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Old 01-01-2013, 01:21 AM   #1
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Ford Finds Itself in Court Over Fuel-Economy Claims



Watching Ford follow Hyundai, Kia, Honda, and GM in getting hit with a class-action lawsuit over its cars’ advertised fuel economy, one wonders if the plaintiffs’ lawyers behind these actions have tried to figure out a way to sue the manufacturers of the metaphorical floodgates that are now open. This isn’t to suggest that Ford’s C-Max hybrid and Fusion hybrid, the vehicles at issue in the lawsuit, use as little fuel in the real world as their 47-overall-mpg EPA stats suggest. Even with lighter-footed drivers than those in the Car and Driver offices, C-Max and Fusion hybrids have fallen way short of the official EPA numbers, delivering 37 and 39 miles per gallon respectively to Consumer Reports. (Both returned fuel economy of 32 mpg in our testing). Our upside-down system for quantifying fuel economy makes this sound worse than it is—2.56 to 2.7 gallons per 100 miles instead of 2.13—but it’s a big drop.

Ford has, understandably, centered its C-Max and Fusion hybrid advertising on the cars’ EPA numbers. Both are rated at 47 mpg across the board—city, highway, and combined. The plaintiffs argue that Ford oversimplifies the EPA numbers in its ads: They don’t say that these are EPA-based estimates, or describe the EPA’s testing procedure, or that drivers probably won’t see comparable numbers driving these cars in the real world. Altogether, the plaintiffs say, the high numbers in the advertising led them to buy C-Max and Fusion hybrids when they otherwise wouldn’t have, to pay more for them than if the fuel-economy numbers were more accurate. And they all say they’ve used more fuel than they were promised they would.

But what cars don’t exhibit a gap between EPA estimates and real-world performance? For everyone who says their Honda Civic beats the 40-mpg-highway EPA number, there are three more who haven’t broken 30 yet. So many factors affect how much fuel a car needs—tires, road surfaces, temperature, driving style, driving conditions, elevation and atmospheric pressure, grade of fuel, and break-in of the engine, to name a few—it’s extremely difficult to come up with a widely applicable mileage estimate. We assume that Ford, like most automakers, to a certain extent “games” the EPA tests—they ensure their cars can meet certain parameters of the test even if those don’t have the biggest impact on real-world fuel economy. That’s a problem with the EPA’s regimen though, not a particular car company. Altogether, these are strong reasons to scrap the EPA fuel-economy estimations altogether. Until then, if the C-Max hybrid or the Hyundai Sonata are indeed rated at 47 miles per gallon on the EPA test cycle, the companies should be allowed to say so.

Text Source: Car & Driver


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Old 01-01-2013, 01:42 AM   #2
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Sounds like the EPA is letting the manufactors police them selfs. Well thats a given since the goverment is out of cashola. Guess Hyundai got caught big time.
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Old 01-01-2013, 03:57 AM   #3
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But then you have cars like the fiesta. Its rated 29city 38 highway. Ive maintained lower to mid 40mpg with out trying. Ive been doing more city now with winter gas, avg mpg now is like 33. You think Ford would rate a non Hybrid higher?

<a href="http://www.fuelly.com/driver/rjs907/fiesta" target="_blank"><img src="http://badges.fuelly.com/images/sig-us/141266.png" width="500" height="63" alt="Fuelly" title="Share and compare MPG at Fuelly" border="0"/></a>
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Old 01-01-2013, 10:58 AM   #4
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Geesh. This half the problem with our country.
Anyway, I think it says right on the window sticker "EPA ESTIMATE"!! And I am pretty sure there is some laguage that talks about variences as you all listed above.
We have all read MPG posts on here that go on for days about how to calculate and so forth, some people just need to pull their heads out.
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Old 01-01-2013, 12:30 PM   #5
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But then you have cars like the fiesta. Its rated 29city 38 highway. Ive maintained lower to mid 40mpg with out trying. Ive been doing more city now with winter gas, avg mpg now is like 33. You think Ford would rate a non Hybrid higher?

<a href="http://www.fuelly.com/driver/rjs907/fiesta" target="_blank"><img src="http://badges.fuelly.com/images/sig-us/141266.png" width="500" height="63" alt="Fuelly" title="Share and compare MPG at Fuelly" border="0"/></a>
Reading the little dash gauge is not the correct way to measure mpgs...
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Old 01-01-2013, 12:37 PM   #6
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They need to overhaul the EPA estimate procedures.
I don't know how the EPA guesses at it, spherical Fords traveling trough a vacuum?

They are completely BS, and most manufacturers are getting sued over it now that fuel mileage is a major selling point.
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Old 01-01-2013, 01:10 PM   #7
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ESTIMATE MPG, they even say it on TV comercials.

too many ignorant people out there think everything in print is true, like it is set in stone.
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Old 01-01-2013, 05:08 PM   #8
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ESTIMATE MPG, they even say it on TV comercials.

too many ignorant people out there think everything in print is true, like it is set in stone.
Pretty much like all the warnings on everthing & I mean everthing, even stupid things. All it is is common sense stuff. Lot of sue happy people out there. As far as the estimated mpg's, I just use that as a ball park figure to compare other vechicles, like the Foci to its comp. Just a rough idea.
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Old 01-01-2013, 09:27 PM   #9
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The EPA is required to do the fuel economy estimates.
The manufacturers and dealers are required to display this information.

Why is the information WRONG across the board?
If you are going to mandate this info, you should have to provide valid info.

Here is some testing info, right from the EPA.
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"The city and highway tests are currently performed under mild climate conditions (75 degrees F) and include acceleration rates and driving speeds that EPA believes are generally lower than those used by drivers in the real world. Neither test is run while using accessories, such as air conditioning. The highway test has a top speed of 60 miles per hour, and an average speed of only 48 miles per hour.
Since the mid-1990s, EPA’s emissions certification program has required the use of three additional tests which capture a much broader range of real-world driving conditions, including high-speed, fast-acceleration driving, the use of air conditioning, and colder temperature operation (20 degrees F). These conditions affect not only the amount of air pollutants a vehicle emits, but also a vehicle’s fuel economy. However, these tests were not required to measure fuel economy."

(referring to the new 2007 testing methods, below)
Compared to today’s estimates, the city mpg estimates for the manufacturers of most vehicles will drop by about 12 percent on average, and by as much as 30 percent for some vehicles. The highway mpg estimates will drop on average by about 8 percent, and by as much as 25 percent for some vehicles

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Seems to me that the EPA knows it's estimates are wildly inaccurate, the manufacturers know it as well. But despite that, the government requires that this wildly inaccurate data be displayed, and manufacturers use it as a sales pitch. "not our fault we didn't do the estimates"

Rather than fix the testing methods, the EPA wastes resources trying to decide how to display the inaccurate information to you: MPG, gallons to go 100 miles, or annual expected fuel costs, or a star rating
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Old 01-01-2013, 10:08 PM   #10
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I agree with elsolo, EPA needs to revise their testing methodology to reflect real world conditions. Ford might well have followed EPA testing guidelines to get 47 MPG, but if so the cars were tuned only for that style of driving to get those numbers. This does Ford no good if real world conditions will always result in 10 MPG less, which is in my mind grounds for a lawsuit. Why build and advertise a car that can hit maximum EPA estimates if it's 10 MPG off in the real world? Ford screwed themselves with these overly optimistic numbers.

I think at this point, EPA guidelines are lax to allow manufacturers to get closer to hitting CAFE targets, which in turn allows big government to say it's "doing it's part" in regulating pollution.
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