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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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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.

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