Ford has announced that it will be lowering the fuel economy ratings on a number of its 2013 and 2014 model year vehicles after an error was discovered in the company's internal testing data. The EPA has been notified.

Worryingly for Ford, the vast majority of the vehicles affected are hybrids, including the C-Max, Fusion and MKZ in both hybrid and plug-in varieties (where applicable). Also covered as part of the rerating is the entire lineup of 2014 Fiesta engines, with the exception of the ST, including the turbocharged, three-cylinder EcoBoost.

The C-Max was originally rated at 47/47/47 mpg, but dropped to 43/45/40 last year and now to 40/42/37.

The Fiesta range is seeing corrections of one to two miles per gallon in the combined rating. C-Max Hybrid models are seeing their combined rating decreased by three mpg, the Fusion's drops by five mpg, and the MKZ drops seven mpg. Both the C-Max and Fusion Energi models have had their ratings slashed by five mpg. Ford critics will note that this is the second time in less than a year that the Blue Oval has had to recalculate the economy ratings for the C-Max Hybrid. That car was originally rated at 47/47/47 mpg (combined/city/highway), which was dropped to 43/45/40 last year and now to 40/42/37.

"This issue highlights the need for continued strong oversight of the fuel economy labeling program," Chris Grundler, director of the EPA's Office of Transportation and Air Quality, said in a statement. "Consumers need to trust that fuel economy window stickers are giving consumers reliable and fair estimates of real world fuel economy."

The problem cropped up in what's known as the Total Road Load Horsepower. According to Ford, TRLHP is specific to each vehicle, and is used as a measure of resistance in dyno testing for fuel economy ratings. Apparently, Ford discovered that the TLRHP used on the vehicles affected was incorrect. There were also issues with the way wind tunnel testing was factored in to the dyno resistance rating. In Ford's case, it seems like they're trying to pull a Hyundai and Kia and take the honest way out by acknowledging the fault.

"Ford is absolutely committed to delivering top fuel economy and accurate information," said Alan Mulally. "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."

We've got those goodwill payments available below in a table. You can also take a look at the press releases of both Ford and the EPA, which includes a complete breakdown of the re-rated economy figures.
Show full PR text
FORD MOTOR COMPANY LOWERS FUEL ECONOMY RATINGS FOR SIX VEHICLES

Ford identified an error with fuel economy ratings for certain vehicles through its internal testing and notified the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Ford worked with EPA as the agency retested the vehicles, which resulted in lower fuel economy ratings for Ford's 2013- and 2014-model year hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles, as well as most 2014-model year Fiestas
The company apologizes to its customers, and will make goodwill payments to owners of the approximately 200,000 affected U.S. vehicles for the difference between the previous and revised ratings
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 fuel economy ratings adjustments are planned


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: www.ford.com/mpglabel and www.lincoln.com/mpglabel.
U.S. EPA-Estimated Fuel Economy Label Ratings and Goodwill Payments*
Model Year Vehicle Powertrain Revised
(City, Highway, Combined)
Previous
(City, Highway, Combined)
Lease Customers Purchase
Customers
2014 Fiesta 1.0L GTDI M/T 31 / 43 / 36 32 / 45 / 37 $125 $200
1.6L A/T 27 / 37 / 31 29 / 39 / 32 $150 $250
1.6L SFE A/T 28 / 38 / 32 30 / 41 / 34 $275 $450
1.6L M/T 28 / 36 / 31 27 / 38 / 31 Combined MPG not affected Combined MPG not affected
2013-14 C-MAX Hybrid 42 / 37 / 40 45 / 40 / 43 $300 $475
Fusion Hybrid 44 / 41 / 42 47 / 47 / 47 $450 $775
MKZ Hybrid 38 / 37 / 38 45 / 45 / 45 $625 $1,050
Model Year Vehicle Powertrain Revised**
(Charge Sustaining, Charge Depleting, EV Range)
Previous**
(Charge Sustaining, Charge Depleting, EV Range)
Lease Customers Purchase
Customers
2013-14 C-MAX Energi Plug-in Hybrid 38 mpg / 88 MPGe+ /
19 mi EV range
43 mpg / 100 MPGe+ /
21 mi EV range
$475 $775
Fusion Energi Plug-in Hybrid 38 mpg / 88 MPGe+ /
19 mi EV range
43 mpg / 100 MPGe+ /
21 mi EV range
$525 $850

*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.

