Reduced MPG in Six Ford Models Matches Cars.com's Results

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If Cars.com editors' observed mileage is any indication, more drivers should see real-world fuel economy figures that match the new EPA numbers on six Ford models.

Ford Lowers Fuel Economy Ratings on Six Cars, Will Reimburse Owners

Ford announced June 12 that it would reduce EPA mileage on six vehicles – the 2013-2014 C-Max Hybrid and C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid, the 2013-2014 Fusion Hybrid and Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid, the 2013-2014 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid and the 2014 Fiesta – because of an error in EPA mileage tests. The revisions, which downgrade EPA combined mileage as much as 7 mpg on the hybrids, will appear on new-car window stickers this week.

We've tracked mileage in four of those six cars, and our results fall a lot closer to the revised numbers than what they used to be. We haven't spent enough time behind the wheel of the Fusion Energi or MKZ Hybrid to report on mileage yet, but here are the rest:

By Kelsey Mays | June 16, 2014 | Comments (7)

Ford Lowers Fuel Economy Ratings on Six Cars, Will Reimburse Owners

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Ford announced today that it is revising fuel economy ratings for six models and compensating owners of about 200,000 vehicles after internal testing revealed errors in its evaluation process. Vehicles affected include the 2013-14 C-Max Hybrid, Fusion Hybrid, C-Max Energi and Fusion Energi plug-in hybrids, and the gas-only 2014 Fiesta; the 2013-14 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid is also affected. Ford said it notified the EPA after learning of the discrepancy, and it worked with the agency to retest the vehicles and determine the correct ratings. The automaker said it has reviewed its entire lineup to determine which models required further testing, and that no further adjustments are planned.

Amid Complaints, Ford to Drop C-Max Hybrid to 43 MPG

The testing error was specific to a component of engine-power testing called Total Road Load Horsepower, a measure of resistance. Ford said it has validated the revised TRLHP for affected vehicles through physical testing and put checks and balances in place for future testing. The automaker also said it has notified its dealers and new fuel economy labels will be available in about six days; vehicles will continue to be sold in the interim. Customers can call Ford at 866-436-7332 for more info.

Ford said it will pay owners of the affected vehicles the difference in estimated fuel costs between the old and revised ratings; lease customers will be reimbursed at a lesser rate than owners. The specific differences in fuel economy and the amount to be paid in reimbursement to owners, are as follows:

By Matt Schmitz | June 12, 2014 | Comments (4)

Ford, Heinz Team Up to Develop Tomato-Based Plastic

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Here at Cars.com's headquarters in Chicago, we are bound by local tradition to refrain from putting ketchup on our hot dogs — but we'll certainly consider putting it in our cars if it's more palatable to the environment. Condiment giant H.J. Heinz Co., maker of the iconic ketchup brand, has made a seemingly unlikely pairing with Ford to study the use of tomato fiber in developing more sustainable, composite bio-plastic materials for vehicles. Researchers are testing the materials' durability for wiring brackets and storage bins, according to Ford.

2013 Ford Escape Goes Green, Literally

The project began two years ago when Ford joined forces with Heinz, Coca-Cola, Nike and Procter & Gamble to accelerate the development of a 100 percent plant-based plastic to replace petroleum-based packaging materials. Heinz researchers had been looking for ways to recycle and repurpose peels, stems and seeds from the more than 2 million tons of tomatoes the company uses each year to make ketchup, according to Ford.

By Matt Schmitz | June 10, 2014 | Comments (5)

Cars.com's Top 10 Fun-to-Drive Fuel Sippers

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When I was 10, my dad set me and a go-kart loose in an abandoned parking lot, free to zip around the blacktop. At that age, you don't give a thought to how much gas costs; it's all about the fun. At this age, however, fuel economy is a big consideration when it comes to buying a car, but it doesn't have to trump the fun-to-drive factor.

More Top 10s

There are plenty of cars that offer both fun and fuel savings, from affordable subcompacts and gas-electric hybrids to pricier luxury cars and diesel-powered vehicles. To qualify for this list, a car has to have an EPA combined rating of 30 mpg, while bringing out the inner go-kart-loving kid in all of us:

By Jennifer Geiger | June 9, 2014 | Comments (8)

Ford Concept Makes Fusion As Light As a Fiesta

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Starting earlier this year with the 2015 F-150 and continuing this week with the announcement of a new concept car, Ford is working to be a heavyweight in the realm of "light-weighting." The Ford Lightweight Concept follows in the footsteps of the production version of the F-150 pickup truck, which shed 700 pounds using high-strength steel and aluminum alloy. The concept, based on the 2013 Fusion midsize sedan, drops a quarter of the sedan's body weight to tip the scales at the same level as Ford's smallest car, the Fiesta, the automaker said Tuesday.

