In light of today’s announcements by Ford, the EPA has announced that it will update its labelling procedures to keep pace with industry changes.
The EPA released a statement shortly after Ford did, confirming that the American automaker is voluntarily re-labelling its C-Max Hybrid’s fuel economy estimates. The discrepancy in this case according to the EPA, is that current label regulations allow, but do not require, vehicles with the same engine, transmission, and weight class to use the same fuel economy label value data.
The C-Max Hybrid’s label was based on testing from the related Fusion Hybrid, which uses the same engine, transmission, and test weight as allowed under EPA regulations. But since these new hybrid vehicles are more sensitive to small design changes than conventional vehicles, the C-Max Hybrid had quite a gap in real world fuel economy compared to EPA estimates. The C-Max has been downgraded to 43 mpg combined from 47 mpg combined.
In the future, EPA will be working with consumer advocates, environmental organizations, and auto manufacturers to propose revised fuel economy labeling regulations to help safeguard against inaccurate fuel figures. As expected, many automakers will share hybrid systems across multiple vehicle models in order to improve quality and reduce manufacturing costs, they will just have to be more diligent in testing and reporting fuel figures based on each particular model.
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