Only a month after announcing software tweaks said to improve fuel economy for its C-Max and Fusion hybrid cars, Ford will revise its consumption claims.
Currently, the C-Max is advertised to return an average 47 mpg, a figure that spurred controversy and lawsuits when drivers found that figure too difficult to achieve.
Ford will revise that figure by about 10 percent to 43 mpg, the Detroit News reports citing sources briefed on the matter. Previous reports suggested Ford would make an official announcement tomorrow, but now an official statement is expected by late afternoon.
The revelation by Ford could prove to be a damaging one given the brand’s marketing focus on being a fuel economy leader. Marketing campaigns for the C-Max suggest that it gets better fuel economy and is more fun to drive than its main competitor: the Toyota Prius.
The changes Ford announced on July 16 include the ability to drive on electric power at up to 85 mph rather than 62. Optimization to the active grille shutter system was also meant to reduce drag while the time to warm the engine dropped 50 percent to activate the start-stop function sooner. But those changes, which Ford said would improve “on road fuel economy customer satisfaction,” don’t seem to offer sufficient improvements.
Late last year, Consumer Reports said its real-world fuel economy results for the hybrids fell far below those advertised by Ford with 39 mpg in the Fusion and 37 mpg in the C-Max. Shortly thereafter, the EPA announced that it would launch its own evaluation.
An EPA spokesperson confirmed at the time that those tests were ongoing the day before Ford unveiled its update but was unavailable to comment this afternoon. Last year, Kia and Hyundai were faced with a similar issue after being caught misreporting mileage on several models.
“C-Max and Fusion are not going through the same process as Hyundai since the later was a case of incorrect information being submitted by the company. The Ford vehicles are undergoing overall fuel economy testing to allow for a comparison of results,” the agency said in an email last month.
[Source: Automotive News]
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