According to recent articles, Ford has been added to the list of car makers that were sued over fuel-economy claims recently.
The reports show that just like Kia, Honda, Hyundai and GM, Ford has been hit with a class-action lawsuit due to the fact consumers were led to believe in the advertised fuel economy of certain models of vehicles manufactured by these companies.
Reports indicate that Ford’s Fusion hybrid and C-Max hybrid are now at issue in the recent lawsuit. According to independent tests, these vehicles have fallen short of the official EPA numbers the company stated in advertisements. Both models delivered between 37 and 39 MPG in Consumer Reports tests in spite of the fact the company advertised these models were able to get 47 mpg. Ford has relied heavily on its vehicles’ EPA ratings while advertising for the Fusion and the C-Max models. Plaintiffs argue that the automaker did not specify that the official numbers were nothing but an estimate and that drivers would not see comparable numbers in real-world driving. According to the class-action lawsuit, the high EPA numbers made the difference and led them to purchase these vehicles, which in the long run, made consumers lose money.
According to some experts, it’s extremely hard to find a vehicle that will achieve the official EPA numbers in the real world. Some specialists have argued that there are simply too many factors that will affect the car’s fuel consumption like road surfaces, driving style and conditions, speed, tires, temperature, atmospheric pressure, elevation, grade of fuel, etc. Most automakers may end up hesitating when it comes to discussing the EPA subject precisely because it’s so hard to predict the several factors the vehicle will be exposed to that could eventually affect how efficient it will be.
Some specialists maintain that the main issue with EPA estimates is the system itself since the regimen doesn’t assume real-world factors as much as it should. Until the moment the EPA test system changes, all car makers that rely heavily on the results of the EPA tests their cars are subject to will be exposed to similar lawsuits.
Details on this particular Ford case are still obscure. Plaintiffs in the Honda lawsuit got each a $100 cash payback, which was included in the class-action suit settled last year.
Hopefully, more car makers will make sure they are not advertising any promising fuel economy standard that does not match real-world driving in the near future.
For the full article and more information on this lawsuit, click here.