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EPA officials are confident that efficiency claims are true, but will investigate

The Environmental Protection Agency has announced that it will test the fuel efficiency claims that Ford has put forward with its C-Max Hybrid and the Fusion Hybrid. Recent findings from Consumer Reports (and actual drivers) claimed that both of the Ford hybrid vehicles fall well short of the claimed 47 mpg fuel efficiency.

"I am very confident that the sticker is sound, but I am also committed to keeping up with technology," said Chris Grundler, who heads the EPA's Office of Transportation and Air Quality, in an interview Monday on the sidelines of the Detroit auto show, about Ford's C-Max and Fusion hybrids.

"The integrity of that sticker is very, very important."

Ford Fusion Hybrid

The Ford C-Max achieved 37 mpg overall in Consumer Reports testing, 10 MPG short of Ford's claims. The Fusion Hybrid achieved 39 mpg overall in testing, short of the claimed 47 mpg on window stickers.

"These two vehicles have the largest discrepancy between our overall-mpg results and the estimates published by the EPA that we've seen among any current models," Consumer Reports said in a statement.

Ford president of the Americas Joe Hinrichs says that Ford followed the EPA rules when certifying its vehicles. Grundler also notes that the EPA didn't receive any complaints on the fuel efficiency of Ford's hybrid vehicles until after the Consumer Reports story ran.
Ford is already facing a class-action lawsuit over allegedly misleading fuel economy claims.

Source: Detroit News

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RE: Is it really Ford's fault?
By Samus on 1/15/2013 1:16:55 PM , Rating: 3
Yep, an incredibly flawed system.

And for anybody curious WHAT the test guidelines are:

By PatSchiermeyer on 1/17/2013 2:03:52 PM , Rating: 2
I used to write computer code and, from my perspective, Ford has tried to get too sophisticated with their battery vs engine logic. I live near Seattle so hills are an unavoidable part of my driving experience. I have observed that even in cruise control at 40 miles per hour, with ECO on, the C-Max will shift from battery to engine mode when the slope of the road changes from a 1 percent to 2-3% grade even though the battery indicator displays about 75% charge.

Also, we like to use the trip 1 meter to track our fuel economy by fill-up. This might be a real problem because the owner manual indicates that every time I reset the trip meter, the computer program learning my driving destinations is reset, forcing the learning (which takes two weeks) to begin again.

The vehicle battery-engine computer coding is overly complex. Only one binary code is needed: call it "Battery power only" set to either on or off (1 or 0). Then write nested loops that basically say: if battery supply less than 25% set Battery Power only to "off" until battery supply is greater than 95%. When battery supply >= 95% set Battery power only to "On". When battery power between 100% and 25% AND speed less than 75 mph use battery power only.

This type of coding would maximize use of the battery power mode instead of trying to overly program every scenario. It would probably also result in better fuel economy than the 47 mpg.

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