EPA Requires Ford to Correct Fuel Economy for Six Vehicle Models

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced that Ford Motor Company (Ford) is revising the fuel economy (mpg) estimates for six vehicle models to correct errors found in an internal Ford audit. Ford is required to correct fuel economy labels on affected vehicles within 15 days.

EPA oversaw Ford's re-testing program and conducted independent tests to confirm the corrected results as soon as it was notified by Ford of the potential errors. Ford has agreed to implement enhanced validation tests for future vehicles under EPA oversight.

"This issue highlights the need for continued strong oversight of the fuel economy labeling program," said Chris Grundler, director of EPA's Office of Transportation and Air Quality. "Consumers need to trust that fuel economy window stickers are giving consumers reliable and fair estimates of real world fuel economy."

Cars currently in dealer lots will be re-labeled with new window stickers reflecting the corrected mileage estimates. Ford will re-label four versions of the Ford Fiesta, the Hybrid and Energi versions of the Ford Fusion, the C-Max Hybrid and Energi, and the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid. Most labels will change between 1-5 miles per gallon (mpg). The largest change is for the Lincoln MKZ hybrid whose combined city and highway fuel economy value has been reduced by 7 mpg. EPA and DOE have updated their joint fuel economy site, www.fueleconomy.gov, to reflect the corrected numbers.

EPA's National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Laboratory in Ann Arbor, Mich., conducts fuel economy testing on a number of vehicles each year to ensure that their performance matches the mileage and emissions data submitted to EPA by automakers. These "spot-checks" are part of the oversight program that helps verify that vehicles on the road meet tailpipe emission standards to protect public health and the environment and that all carmakers follow the same procedures for calculating mileage estimates.


