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Ford under fire over fuel data

2012-12-28 10:55

FORD C-MAX: This is the C-Max - Ford is being attacked for 'false and misleading' advertising about it's and the Ford Fusion hybrid's fuel consumption claims.

kalahari.com

DETROIT, Michigan - A Californian law firm has filed a class-action suit against Ford claiming the automaker ran a false and misleading advertising campaign for its 2013 C-Max and Fusion hybrids.

Law firm McCuneWright, the Detroit News reported, alleges fraud and negligent misrepresentation, among other things, by Ford and wants punitive damages, including reimbursement for people buying the vehicles.

CHOSEN PLAINTIFF

Part of the 17-page suit in a California District Court reads: "In its advertising and marketing campaign for the vehicles, Ford claimed the C-Max Hybrid and Fusion Hybrid achieved a class-leading 47 US miles per gallon (five litres/100km). "These materials helped Ford achieve record sales for the first two months of C-MAX Hybrid, outselling its rival, hybrid sales leader Toyota, but there was a problem. These ads were false."

The chosen plaintiff in the suit, one Richard Pitkin, bought a C-Max Hybrid in October 2012 and says he averaged only 6.36 litres/100km, worse than the Environmental Protection Agency rated five/100.

Ford declined to comment.

The EPA in December 2012, the DetNews added, said it would review Ford's fuel consumption claims because Consumer Reports magazine found the C-Max and Fusion used significantly more fuel than their EPA window stickers suggested.

''LARGEST DISCREPANCY'

The magazine said that, in its tests, the car's fuel efficiency fell 10 US miles a gallon short: it got 37mpg (6.36 litres/100km) overall, with 6.72 for city driving and 6.19 on highways. The Fusion Hybrid, certified for the same consumption as the C-Max, got 6.03, 6.72 and 5.74 respectively.

The magazine wrote: "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." McCuneWright, which has filed similar suits against General Motors and Honda, filed against Ford the following day.

Ford says its hybrids are intended to give customers a choice: operate the vehicle conservatively and achieve EPA consumption or drive for fun because Ford hybrids "get significantly better horsepower than competitors".

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