Ford Lowers MPG For Certain Models - Will Pay Owners


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Ford Will Pay 200,000 Owners for Inflated MPG Claims

Washington DC June 12, 2014;AIADAonline reported that a story in the Detroit News (based on the Ford Press Release found below) said that Ford Motor Co. is lowering the fuel economy ratings on six new cars, including the combined city/highway rating on the Lincoln MKZ hybrid by 7 miles per gallon.

It will make payments of $125 to $1,050 to more than 200,000 owners as compensation for the extra money drivers will spend on gas because of lower-than-promised fuel efficiency. Payments will vary depending on the vehicle, and if it was leased or purchased.

The Environmental Protection Agency said Ford reported the mistakes after an internal audit. Ford will lower fuel-efficiency estimates on four versions of the 2014 Fiesta subcompact; the hybrid and Energi plug-in hybrid versions of the 2013 and 2014 Fusion midsize sedan; the C-Max Hybrid and Energi plug-in hybrid version; and the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid.

Ford must correct the window labels within 15 days. Ford learned of a discrepancy in October but was unsure why. After confirming it had a problem in March, it notified EPA on March 28 and then conducted more than 100 tests.

Ford Lowers MPG For Certain Models -Press Release in context)

Dearborn Michigan June 12, 2014; Ford Motor Company announced today it is lowering the fuel economy ratings for its 2013- and 2014-model year hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles, as well as most 2014-model year Fiestas.

Ford identified an error with fuel economy ratings on certain vehicles through its internal testing and notified EPA. The company worked with EPA as the agency retested the vehicles to determine the correct fuel economy ratings.

“Ford is absolutely committed to delivering top fuel economy and accurate information,” said Alan Mulally, Ford president and CEO. “We apologize to our customers and will provide goodwill payments to affected owners. We also are taking steps to improve our processes and prevent issues like this from happening again.”

Ford reviewed its entire line up to determine the vehicles that required further testing and revised the fuel economy ratings for the affected vehicles. No other label adjustments are planned.

“This is our error. When we see an issue, we address it,” said Raj Nair, Ford group vice president, Global Product Development. “That is why we notified EPA and lowered the fuel economy ratings for these vehicles.”

Fuel Economy Testing

Fuel economy testing involves many factors. Ford’s error was specific to a factor called "Total Road Load Horsepower", or TRLHP. TRLHP is a vehicle-specific resistance level used in vehicle dynamometer testing that determines fuel economy ratings. TRLHP is established through engineering models that are validated through vehicle testing, including physical track tests referred to as coastdown testing.

Use of these engineering models is a common industry practice, consistent with EPA regulations. These models normally are more reliable and consistent than physical vehicle tests, which can exhibit variability.

As an ongoing practice, Ford conducts tests on production vehicles to validate its engineering models. Based on coastdown testing of the Fusion Hybrid, the company found the TRLHP did not match the values used for the dynamometer testing.

Upon further testing, Ford also discovered an error specific to how we correlate wind tunnel results into the TRLHP model. Ford’s error was the result of a recent process change, which the company has since corrected.

Ford has now validated through physical vehicle testing the TRLHP for the vehicles affected by this error and also has instituted enhanced validation tests for future vehicles to prevent reoccurrence of this error.

New Fuel Economy Ratings and Customer Information

Ford has communicated to its dealers that new fuel economy labels will be available in approximately six days and that dealers may continue selling the vehicles until the new labels are received. 

Ford estimates that approximately 200,000 of these vehicles have been sold or leased to customers in the United States. Affected Ford and Lincoln owners and lessees in the United States will receive a goodwill payment for the estimated average fuel cost of the difference between the two fuel economy labels, as shown in the table below.

Affected U.S. fleet owners and affected owners outside of the United States will be contacted by their local Ford representatives.

Customers with questions can contact the Ford Customer Relationship Center at 1-866-436-7332 or visit:  and

U.S. EPA-Estimated Fuel Economy Label Ratings and Goodwill Payments*

Model Year




(City, Highway, Combined)


(City, Highway, Combined)

Lease Customers





31 / 43 / 36

32  / 45 /  37



1.6L A/T

27 / 37 / 31

29  / 39 /  32



1.6L SFE A/T

28 / 38 / 32

30  / 41 /  34



1.6L M/T

28 / 36 / 31

27  / 38 /  31

Combined MPG not affected

Combined MPG not affected




42  / 37 / 40

45  / 40 /  43





44 / 41 / 42

47  / 47 /  47





38 / 37 / 38

45  / 45 /  45



Model Year




(Charge Sustaining, Charge Depleting, EV Range)


(Charge Sustaining, Charge Depleting, EV Range)

Lease Customers



C-MAX Energi

Plug-in Hybrid

38 mpg  / 88 MPGe+ /

19 mi EV range

43 mpg / 100 MPGe+  /

21 mi EV range



Fusion Energi

Plug-in Hybrid

38 mpg  / 88 MPGe+  /

19 mi EV range

43 mpg  / 100 MPGe+ /

21 mi EV range



*Bolded figures in the above chart represent the values used to determine the customer goodwill payment.

** Combined numbers only.  Revised EPA-estimated ratings: 40 city, 36 highway MPG; 95 city, 81 highway MPGe. Charge depleting range is 20 mi.  Previous EPA-estimated ratings: 44 city, 41 highway MPG; 108 city, 92 hwy MPGe. Previous charge depleting range was 21.   

+MPGe is the EPA equivalent measure of gasoline fuel efficiency for electric mode operation.


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