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Ford Lowers Mileage Ratings for Lincoln MKZ Hybrid and Six Other Models

Jun 20, 2014

Ford has announced that it is lowering the fuel-economy ratings of the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid and six other models after complaints that the mileage numbers were overstated and in some cases substantially lower than what was listed on the EPA sticker.

The re-rated models, in addition to the Lincoln MKZ, include four versions of the 2014 Fiesta, 2013 and 2014 C-Max Hybrid models, C-Max Energi, Fusion Hybrid, and Fusion Energi, reports. (The Energi models are plug-in hybrids that can run at first solely on electric power before switching to normal hybrid operation.)  Ford is offering a one-time cash payment to the approximately 200,000 customers who leased or purchased the affected models. Payments range from $300 to $1050, depending on the model and whether the vehicle was leased or purchased.

The greatest mileage drop was for the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid, a luxury vehicle, whose combined fuel economy number is down by 7 mpg. Ford first revised the MKZ numbers when drivers and car publication testers could not achieve mileage anywhere near the EPA sticker claim of 47/47/47 mpg (city/highway/combined). The Fusion Hybrid’s number dropped by 5 mpg. The C-Max Hybrid, which was re-rated in August 2013, had a further reduction of 3 mpg across the board (city, highway, and combined), according to DailyTech.

Ford blames the error on the Total Road Load Horsepower (TRLHP) factor used to calculate fuel economy for new vehicles, according to DailyTech. The company said an error related to how it conducts wind tunnel tests contributed to the fuel economy discrepancies.

Ford president and CEO Alan Mulally said, “Ford is absolutely committed to delivering top fuel economy and accurate information.” Ford is improving testing procedures, Mulally said, to prevent this from happening again, DailyTech reports. Raj Nair, vice president of Global Product Development said, “When we see an issue, we address it… That is why we notified EPA and lowered the fuel economy ratings for these vehicles.”

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