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  • 132 Comments
      Ezekiel Beast
      • 6 Months Ago
      Should've brought this thing over here with the gas engine in the first place. This is not a good platform for a hybrid.
      EVSUPERHERO
      • 6 Months Ago
      "What kind of gas mileage you get in that thing?" "Well, at the beginning of last year I was getting..." "Then my mileage went down in ..." "Now I get... "
      Keijidosha
      • 6 Months Ago
      So if "goodwill" check is to cover cost of gas, why does Fusion Energi get $850 to C-Max Energi’s $775, if both have identical EPA mileage adjustments (Press Release)? Does the Fusion use Premium?
        Stuka87
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Keijidosha
        Because the purchase price of the vehicles is different would be my guess.
      James
      • 6 Months Ago
      It is like Darwinism. Dumb blue collar union types are fooled by Ford MPG claims and buy their junk. They are unable to calculate their actual mileage, so they are happy. These same dummies lose money on their real estate in the Midwest. College educated know better and stick with Toyota and Honda. You can see these Toyota and Honda cars parked on east and west coast driveways of seven figure homes. Survival of the fittest. You can spot the dumb ones driving Ford products ...
        bullitt2605
        • 6 Months Ago
        @James
        Did you say Honda? http://www.autoblog.com/2014/05/29/honda-accord-hybrid-consumer-reports-mpg-problem/
        jesscott
        • 6 Months Ago
        @James
        ignorant fanboi chimes in with nonsense......pictures at 11
      Vmmvmmm
      • 6 Months Ago
      I own a C-Max, I don't hyper mile, drive as normal as you can, and rarely see less than 47mpg. It doesn't matter to me what the original figures are if I'm getting 47-49mpg on a regular basis.
        pickles
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Vmmvmmm
        What terrain do you live in? Flat like Florida? I'd believe it. Hills like California (especially San Francisco)… very, very hard to believe.
        marv.shocker
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Vmmvmmm
        Sure you are, bro...
          Dean Hammond
          • 6 Months Ago
          @marv.shocker
          MARV...there are some owners that are getting better mileage...theres also a shite load that arent...the main variable is different driving styles....
          Neez
          • 6 Months Ago
          @marv.shocker
          @ Vmmvmmm " I just checked and I'm currently at 46.7 on this tank so far." That's exactly your problem don't go by the lie-o-meter, it's always optimistic. You need to hand calculate.
        Rotation
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Vmmvmmm
        Except for that if the original figures weren't lies you might have bought a Prius V instead and driving the same you'd be getting better mpg on that than on the C-Max you bought.
          Dean Hammond
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Rotation
          perhaps, but relize theres also Prius owners unhappy with their mileages as well....its just not as well pubished.....that said, Ford has a bigger issue with their C-Maxs than toyota with their prius.
      JRBEINGINEER
      • 6 Months Ago
      Ford owes Toyota an apology, after running chest-thumping ads claiming that the C-Max bested the Prius V in fuel economy.
      KaiserWilhelm
      • 6 Months Ago
      Well thats embarrassing..
      BB79826
      • 6 Months Ago
      Until Ford corrects their non-hybrid ratings too, I don't care. The Fusion EASILY gets the worst fuel economy in its class (2.5L, 1.5T, 2.0T, doesn't matter) and no one seems to care. They just keep pumping out commercial after commercial with "real people" saying things like "The Edge gets better fuel economy than the Murano!!" (a lie) or "This Escape will save me so much on gas compared to the CR-V!!!" (another lie). I am fed up with it.
        Kumar
        • 6 Months Ago
        @BB79826
        Since you're on this site you've probably got a lead foot just like the most of us....
          Nemebean
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Kumar
          Based on fuelly (a community of non-leadfoots, as a general rule), the new Escape is a huge disappointment in terms of fuel economy. The CR-V stomps all over it, and it barely beats the old box-on-wheels version of the Escape, which is hard to understand.
      Actionable Mango
      • 6 Months Ago
      I notice whenever car companies make MPG estimation mistakes, the mistakes ALWAYS end up in the company's favor.
        Kumar
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Actionable Mango
        You'd think diesel makers would wise up and make 'mistakes' in their estimates since testing regularly underrates actual mpg (by just the test design, as it's more accurate for ice vehicles, and apparently is being gamed by hybrid makers all over the place).
      owen brown
      • 6 Months Ago
      How about telling the truth in the first place Ford? This is just pathetic. So much for being patriotic and buy American.
      ferps
      • 6 Months Ago
      I know that testing procedures can yield results that are different than the real world, but being off by 20% means you straight up lied.
      2 wheeled menace
      • 6 Months Ago
      Wow, what a load of crap. They can do this and just hand you a couple hundred bucks as compensation? What kind of legal system is this?!!
        James
        • 6 Months Ago
        @2 wheeled menace
        That's right, because the difference between a vehicle that gets 36 mpg and one that gets 37 mpg (The Fiesta revision) is $24/year at 10,000 miles per year. So $200 seems pretty reasonable over the lifetime of a subcompact vehicle, and $125 sounds like more than generous for a 3 year lease.
          R S
          • 6 Months Ago
          @James
          James, how about the customer that bought a C-max giving good faith to Ford over maybe buying a Prius and end up with this turd that will be worth 2/3 the value of a used Prius in 5 years. That is thousands of dollars. They lied and stop defending them.
          James
          • 6 Months Ago
          @James
          No one is defending anyone. I'm pointing out they are making sufficient financial restitution to fully compensate for the revision to advertised fuel economy, thus rendering the revision to downward revision to fuel economy an financially moot point in purchasing decision.
          2 wheeled menace
          • 6 Months Ago
          @James
          What about the difference between 37mpg and 47mpg?
          2 wheeled menace
          • 6 Months Ago
          @James
          Your number assumes that the car will only be driven for 8 years, which is well below how long cars tend to stay on the road. What about the reduced resale value? how is that comped? Ah.. it's not, is it. It's fraud, plain and simple. The buyers were sold something that they did not get.
          James
          • 6 Months Ago
          @James
          How can you possibly be rationally upset about a hypothetical difference of a couple hundred dollars over the average 12 year lifetime of a vehicle? A person walks past more discarded pennies on the ground every day than you're complaining about "losing" in resale value. You simply want to be upset. Do you even own one of these vehicles?
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