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Ford to Compensate C-MAX Owners for Inaccurate MPG Ratings

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Car shoppers who recently bought a C-MAX Hybrid gas-electric car from Ford (NYSE: F  ) can expect to be getting a check in the mail soon.

On Thursday after market close, Ford announced a series of upgrades to the 2014 model year of the C-MAX Hybrid, ranging from improved gearing and more aerodynamic pillars and deflectors to reduce wind drag to higher-quality engine oil. "The enhancements to the 2014 C-MAX Hybrid are expected to improve customers' on-road fuel economy, especially at highway speeds," said Ford in a statement.

The company also had an announcement to make about fuel economy per se. Finally reacting to criticism that its claimed "47 miles per gallon" fuel economy on the car vastly overstated the C-MAX's actual performance in real life, Ford announced Thursday that it is voluntarily changing the way it measures fuel economy for the C-MAX, which so far has been essentially to test the fuel economy on the company's Fusion Hybrid ... and then assume the same fuel economy applied to the C-MAX as well.

While insisting that this approach conforms to the Environmental Protection Agency's "General Label rules" for advertising fuel economy, Ford says that from here on out, it will test fuel economy on the C-MAX separately and reduce its claimed gas mileage on the vehicle to 43 mpg. To compensate buyers who bought the car on the assumption that the old mpg number was accurate, Ford says it will make "goodwill payments" of $550 to current C-MAX owners and $325 to lessees.


Read/Post Comments (9) | Recommend This Article (2)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On August 16, 2013, at 12:18 AM, btc909 wrote:

    43/43/43 is still "overly optimistic".

  • Report this Comment On August 16, 2013, at 1:50 AM, btc909 wrote:

    Oh wait now it's 45/40/43 make up your mind Ford.

  • Report this Comment On August 16, 2013, at 10:33 AM, TMFDitty wrote:

    Consumer Reports would agree with you on that.

  • Report this Comment On August 16, 2013, at 12:05 PM, NOISENATZI wrote:

    I would like to know how Ford calculated the value of the “hush money”; I mean “goodwill payment”. Did they take into account the price of fuel during the life of the car?

    With the money did owners have to sign disclaimers or agree not to be a part of a class action suit?

  • Report this Comment On August 16, 2013, at 2:26 PM, speculawyer wrote:

    Ford got busted. They were gaming the system and pushed it too far.

  • Report this Comment On August 16, 2013, at 5:00 PM, TMFDitty wrote:

    Yes, Ford says the dollar value is tied to the expected fuel savings that buyers are not actually getting.

    And ... I don't know about the disclaimer question. As I understand it, the notifications of the payments haven't gone out yet, so it's hard to say what will be in there.

  • Report this Comment On August 19, 2013, at 6:43 PM, Enyrhtak wrote:

    Foolish or not, I bought a C Max and other than the mileage issue absolutely love it. I say Ford is at least stepping up. Most cars don't meet the stated MPG so at least they were willing to do something. I'd have settled for a few free oil changes myself. But I will accept the check they send me!

  • Report this Comment On September 16, 2013, at 7:39 AM, lumike wrote:
  • Report this Comment On September 22, 2013, at 7:57 PM, gultim wrote:

    Why Ford C-Max Hybrids are getting low MPGs analysis.

    I have posted my report here:

    My math substantiates my test condition findings.  Should I have made a mathematical error, please let me know.   I reiterate, the C Max should be getting around 61 mpg at 60 mph...the math proves it.  Ford...if your reading this...please lower my engine RPMs in the next CVT firmware release!  I will also volunteer to test your beta version for free.  Thanks in advance!

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