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Old 12-27-2012, 02:01 AM   #1
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Ford dealt class-action lawsuit over C-Max, Fusion hybrid mileage claims



A California-based law firm has filed a class-action lawsuit against Ford Motor Co., alleging the company has led a "false and misleading" marketing campaign for its 2013 C-Max and Fusion hybrid vehicles.

Law firm McCuneWright alleges fraud and negligent misrepresentation, among others, by Ford, in U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of California. The suit seeks punitive damages, including reimbursement for the purchase price of Ford's new hybrid vehicles.

"In its advertising and marketing campaign for the vehicles, Ford claimed that the C-Max Hybrid and Fusion Hybrid achieved a class leading 47 Miles Per Gallon," part of the 17-page suit read. "These materials helped Ford achieve record sales for the first two months of C-MAX Hybrid sales, outselling its rival, hybrid sales leader Toyota, but there was a problem. These ads were false."

The plaintiff in the suit is Richard Pitkin of Roseville, Calif., who purchased a C-Max Hybrid in October and says he only averaged 37 miles per gallon, lower than the Environmental Protection Agency rated 47 miles per gallon.

The EPA this month said it would review Ford's fuel efficiency claims after Consumer Reports found the C-Max Hybrid and Fusion Hybrid got significantly worse fuel efficiency than the EPA window sticker suggests.

Consumer Reports said on Dec. 6 that in testing, the car's fuel efficiency fell 10 miles per gallon short: It got 37 mpg overall, with 35 mpg for city driving and 38 mpg highways. The Fusion Hybrid, certified for the same 47 mpg, got 39 mpg in testing overall, with 35 mpg city and 41 mpg highway.

"These two vehicles have the largest discrepancy between our overall-mpg results and the estimates published by the EPA that we've seen among any current models," Consumer Reports said in a statement.

One day later, McCuneWright, which has filed similar suits against General Motors Co. and Honda Motor Co., filed suit against Ford.

The C-Max can travel at a top speed of 62 mph in electric-only mode. Above 62 mph, the car's four-cylinder gasoline engine starts and helps to recharge the battery.

That top electric-only speed means that for the portion of the EPA's highway fuel-efficiency test, which maxes out at 60 mph, the car can travel in electric-only mode without the gasoline engine kicking on; essentially the C-Max Hybrid is optimized for the EPA test.

Consumer Reports said Toyota Motor Corp.'s Prius falls short of mileage expectations by 6 mpg and the Prius c Two falls short of mileage expectations by 7 mpg.

But Ford says its hybrid vehicles are built to give customers a choice: a driver can operate the vehicle conservatively and achieve EPA mileage claims, or drive the car for fun, because Ford's hybrids get significantly better horsepower than competitor vehicles.


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Old 12-27-2012, 07:50 AM   #2
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This all started because Consumer Reports couldn't get the advertised mileage. The EPA rated mileage is in PERFECT conditions with 100% gasoline, no hills, no AC, etc.

Consumer Reposts is here in CT. They are in a very hilly part of the state (which is most of the state). By the time they got either of these cars we had switched to winter gasoline which is 10% Ethanol year round anyway, but the winter blend takes another 3-4 MPG off your mileage. (I lost 4 this year. I went from 34 MPG to 30 MPG).

Also, I know consumer reports isn't going the 50 MPH highway speed the EPA tests at. NO ONE in CT goes that slow unless they are stuck in traffic. The average speed on I-91 is well over 70 MPH and I-84 is over 65.

Everyone is making a big deal about this. It is not a big deal and people need the shut the hell up about it and move on with their lives.

If you buy a car expecting to always get the EPA advertized mileage, I have a bridge in Brooklyn I need to sell to you.
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Old 12-27-2012, 09:10 AM   #3
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Exactly. Why aren't we suing the EPA for making the estimation? All Ford did was mention the government estimate in a commercial
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Old 12-27-2012, 09:40 AM   #4
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Honestly, I don't put much faith in the EPA numbers. We've seen lots of cases where new cars are consistently getting worse mileage than the EPA claims, and people are up in arms about it. Yet in every vehicle I've ever owned (all 2002 or older), I've been able to get above the EPA claims, even with the original, pre-2008 altered numbers. For example, my SVT is rated at 18/23, yet I average just under 30 mpg. Sure I have a few mods that may or may not help that, and perhaps my driving style or gas-friendly commute influence things, but I have a hard time believing that these new cars are really that much more fuel efficient than older, lighter cars. And with many new cars being turbo-charged and hybridized, they are even more dependent on driving style and conditions. Stay in boost => bad mpg. Drive above electric only speed => bad mpg. Floor the accelerator from a stop => bad mpg. MPG numbers are really up to the driver.

Or perhaps it's all a government conspiracy. As Steven Hyde eloquently put it: There is no gas shortage man. It's all fake. The oil companies control everything. Like there is this guy that invented this car and it runs on water man. It's got a fiberglass air-cooled engine and it runs on water!
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Old 12-27-2012, 11:09 AM   #5
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God bless this sue-happy nation...
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Old 12-30-2012, 06:45 PM   #6
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Good, I hope I start seeing recently returned C-Max's on the lot so I can get a low mileage used one for cheap. I hope the resale tanks for a few years, and then people start getting the fuel economy advertised. No engine gets perfect fuel economy when new. What do people want? Shall the manufacturers run the engine for X hours after assembly to insure that it is in prime running condition? Perhaps someone should bring that up. I'd also like to bring up that this latest generation is the dumbest on record. IIRC, we have more than 50% of adult Americans who believe that Santa Claus is real. I'd like to see what percentage knows where the name Santa Claus is actually assumed to come from, and what that has to do with St. Nick. There is a connection.
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Old 12-30-2012, 06:59 PM   #7
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Driving style has a huge effect. I drive my cars conservatively yet my mother can squeeze 4 more mpg out of the same drive same vehicle. I do enjoy hearing about the sew happy people
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Old 12-30-2012, 08:17 PM   #8
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Santa Claus was invented by Coca Cola, I know that much. Shall research and get back to you.

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Old 12-30-2012, 08:21 PM   #9
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Honda just went through this exact thing over the Civic hybrid. I say Ford needs to est lower so the customers are surprised when it gets better mileage. Just like they did on the Hp numbers for the terminator mustang.
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Old 12-30-2012, 08:29 PM   #10
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Honda just went through this exact thing over the Civic hybrid. I say Ford needs to est lower so the customers are surprised when it gets better mileage. Just like they did on the Hp numbers for the terminator mustang.
Short of cheating the test results there isn't really a way to dramatically lower the official test rating as its done on a dynamometer under carefully specified conditions. So I'm not sure how that works, especially when it needs to be approved by the EPA.
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