Hybrid Mileage Lawsuit Hits Ford

A California law firm has filed a class-action lawsuit against Ford Motor Company on behalf of an owner of a new 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid. The owner claims that he is not achieving anywhere near the EPA-stated fuel economy rating for his car. According to the Detroit News, the suit alleges "false and misleading" advertising regarding the C-Max, which is rated by the EPA at 47 mpg combined and which Ford advertises as achieving that level, handily trouncing main rival Toyota and its Prius v wagon.

The suit is being filed for one owner in particular who claims that he has achieved only 37 mpg in his C-Max—and a quick look at the EPA's website fueleconomy.gov reveals that 40 others have chimed in with their own mileage achievements, averaging only 39.7 mpg in the real world. The EPA has already stated that they intend to look into Ford's mileage ratings after receiving complaints about the new C-Max and Fusion Hybrids not living up to their advertised claims, including a surprising review from Consumer Reports that found Ford's new hybrids to have the widest variance between rated and tested fuel economy of any cars it has ever tested.

The entire automotive industry is currently very sensitive to the issue after Hyundai admitted that many of their models did not actually get 40 mpg highway as they'd claimed, and began reimbursing customers for fuel expenses. The old axiom that "your mileage may vary" always applies when dealing with EPA fuel economy ratings, and even more so with hybrid vehicles, which Cars.com has previously noted tend to see even larger mileage declines in cold weather versus traditional gas-powered engines.

Consumer Reports has noted that other hybrids they have tested have also come in below the EPA ratings, but special attention is being paid to Ford's newest offerings, thanks to the company's very aggressive marketing campaign. The C-Max was one of the fastest-selling cars in the country in October.

Class-action lawsuit disputes Ford on C-Max, Fusion hybrid mileage claims (The Detroit News)
More on Hyundai-Kia Mileage
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How was this California driver driving. That's why their called EPA ESTIMATES, not exacts.


the EPA figures are misleading on many cars. Let's not act like by some miracle only Ford and Hyundai are doing this- they are just the only two to be exposed lately. I predict this will widen and implicate other manufacturers eventually. EPA ratings on many vehicles are too optimistic- including the last 3 I've had.


EPA gives poor estimate of fuel efficiency. Ford (or Hyundai) gets sued. Yeah, that's logical alright.

And yes, I realize the EPA often just repeats what the automakers tell them, but that is their choice, and they bare the responsibility for the outcomes of their choices.


People will sue anybody if you even sneeze on them claim they caught a cold from you.. Mileage it all depends how the person drives..Hell i get 25mpg from a 2002 crown victoria

Derrick G

Well one thing CR noted is that the EPA highway test averages 48 MPH. 55 MPH is the majority of the test. And guess what? These Fords can run up to 62 MPH on electric power alone. But most folks don't drive 62. CR's highway test is at a steady 65 MPH. So unlike with H-K, Ford isn't doing the test incorrectly, but certainly seems to have designed for it. Of course, it's very hard to have a car going over 60 on battery alone for very far. Drag gets to be too much. Usually a company doesn't get in trouble for advertising results that are what the test should have given, but seeing as Ford has very heavily promoted the figure knowing most people would never achieve it they well may be in some trouble here.


The government should investigate the fake EPA ratings for the Chevy Equinox. We've never gotten within 4 mpg's of the stated numbers. If you go online you can find thousands of other cases just like ours. The dealer says the car runs as designed. At least the third dealer admitted it's a common problem.


My 2013 Ford Escape has achieved 39Mpg in canadian gallons at 75 MPH


EPA allows too many loopholes that automakers have learned to exploit- at the end of the day it means people are getting a false sense of how efficient their vehicles will be. I can guarantee all the adjustments to mileage will be DOWNWARD which tells you automakers are erring on the side of optimism with their EPA ratings.

Mark K

I am happy to see this. My Prius V gets exactally the 42 MPG that I was told it would. If the Ford doesn't do as well, they shouldn't be able to say that it does better.


My last 1000 miles I am averaging 34.6 mpg. It must be cold weather because it just doesn't come close to the 47 mpg. as advertised. I have had it at a dealership and they basically agree with me! It doesn't come close to the 47. LAST FORD I WILL BUY!


I don't know about you but in FL I am achieving 47 - 52 in my Ford Fusion Hybrid.


It's amazing how sorry the population has become. Suing over something so stupid is just unfathomable to me. Maybe I should sue Honda and Acura because my TL is suppose to get 21 mpg, but low and behold, if I stay in my hilly, stop and go traffic town, I sometimes gets about 16 or 17 avg. But wait, I can get out on the highway and get over 30 mpg. Should a compensate Acura because the car does better than advertised. Chances are the drivers of these cars are lead foots in an area where they can't keep a constant speed.