Everything You Need to Know About the 2015 Ford F-150

Ford said the concept "uses advanced materials to explore future weight-reduction solutions that could improve performance and fuel efficiency while reducing carbon dioxide emissions." The automaker said the vehicle uses many of the same lightweight materials found in today's mobile electronic devices, such as aluminum, chemically toughened glass and advanced lightweight plastics, as well as high-strength steel, magnesium and carbon fiber.

By Matt Schmitz | June 4, 2014 | Comments (3)

Top 10 Best-Selling Cars: May 2014

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All signs point toward another strong month for the auto industry. Toyota gained 17 percent as shoppers bought nearly 50,000 Camry sedans, leapfrogging the Chevrolet Silverado to a No. 2 spot in May's best-sellers. Cash incentives on the Camry increased versus year-ago levels, which likely fueled some of the nameplate's 26.4 percent gain. But so did renewed interest in family sedans: The Ford Fusion (up 14.6 percent), Nissan Altima (up 12.9 percent) and Honda Accord (up 19.3 percent) drew more shoppers, too.

May's Fastest- and Slowest-Selling Cars

Nissan's 18.8 percent gain led the top seven automakers, while big increases from its Jeep and Ram divisions lifted Chrysler sales 16.7 percent. The Ram pickup truck gained 17.2 percent, the biggest percentage gain of any full-size pickup. Its rival Ford F-Series dropped 4.3 percent; no doubt shoppers are awaiting a new F-150 that hits dealerships at the end of this year.

Ford, Hyundai-Kia and Honda all gained less than 10 percent, falling below the seven largest automakers' 11.8 percent gain. Still, even the poorest performer (Ford) saw sales up 3 percent.

By Kelsey Mays | June 3, 2014 | Comments (3)

Recall Alert: 2006-2011 Ford Fusion, Mercury Milan, Lincoln Zephyr and MKZ

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Vehicles Affected: About 82,500 driver's-side all-weather floormats in model-year 2006-11 Ford Fusion, Mercury Milan, and Lincoln Zephyr and MKZ sedans

The Problem: If improperly installed, the floormats may come in contact with the accelerator pedal, causing interference and increasing the risk of a crash, according to the Detroit News. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is aware of 52 reports of problems related to this issue.

The Fix: Ford will notify owners, and dealers will exchange the driver's-side all-weather floormats for a new set for free; some owners will get as many as four new mats.

What Owners Should Do: Ford has not yet issued an owner notification schedule. Owners can call the automaker at 800-392-3673 for more info.

Need to Find a Dealer for Service? Go to Cars.com Service & Repair to find your local dealer.

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By Matt Schmitz | May 29, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2011-2013 Ford Explorer

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Vehicles Affected: About 177,500 model-year 2011-13 Ford Explorer SUVs

The Problem: A potential electrical issue in the steering gear may result in the loss of electric power steering assist while driving. This could cause the steering system to default to manual mode, making the vehicle more difficult to steer, especially at lower speeds, and increasing the risk of a crash. According to the Detroit News, Ford said drivers will hear a chime and see a message in the instrument cluster if electric power steering assist is lost.

The Fix: Ford will notify owners, and dealers will either update software for the power steering control module or replace the steering gear for free.

What Owners Should Do: Ford has not yet issued an owner notification schedule. Owners can call Ford at 800-392-3673 for more info.

Need to Find a Dealer for Service? Go to Cars.com Service & Repair to find your local dealer.

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By Matt Schmitz | May 29, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2010-2014 Ford Taurus

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Vehicles Affected: Approximately 196,000 model-year 2010-14 Ford Taurus sedans registered in states where road salt is used

The Problem: The Detroit News is reporting that salt could get into the license plate lamp, causing it to rust. This could lead to a fire; Ford is aware of 18 fires and one minor injury related to this issue.

The Fix: Dealers will replace the license plate lamp assembly for free.

What Owners Should Do: Ford will notify owners but has not yet provided an owner notification schedule. Owners can call Ford at 800-392-3673 for more information.

Need to Find a Dealer for Service? Go to Cars.com Service & Repair to find your local dealer.

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By Jennifer Geiger | May 29, 2014 | Comments (1)

Recall Alert: 2008-2011 Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner

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Vehicles Affected: Approximately 740,000 model-year 2008-11 versions of the Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner SUVs; no word yet if the related Mazda Tribute is involved.

The Problem: The Detroit News is reporting that a faulty torque sensor could cause the power steering system to shut off. If this happens, manual steering mode will engage and the SUV will be more difficult to steer, increasing the risk of an accident. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is aware of five crashes and six injuries related to the issue.

The Fix: Dealers will inspect and replace the affected parts and update the related software for free.

What Owners Should Do: Ford will notify owners by July 25. Owners can call Ford at 800-392-3673 for more information.

Need to Find a Dealer for Service? Go to Cars.com Service & Repair to find your local dealer.

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By Jennifer Geiger | May 29, 2014 | Comments (4)

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