:47:53 PM , Rating: 2
Easy for who? Certainly not easy for anyone that has to deal with them on the road.

RE: Just can't drive responsibly
By wyrmslair on 4/26/2013 2:25:21 PM , Rating: 2
Did you read the article? The EPA tester got 35 on the hwy but 52 in the city. Oops.

Let's face it, most people don't understand that the EPA system is for comparison between vehicles not a guarantee that any given driver in any given situation is going to get that mileage. If you've got half a brain, you can get a car, drive it for a few tanks with notes on how you drove during that tank, and then compare that to the EPA rating. You'll have a good idea on how you'll compare to the EPA ratings for all vehicles. It is supposed to be a basis for comparison between vehicles, period.

RE: Just can't drive responsibly
By 91TTZ on 4/26/2013 2:43:30 PM , Rating: 1
It is supposed to be a basis for comparison between vehicles, period.

No, it's supposed to be a reliable indication of what kind of fuel economy that vehicle gets. Otherwise auto manufacturers would advertise overly optimistic fuel economy claims in order to get increased sales (which is what happened here)

While not every driver can expect to get those numbers, if even the government's testers can't get those numbers you've got a problem.

The government has known something is up for a while. That's why the EPA started investigating them back in December.

By Brandon Hill on 4/26/2013 2:44:40 PM , Rating: 2
Did you read the CleanMPG source article?

While the C-MAX brings a number of class leading attributes to the table as pointed out in our review, fuel economy and cargo capacity are not within that realm. In a nutshell, the Ford C-MAX is a nice 41/37/39 rated Hybrid offering but is a terrible 47/47/47 mpg rated one.

RE: Just can't drive responsibly
By Samus on 4/26/2013 6:15:18 PM , Rating: 1
No one can get 47 mpg from the Ford hybrids. Not the reviewers, not the owners, not even hypermiling green nuts who do this for a living. That's the issue.

The article here on DT states the EPA achieved 52MPG with the C-Max in the city...

RE: Just can't drive responsibly
By Brandon Hill on 4/26/2013 7:45:42 PM , Rating: 3
Wayne Gerdes, the owner of CleanMPG, got 52 mpg while hypermiling, not the EPA.

RE: Just can't drive responsibly
By ElFenix on 4/29/2013 4:00:51 PM , Rating: 2
not very good writing there by tiffany. the article should make it clear that Gerdes is CleanMPG, not the EPA. instead the article implies that Gerdes is an EPA tester.

RE: Just can't drive responsibly
By SunLord on 4/27/2013 2:52:43 AM , Rating: 2
It depends on if you can get the 47/47/47 mpg claims if you drive the epa standardized tests. Until ford is re-tested directly by the EPA and depending on if they get the same or close enough results then the lawsuit would meritless because the EPA testing is flawed which isn't Ford fault. The EPA tests frankly have very little in relation to real world driving.

RE: Just can't drive responsibly
By 91TTZ on 4/26/2013 2:28:23 PM , Rating: 2
e drives like crap sticking his foot in it when he takes off and screeching to halts when he stops.

Do they have the same engine and the same transmission? states the the most common version of the car (1.6L, auto) averages 27 mpg.

RE: Just can't drive responsibly
By stimudent on 4/28/2013 1:53:59 PM , Rating: 2
My 2005 Colorado is rated to get 27 city and 33 highway.
I will only get 33mpg if I don't go over 55mph on the expressway. I typically get 27 & 28mpg between city and highway driving in the summer. It drops to 26mpg in the winter. These numbers are achieved when the truck is driven gently. When I drive like most other people, the numbers will drop about mile or two.
Driving gently and reasonably enough not to be a nuisance will allow me to put up to 80,000 miles on 60,000 mile tires.

By Ammohunt on 4/26/2013 1:01:44 PM , Rating: 2
Awesome! only took a few months to see the opportunity to suit and get paid! $5 Million in damages? really? Our society is so far gone i doubt we will ever recover.

RE: Nice
By BRB29 on 4/26/2013 1:10:31 PM , Rating: 4
I'm pretty sure this is a class action. That $5 mil is spread across all fusion hybrid owners.

RE: Nice
By FITCamaro on 4/26/2013 2:23:46 PM , Rating: 2
Yup. Everyone who participates might get $100.

RE: Nice
By Ammohunt on 4/26/13, Rating: 0
RE: Nice
By Reclaimer77 on 4/27/2013 10:54:29 AM , Rating: 5
Correction: AFTER the lawyer gets the biggest portion.

Class action suites are a scam to make lawyers more rich by harassing large corporations who rather settle than deal with our archaic legal system by being tied up in the courts for years. The actual individuals who are so-called harmed, get pennies on the dollar.

RE: Nice
By chrnochime on 4/26/2013 1:24:54 PM , Rating: 2
"Plaintiffs are some of the tens of thousands of consumers who purchased a Fusion Hybrid or C-Max Hybrid..."

