Consumer Reports calls out Ford for false fuel economy claims

Consumer Reports is calling out Ford, saying the Ford C-max Hybrid and Ford Fusion Hybrid don’t achieve anywhere near the number of 47 MPG that Ford claims.

Consumer Reports test drove each of the hybrid vehicles and consistently got 39 MPG in the Fusion and 37 MPG in the C-max. Jake Fisher, director of auto testing for Consumer Reports, said this is the largest discrepancy between what automakers MPG claims and the actual real-world driving results. “It’s not to say these are bad cars at all; they still get excellent fuel economy,” Fisher said. “But we’ve been doing this for a long time, and we’ve never seen such a difference between the EPA estimates and our numbers.”

Ford says the MPG numbers were certified by the EPA, but the EPA really only test 10 to 15 percent of the cars on the road. Ford said some early reports from consumers showed the cars getting even better fuel economy than the 47 MPG the hybrid vehicles are rated at.

“This reinforces the fact that driving styles, driving conditions, and other factors can cause mileage to vary,” said Wes Sherwood, a spokesman for Ford.When a customer wants to optimize their fuel economy, the hybrids use different driving coaching software to help drivers get the best fuel economy they can.

Here is a video from Consumer Reports with more details on the testing they did, and why they figure there is something fishy going on.

[update] The Environmental Protection Agency has said it “will look at the report and data” from Consumer Reports indicating that the 2013 Ford C-Max and Fusion hybrids don’t come close to achieving their fuel economy estimates of 47 miles per gallon.

One can only assume that if this affects the MPG numbers on the C-max and Fusion, it will also affect the MPG numbers on the Ford C-max Energi plug-in hybrid and the Ford Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid.

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Alan Moeller

By Alan Moeller

EV car evangelist! I read, watch, write, research and chat all things electric cars. Got a lead on a story? Shoot me a message on Facebook.

1 comment

  1. I thought my C-MAX would be a Prius Killer? As a cross over buyer I feel deceived. I want to support US companies and US jobs. What was Ford thinking when they published 47/ 47 estimates? I would have been ok with low 40’s but low 28-33 is not even in the ballpark. Mark my words there will be no fix for this. Ford should offer to take the cars back or offer cash compensation to offset the mileage claims. The EPA estimates will have to be adjusted to the mid 30’s and sell the cars as is. My dealer’s sales and service department were ok at the beginning of the complaint process, but now have turned hostile and un-professional.

    Ronald Kramer
    Yankee Ford Customer
    South Portland, Maine

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