Yes, it is amazing how sad the population has become. Demanding more from corporations that made misleading claims in their advertisements... filing lawsuits seeking to hold them to it... just shocking. We should all be so ashamed.


Thank goodness. I bought this car and get 34 mph on average. The dealer where I got it couldn't do any better. Fords stance when contacted was that there was no problem. False advertising caused me to buy this instead of a cheaper model. I was willing to pay more to get the gas mile but it is worse than the Focus mpg.

Derrick G


How fast are you going on the highway?


Ford made a big deal out of advertising on TV
and magazines this car would get 47 mpg
I bought it because of this and now after 4500 miles on it the best is 35mpg. When you buy any product and it is falsely advertised, you
wouldn't want compensation? I don't have a lead foot and used the ECO cruise control...

Troy S.

I am curious if winter blend fuel has something to do with lower MPG actual driving figures. I know when they switch frm summer to winter blend in my area, I lose a coulpe of MPGs. It seems these claims of getter less than rated MPGs started to surface as the temepratures dropped and quite possibly when blends were changed. Do the manufacturers and EPA take this into consideration before rating a vehicle?

Ronald Kramer

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


agree, if the epa states an incorrect number the company has a responsibility to correct it and not falsely market the product base on this unrealistic estimate. Why not say it gets "up to" 1,000,000,000 miles but "driving conditions may vary".......

In my business if a product does not perform as advertised 99% of the time; it is return as "not meeting specifications"

Seem like care companies have the opposite... they need to get 1 product to meet the spec they advertise ...


I purchased the C Max believing the EPA mileage estimate was within a couple miles to the gallon of what was stated. I had a Toyota hybrid before this purchase and it was spot on to the EPA estimate as I am a fairly conservative driver. I feel duped by ford and particularly disappointed since this is an American product. I like many things about the car, but regret purchasing the C Max as for the price of the C Max there are many other great cars that get similar gas mileage to the 38 mpg I am experiencing.


I purchased the Fusion Hybrid believing the EPA mileage estimate was somewhere close to the 47 miles to the gallon of what was stated. I had a Toyota Camry hybrid before this purchase and it was pretty dare close to the EPA estimate. I live in the East and I know when its cold your miles to the gallon is not what it would be in the warm weather by 3 or 4 miles per gallon. So far the best I have received is 35 miles per gallon and I had to drive it like it was a piece of glass. I think Ford mislead the American people into thinking they had a much better car than other Hybrid manufactures to get more market share. I love my Fusion and may regret purchasing it down the road as gas prices continue to rise.

Mark Damico

I just bough a C-Max and I'm averaging 45.5 mpg. I'm very excited about my C-Max. Great mileage and the interiir quality far exceeds that of the Prius in my opinion.

Gloria D

If I bought a car for $25,000 and only gave them $20,000, don't you think Ford would sue for the difference? Why is it any diffent if a person sues because they were lied to about the gas mileage that a car would get. I think the 37.8 I get isn't anywhere near the 47/47 they claim and very disappointed.

Russell Ellison

This is a sad situation for Ford not to stand up and address. I had high regard for Ford after bailouts for others. I now see US giving every advantage to our carmakers,but 22% between actual and projected(worst of all). I could see 5-10%, but this could break my bias for Ford as I shop for a hybrid.i am now fully informed and we will see where chips fall. But also worry about what other projections should I not trust?
You may only have a 39 day inventory and everything going just dandy now,but that is the short sighted thinking that gets our producers in trouble....come on now!

jack johnson

Well now, this "ungainly", "drab", "boring" little 2004 Prius of mine has averaged 51 mpg over the life of the car. Every tank has been computed for the 153,000 miles I've driven it. I drive it easy, because it's not a race car, and I live in Colorado where terrain and climate can tax economy... I'm putting my next $$$ in on the 4th gen Prius when it comes out. :-)


I bought a fusion hybrid 6 months ago and agree it does not get close to the posted ratings of which was one of the main reasons I bought this vehicle. This was false advertising plain and simple, I would have purchased a different vehicle if I knew the true mpg. Thanks for Belly's comment - and Ben your comment was uncalled for, my bet is that you did not purchase either vehicle and do not have a clue.


Interesting bit about the hybrids losing mileage in cold weather. Let's remember that they are still lead-acid battery power packs and yes they WILL be less powerful when they are cold, it's just basic chemistry!


TOM & BEN... you don't have the facts about my car.... I have 6,000 miles on my 2014 Fusion Titanium. Got over 42mpg in MO Ozark Hills so was happy 1st 1,000 miles.... Now in CA using all ECO efficiency things... no stop & go. Max re-gen braking. I got 30.7mpg last 3,000 miles. To Dealer twice... no answers! VERY DISAPPOINTED..... Where from here?

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