Ford C-Max

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.
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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.