RFTA. It means at least 10,000 people are plaintiffs. That means at most each person gets 500 dollars.

RE: Nice
By chrnochime on 4/26/2013 1:25:53 PM , Rating: 2
RTFA not RFTA if you want to be pedantic.

Can't beat a Diesel!
By chunkymonster on 4/26/2013 1:21:33 PM , Rating: 2
What a shame for Ford. I had hoped that I could look forward to actually buying a high mileage American vehicle but it looks like my dreams have been dashed.

Damn Volkswagen for making my 2005 Jetta TDI consistently get 40+ MPG in mixed highway/city driving!

RE: Can't beat a Diesel!
By BRB29 on 4/26/2013 2:09:31 PM , Rating: 2
don't give up on your dreams!

RE: Can't beat a Diesel!
By 91TTZ on 4/26/2013 2:35:32 PM , Rating: 2
Diesels are more efficient, but the fuel and the cars cost more. lists the 2005 Jetta TDI as getting 31 City, 34 Combined, 39 Highway.

RE: Can't beat a Diesel!
By Spuke on 4/26/2013 3:58:45 PM , Rating: 2
This does indeed suck for Ford. I hope they can fix this without re-rating their mpg.

RE: Can't beat a Diesel!
By Samus on 4/26/2013 6:20:46 PM , Rating: 3
A diesel is like a Hybrid. It costs more, they have additional maintenance (urea tanks/injectors or batteries take your pick) and they drive differently. I'm not saying diesel or hybrid can't be sporty, but typically they aren't.

The cost savings of a diesel are completely negated by their higher purchase price, higher cost-of-ownership and higher fuel price.

The only place diesels make sense are in trucks or other high-torque applications, that is, until we stock taxing diesel fuel into oblivion and ruining diesel engine efficiency with ridiculous emissions mandates.

RE: Can't beat a Diesel!
By chunkymonster on 4/30/2013 3:00:34 PM , Rating: 2
The price per gallon of diesel where I live is the same as the 93 octane gasoline. Which is about $.20 more than 87 octane.

You're right, there are trade offs.

RE: Can't beat a Diesel!
By jthistle on 4/28/2013 5:16:58 PM , Rating: 2
Sounds like you will be looking at the Cruze Diesel.

By btc909 on 4/26/2013 2:24:51 PM , Rating: 2
The EPA needs to test ALL vehicles. Not just 10-15%. Nice marketing scam, we get 47/47/47 on this vehicle. I liked the C-Max, I laughed at the C-Max Energi when I opened the rear hatch. I'd consider a C-Max but you better sell me the car at invoice and discount that price several thousands of dollars. I know if I owned a C-Max I would only get in the high 30's combined.

By Mint on 4/26/2013 4:12:34 PM , Rating: 2
No it doesn't, as long as liars are punished enough. Hyundai took a beating to its reputation for misreporting its numbers.

Nobody selling any significant numbers of a car model will be able to get away with lying. There's something very fishy about the C-Max numbers.

By corduroygt on 4/26/2013 5:16:49 PM , Rating: 1
The government obviously has the resources to crash test ALL mass production cars sold here, surely testing their MPG before crashing them shouldn't be too difficult or costly?

By Rukkian on 4/29/2013 2:04:43 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think the government does crash testing. Most of the reports I see are from the IIHS (Insurance Institue of Highway Safety)

By Nutzo on 4/26/2013 5:11:22 PM , Rating: 2
I also considered the C-Max, decided otherwise when I found out it didn't come with a spare tire.

One of the reasons the C-Max and Fussion do so good on the EPA test is because they have a higher all electic speed than the Prius and most other non-plugin hybrids. The Prius is limited to around 45 MPH, while the Fords can go up to 65 MPH.
The EPA Highway test averages around 50 MPH, so this gives the Ford an advantage, It's almost like Ford selected the higher top speed to do better on the EPA test, but in real life driving it doesn't make much difference.

Most people drive much faster on the highway (65-75 MPH), so Highway driving comes down to the efficency of the ICE and arrowdynamics. Ford can't quite match Toyota on this efficency, so they end up with similar or worse mileage.

By prontospyder on 4/27/2013 4:42:23 PM , Rating: 2
Some folks here are getting pretty good mileage with their 2013 Fusion Hybrids:

"Your Mileage May Vary"
By donxvi on 4/28/2013 5:55:49 PM , Rating: 2

Gas mileage
By wallijonn on 4/26/2013 3:46:22 PM , Rating: 1
I figure Ford, and most manufacturers, ran pure gas through their test cars instead of the oxygenated E90 and E85 we find at the local pumps. Then they'd get an extra 2.5 - 5 mpg.

Ford cheated...
By Philippine Mango on 4/26/13, Rating: 0
“So far we have not seen a single Android device that does not infringe on our patents." -- Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith

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