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Ford SA false fuel claims saga: More Kuga owners respond

2016-08-24 09:49

SA KUGA OWNERS RESPOND: Wheels24 readers responded in their masses over Ford SA's Kuga fuel return figures. Image: QuickPic


Ford has given its Kuga SUV a midlife makeover, which includes major design tweaks and a new diesel engine option.

Cape Town - A single complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority of SA (ASA) has landed Ford in hot water due to fuel consumption claims of its Kuga SUV.

A 'Mrs Haim' lodged a consumer complaint against Ford's Kuga featured in its brochures and on the link from its website, reports ASA.

The advertising promotes all Kuga models, including the one in dispute - the 1.5 Ecoboost Ambiente. It lists the fuel consumption figure in "litres/100km” as "7.0”.


The complainant stated that she is unable to attain the fuel consumption claimed by Ford and instead achieves 15 litres/100km. She claims that best average consumption she managed was 12 l/100km, despite taking the vehicle on the open road as suggested by a Ford sales representative.

READ: Ford SA to pull Kuga brochure over false fuel claims - ASA

Wheels24 has received several responses from Ford Kuga owners regarding alse fuel claims. 

Do you take steps to reduce your vehicle's fuel consumption? Use our voting booth!

Ford SA responds

Ford, according to the ASA, said that it "needs to benchmark fuel consumption figures in a comparable manner due to the many variable factors that impact vehicle fuel consumption. As such, it conforms to the Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) standards for fuel economy claims, which are conducted and ratified independently for the sake of standardised comparison." 

"In independent ownership, fuel consumption is open to many different variables that render it difficult to compare individual economy figures. By way of example, geographic and climatic difference has the greatest practical impact. Road conditions and routes are factors in other cases, as well as individual driving styles, Ford's response continues.

"Accordingly, fuel consumption claims should be taken as an indication of a vehicle’s economy and not as a fixed figure obtained on every tankful. It is a means of comparing competitors against each other during the purchase consideration, the report continues."

Readers respond

Marlene Wentzel: 
I have had numerous fights with Ford, even taken my case to Ford SA but I was told I drive the vehicle too hard. I am willing to provide all my tests, proof and everything to make Ford take responsibility for their false advertisement. I would have never bought this vehicle if I knew what the real fuel consumption was going to be. I even drive around with a big sticker on the back of my car reading. THIRSTY LITTLE BUGGER. I would gladly forward all information and photos. 

Marcel van Staaden: One of the factors which influenced my decision was fuel economy. I bought the Ford Kuga because of the low fuel economy, as advertised in brochures and the sales people. I am disappointed in Ford for making false claims, the Ford Kuga uses a lot of fuel, 10.6 litres/100km. I will never support Ford again.

Do you take steps to reduce your vehicle's fuel consumption? Use our voting booth!

I buy a car based on consumption because we drive a lot. Was told, and the sticker on window states 6.8litres/100km. Never got more than 500km out of tank no matter how I drive. No sorry, I got that when I travelled at 50km/h in Kruger Park for weekend. So maybe not false but they forgot to state do not go faster than 50km/h. Never again. Ford??????

Amos Mavuso: I bought my Kuga in 2013 brand new and I have noted that in fact it consumes much higher than what is claimed. It is worse when you just drive to your local shop to buy grocery it tends to consume more. Perhaps Ford’s indication refers to a particular fuel type. That said it is a very good car. 

Frank Currie: We have a 2015 Kuga eco boost 1.5. Lovely car but is has never achieved the stated consumption. We average (according to the trip computer) approx. 12 liters / 100km. It doesn’t matter how we drive.

John Osrin: I bought a new Ford Kuga 8 months ago, the car was by the far the best package available on the market when doing my investigations at the time. (I still believe it's proposition cannot be matched). I have also been disappointed by the fuel consumption which stands at 10.5 currently and is nowhere near the claimed consumption quoted in the sales brochure. Having said that, the fuel consumption is not excessive given the size of the car and the nature of the daily commute for which it is used. I would like to address some comments tweeted by Khenu Oerson about his perceptions:

He tweeted that he '....activated ecomode' to achieve incomparable fuel consumption figures. I'd like to know how that's possible as the ecomode on the Kuga is not a switch-activated device but rather software that analyses one's driving pattern and gives a score which the driver can influence only by driving more conservatively. Often, this does not take into account real-world driving conditions/engine load.

Furthermore, in response to the final tweet by Khenu Oerson about 'not buying a car without understanding how the inherent technology works' is this - How many new owners are actually shown all the features of their new car at hand over by the sales person in detail? 

This training is a crucial part of making a new owner aware of their car's technology and features. We as the buying public rely on (supposedly) well-informed and trained sales staff to do the handover which is often rushed through...

Not all owners are made aware of what they are buying into - we all buy cars for various reasons and all of us are not 'techno wizards' that have the time or inclination to delve into specific technology which can be superfluous when considering the bigger picture.

Leon: Ford's fuel consumption figures are taken from the EU fuel cycle tests and not their own local testing. It is commonly accepted that the EU fuel cycle is not representative of real world driving conditions, and that one can expect higher consumption figures in day-to-day driving. Peugeot and Citroen Europe has actually gone so far as to conduct their own tests* and release their own consumption figures recently, all of which were higher than the regular EU cycle figures. Two things to note here. 1) Ford is not the only one who uses the EU figures, so they alone cannot be held to ransom. 2) Our local emissions tax is based on the EU cycle figures as it is deemed consistent throughout the industry. If we force manufacturers to quote higher consumption figures (and therefore higher CO2 emissions figures), we would most likely pay higher emissions taxes on every car!

Read more on:    ford south africa  |  south africa  |  ford kuga  |  suv

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